The Multnomah Bar Foundation awards grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations whose programs are aligned with the goals of the Civic Education Fund (formerly the MBA 100th Anniversary Community Gift Fund) to advance civic education and engagement and increase public understanding of the justice system. Made possible by the generous support of the legal community, the MBF has given over $275,000 to local nonprofits.
The 2015 Grants cycle will be announced in the fall of 2014. Please check back then or contact Pamela Hubbs at 503.222.3275 for more information.
MBF Awards $40,000 in Civic Education Grants
Meet Our 2014 Recipients
Bus Project Foundation was awarded $7,000 to expand PolitiCorps, their summer leadership development training model, to include year-round civic engagement, professional development and organizing trainings for young leaders, and to create a pilot legislative program, focusing on the 2015 legislative session.
City Club of Portland was granted $2,500 for its Civic Awards program to recognize excellence in individuals, student groups and nonprofits whose work promotes civic and political knowledge and skills, teaches civic values, presents an innovative approach to civic engagement and addresses the opportunity gap at the high school level.
Classroom Law Project received $9,000 to recruit, train and support new elementary, middle and high school teachers for the Mock Trial and We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution programs and provide grants for teacher resources. Activities emphasize critical thinking, civil discourse about current issues and connections to constitutional principles.
League of Women Voters of Oregon was granted $3,500 to expand Oregon Student Mock Elections. Student ballots mirror current Oregon issues and candidates. This is a full civics curriculum that is adaptable for student ability and class time with the objective of preparing Oregon students to be critically thinking, fully engaged voting citizens.
League of Women Voters of Portland was granted $4,000 to hold candidate and ballot measure forums prior to the primary and general elections. These forums are often the only opportunities for voters to hear all candidates speak at the same event. Forums are open to the public, available online and broadcast on local cable access.
MBA Young Lawyers Section received $2,000 for the YOUthFILM Project, an ABA Law Day-themed student filmmaking contest that teaches K-12 students about civic involvement and the law and offers volunteer attorney mentors to assist filmmakers in creating their short films. Winning films are screened for the public during MBA Community Law Week and prizes are traditionally awarded by the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.
MetroEast Community Media was awarded $4,000 to create a Spanish language short video and public service announcement, promoting civic engagement and volunteering and to encourage the growing Spanish-speaking community, one of the largest but most civically under-represented groups in the Portland metro area, to become actively involved in our democracy. The segments will be on public access, online and on demand, and distributed to targeted agencies locally, regionally and nationally.
Native American Youth and Family Center was granted $2,500 for Native Vote, a program to register, educate and engage voters to increase civic participation within the Native American community. Through culturally-specific outreach and engagement, the program will also create leaders in civic engagement and elevate the profile of Native American voters, a group that is currently underrepresented in the civic community.
Red Lodge Legal Services Program received $500 to fund the civic engagement session in a speaker series pilot project for women incarcerated in Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. The anticipated outcome is to have participants voting upon release, civically engaged with a voice in their communities and involved in decision-making conversations.
Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees was granted $5,000 for its Voter Education Project,to promote full immigrant integration, civic participation and voter engagement through monthly classes to newly naturalized citizens. Participants learn about the voting system and receive help registering to vote. MBF funding will also be used to expand and update the curriculum.