In 1988 eight black men, led by Useni Perkins, met to find ways to provide a positive response to the overwhelming need for socio-economic change within the African American and broader communities of North/Northeast Portland.
These brothers sought to provide leadership and a proactive response to public perceptions about African American men. Their contributions are deeply woven into the fabric of the African American community and history in the Portland Metropolitan region. The Coalition’s legacy serves as a beacon of leadership.
We are a “grass roots, non-political organization created to instill a sense of justified pride in other Black men and the community as a whole, and to serve as a source and facilitator of unity throughout the community”.
Over the last twenty-eight years we have maintained our deep commitment to forthrightly identifying priority needs in Portland’s African American community and drawing on the talent, connections and passion of members to address those needs.
The African American community in Portland has changed significantly through this time – in many ways achieving gains in the quality of life and pride in the community those early leaders called for. While the community has grown, along with the population of Portland, it has become more dispersed throughout the Portland metro area, and as described in a recent report by the Urban League of Portland,The State of Black Oregon, Blacks in Portland have fallen further behind by almost all measures of well-being – economic, education, health and social.
We seek to serve as a beacon of leadership by utilizing our members diverse talents to create an environment where our children are motivated to achieve and to empower our people to become self-sufficient shareholders in the economic and social fabric of the Portland metropolitan area.