Making STEM Learning Fun and Inclusive

Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

Early learning is vital to children, families and communities. But significant cultural barriers amplify the systemic racism that undergirds our education ecosystem and makes it more difficult for communities of color to succeed and thrive. Our team at Early Learning Multnomah is dedicated to rectifying this injustice through brain-building interactions from birth and beyond.

STEAM Community Trainer Q+A

Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022

Building confidence and expertise in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) is integral to a modern education. Our latest endeavor to increase equitable access to this necessary aspect of education involves a collaboration to train expert, culturally significant Master Trainers and Community Trainers who can work with children from a variety of backgrounds. The purpose of this ambitious project is to grow the pool of these multilingual trainers in Washington County, allowing them to best develop STEAM content for early learning education.

Creating Impact Through Volunteerism

Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022

For more than two decades, our Hands On Greater Portland team has hosted numerous volunteer projects during Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend known as the MLK Weekend of Service. This year, we decided the best way to honor MLK was to amplify the work of other nonprofits dedicated to his work and shift our signature volunteer event to the fall. We are proud to introduce Community Impact Week which took place October 4 to 8, 2022!

New president and CEO joins United Way of the Columbia-Willamette

Friday, Oct. 14, 2022

Portland, Ore. – United Way of the Columbia-Willamette is pleased to announce Kelly O’Lague, MSW, LCSW as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer. Kelly brings more than 25 years of non-profit experience and is deeply committed to serving people from systematically excluded and underserved communities.

NAYA Brings Culture and Beauty to Housing in the Cully Neighborhood

Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2022

A red, geometric pattern encircles the modern-looking, four-story podium building found in the Cully neighborhood of Northeast Portland. This pattern, emblazoned into slats of wood, represents friendship and comes from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. It rings a newly constructed housing unit that seeks to embody that friendship, offering affordable housing to Native Americans and artists in Portland.

Refuting Disaster Capitalism

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

At United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, we value those who are closest to the crises. The knowledge and experience of those working within communities, especially in times of crisis, should be paramount. Their voices should be held in highest regard around the tables where decisions are made.

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Tuesday, May. 31, 2022

For the first time in over two years, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette held an in-person staff lunch event to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. A small step to celebrate in the face of this unrelenting pandemic, yet significant in its own way. While the group that gathered was small, everyone enjoyed the presence of one another – some meeting in person for the first time since starting at United Way. The room was decorated with paper lanterns and posters with information about different countries in Asia and the South Pacific.

Staff Spotlight - Alex Feliciano

Monday, May. 9, 2022

Learn more about our Building Services Manager, Alex Feliciano, in this Staff Spotlight. Alex talks about his experience looking after our downtown Portland office throughout the tumultuous pandemic and social justice protests, his inspiration for working with United Way of the Columbia-Willamette and how it compares to other career paths he's been in and much more!

Culturally Relevant Communication Creates Common Ground

Tuesday, Apr. 26, 2022

Cultural relevancy is a term we use regularly at United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. But it can be hard to pin down a universal definition of the phrase, and difficult to understand the tangible effects of implementing cultural relevancy in community work. But that work is immeasurably more effective when done through the lens of cultural understanding. Living Islands, and their intrepid work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, is a perfect example to show how cultural relevancy can be implemented in a transformational way.

Making STEM Accessible

Monday, Apr. 25, 2022

Without the help of volunteers, some tasks feel impossible to tackle. Our team at Early Learning Multnomah has been working tirelessly to put together Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) kits for eight culturally specific communities in six languages to be received by kids in our area. The task of putting the kits together can be daunting alone, but thanks to our friends who came and volunteered from WaFd Bank, we were able to tackle it together!

Destigmatizing Mental Health in the Latino Community

Monday, Mar. 28, 2022

Mental health is wholly intertwined with community health, an aspect that the traditional, reactionary approach to mental health care doesn’t understand. Preventative, holistic, liberating, destigmatized and culturally specific mental health care is hard to find, not responsive to the cultural values of the community and expensive. Our partner organization, Raíces de Bienestar, is working to address that in our region. Founders Dr.