As the City of Portland prepares for a robust series of community engagement activities to discuss current and future monuments, we are excited to announce a generous $350,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support this work.
The Mellon Foundation grant is part of the organization’s $250 million initiative to “transform the nation’s commemorative landscape through public projects and more completely and accurately represent the multiplicity and complexity of American stories.” Portland’s award of $350,000 was one of nine grants to municipalities, which also included Asheville, North Carolina; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; Providence, Rhode Island; and San Francisco, California. (Read the full press release here.)
The Mellon Foundation grant dramatically increases the City’s ability to invest in a number of community engagement strategies that have been recommended by a Monuments Engagement Process Committee – work that was commissioned by the City and convened by Lewis & Clark College in January. Their report, published on June 20, 2023, includes several recommendations for monuments and memory work acknowledging our complicated and important histories -- as a nation rooted in colonization, a state whose exclusionary laws of the 1800s prohibited Black people from living here, and a city that has displaced and decimated communities of color through numerous urban renewal projects in the last 100 years.
The Monuments Engagement Process Committee report and Mellon Foundation grant will be officially presented to Portland City Council on July 19, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. To provide written or verbal testimony on these items, visit portland.gov/council-clerk/engage-council.
To learn more, visit portland.gov/monuments.