Oregon Walks is thrilled to announce the 2020 Community Challenge Walking Grants: Oregon Edition

Painted Crosswalk at Cesar Chavez Elementary
Crossing Safety Painting Improvements at Cesar Chavez K-8. Image courtesy of Sam Balto

This year, we have awarded five grantees with small grants to seed walking projects. The awardees are as follows:

Beyond Black CDC is an African American/ Black Community Development Corporation that aims to strengthen the African American/Black community in Rockwood by providing resources in economic advancement, political action, community safety and educational opportunities. We will be using the $1750 in grant awards to support the Health and Wellness Committee to organize one large Black Walk in East Multnomah County to promote Black health, unity and community ownership.

North by Northeast Community Health Center exists to improve health outcomes and advance health equity by offering primary care services and health education and promotion focused on the African American/Black community. North by Northeast will launch a weekly walking group made up of patients, neighbors, community members and staff. Led by Sharetta Butcher and its Patient Wellness Council, it will include gathering/stretching, a 1-2 mile loop walk starting and returning to the clinic and a brief health topic conversation at the end of each walk (e.g. high blood pressure, mental health benefits of walking, active transportation access, etc.). Benefits will include community building, increased physical activity and improved health.

Sabin School lies in the center of Historic Irvington, Alameda, King, Boise, and Concordia neighborhoods. Three of these neighborhoods were historically redlined, while three were historically diverse. All of the neighborhoods currently show the lack of diversity that gentrification brings, as does the school itself. Despite this, Sabin has worked to diversify its staff for the sake of the students of color whose families have generational connections to the school and neighborhood. Sabin is a IB World School, taking a thematic, holistic and multidisciplinary approach to learning, to raise responsible global citizens. In 2020 Sabin will launch JamWalkers, an affinity group for historically underserved students and staff who would like to walk regularly in the Sabin School neighborhood and build community in a fun and culturally-responsive manner.

Momentum Alliance (MA) is a youth-led nonprofit whose mission is to inspire young people to realize their power individually and collectively and to mentor future social justice leaders. MA offers both educational and recreational events for youth ages 13-24 such as yearly cohorts, and seasonal camps. In 2020, MA youth will take advantage of Portland’s many nature parks by taking youth hiking and to do outdoor activities in local parks, such as planned scavenger hunts where youth teams follow clues by walking and the use of Tri-met. These activities give youth the opportunity to explore Portland and its history, and spend time outdoors being active and healing in nature while fostering new connections. Funding includes youth stipends for coaches, prizes, food, bus tickets and other costs to reduce barriers to participation.

Cesar Chavez K-8, Portland, OR: With this grant we hope to accomplish three initiatives. 1) Compensation: We have many low-income parent volunteers. It is inequitable to expect low-income families to give their time for free. Their collaboration is critical and compensation will make volunteering more accessible. 2) Educational Infrastructure Tours: We find that families involved with our SRTS program do not know what to ask for when it comes to transportation improvements. We want to change that by offering tours of communities with stellar transportation infrastructure. Because communities in Portland are segregated, so are the safety improvements. There exist raised protected bike lanes and crosswalks for example, though not in our neighborhood. 3) Wayfinding Project: This wayfinding project would involve students and the Tactical Urbanism approach using Walk Your City.

Oregon Walks would like to thank America Walks for their support in creating safe, accessible and convenient places to walk and roll.

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