It is with mixed emotions we share that our beloved Oregon Director Dianne Riley has taken a new position with the City of Portland. Dianne, over the past four years, built a dynamic and thriving Social Justice Fund NW community in Oregon. With her commitment to the work and to people, Dianne grew the organization's Oregon Giving Projects over her tenure and ensured a strong foundation moving forward. Dianne will be missed on staff but will always be part of the SJF family!
We are excited to announce that former Giving Project member, Melody Martínez, is taking on the new role of Oregon Program Manager. As the Program Manager, Melody will be the point person for SJF's Giving Projects and other SJF programs in Oregon. (And we will soon be hiring a new Oregon Development Manager – keep an eye out for the job posting!)
Melody has worked to support the efforts of statewide nonprofits in developing processes and practices that operationalize racial equity, economic justice, and result in meaningful outcomes for employees, recruits, service-users, and the broader community. Melody is also an Associate Trainer at Class Action, an On-Call Facilitator with Resolutions Northwest, and a volunteer staff member at My Dog is My Home. She is passionate about dismantling the intersecting systemic oppressions that keep people, animals, and the planet in a constant state of struggle and can’t imagine a better place than Social Justice Fund NW to be working toward solutions!
We are thrilled to have Melody join our team. She said it best when she shared the news with her friends and family:
"I couldn't be more excited to work with the hardworking, supportive, and badass team at SJF; to work in an organization where strong people and women/femmes of color are leading; to work with the community of people who have been part of (and will be part of) SJF; and work with the PHENOMENAL organizations that SJF funds who tirelessly work to build a better and more just world. The world I want to live in.
A few moments ago, I was writing to a friend who is considering joining this fall's Economic Justice Giving Project and I was telling her about my volunteer/donor/member experience with SJF over the past 3 years, specifically, about my first experience with SJF in a Giving Project. I wrote:
'SJF made me feel like I was part of something bigger. I see cohort members and community organizers we helped fund around town all the time and, in a place where I don't have any blood relatives, it always brightens my day…it's like seeing family everywhere. It's kind of like we went to war together, fought for something, and won *together.* I can be my full self with SJF."
If you're in Portland and you haven't joined a Giving Project, I hope you join me on this road sometime. It's a good one. Really, in the truest sense of that word. I'm always, always happy to talk about my experience with SJF and how it transformed me when I least expected it, how SJF and the community within it supported me (several times now), and made me feel safer and more at home in this city. I'm thrilled to use the same tools of support that were shared with me and share them with you.' "