In 2019, seven black women who worked in community service came together to share their concerns about the growing need in the black communities in Oregon. They expressed that there are roughly 2% of black identifying folks in Oregon and there was no way we should still see resources and services not distributed in an equity fashion. We should have thriving communities and families. Each woman had experience with advocating and supporting the black community as well as indigenous, people of color and other marginalized groups either in their work space or everyday lives. The women believed that they could be more impactful if we did it together collectively. They all met in June 2019 and agreed on the name Ebony Collective and to become a community development corporation. We chose to be a resource, social justice and educational organization because we recognized that if black families were given tools to be self-reliant and have gathering spaces to make decisions for themselves; with an organization backing their efforts, they can continue to be resilient and have a stronger sense of unity within their community.
Today, The Ebony Collective Community Development Corporation has been an organization for 4 years. We have shown strength throughout transitions and pivots. We have served over 350 BIPOC identifying families in the Multnomah county area. We have supplied those families with diapers, coats, cleaning supplies and gift cards. Currently, we have 5 active programs. The programs are community safety, Gwen’s Pantry, Economic development, youth advocacy and environmental justice. Lastly, we have collaborated with various organizations to come up with 64 million dollars to black identifying folks, organizations and businesses.