The Black Resilience Fund (BRF) has raised $500,000 for Black Portlanders in two weeks. The fund is distributed to pay for immediate support, including warm meals, groceries, life emergencies, and unpaid bills.
The Black Resilience Fund is an emergency fund created to encourage healing and resilience by providing immediate resources to Black Portland residents.
In the span of two weeks, the organization has grown into nine different volunteer committees, has raised $500,000, and sent checks to over 200 recipients.
Cameron Whitten the founder of BRF initially started the fund after the news of George Floyd’s death had swept over the nation. “It was that moment there was a shift,” he said, as numerous people had reached out to him and offered their help and support.
He started on Cash App and Venmo hoping to provide an opportunity for allies to support the healing of Black people in the Portland community. The next day he launched the Black Resilience Fund on GoFundMe and had raised more than $55,000 in a single day.
Whitten’s focus for this fund is healing the community from trauma as a whole. “Injustice is not just a point in time or a single event and we have to think ‘How do we heal those who have trauma?’” In these times of anger, pain, and injustice the fund is aimed to do more than relieve financial burdens but also give the community a sense of hope and support.
Not one person who has applied and met the eligibility criteria has been denied. “We aren’t here to decide who is the most needy. We decided that this is a fund that helps Black Portlanders,” said Whitten.
Students can apply here. Once the application is submitted, a volunteer will reach out and schedule an interview. Students must schedule a video interview to be eligible for funds, and once the interview is conducted students can expect a check in two to three days.
“This is an opportunity for us to send a bold message to Portland and across this world this is what healing looks like this is what we need for our future it’s gonna take all of us to see how to both heal a system and heal our hearts that have been harmed by generations of dehumanization,” Whitten said.