by Caryn “Brooks” Brooks

A few years ago, I knew about Pride Foundation and the work that they do, but I got a quick lesson in how they operate when I ran into Pride Foundation’s Katie Carter at a Trader Joe’s in Portland. She had her arms full of bottles of club soda. She told me that she was going to Bend to host a meet and greet, and it was cheaper to get the club soda in Portland. I was impressed by her thoughtfulness, her scrappiness, and her willingness to go above and beyond to make the most of available resources. It is these same traits I have come to love about Pride Foundation, and why I know this merger will advance the mission and passion of Equity Foundation for generations to come.

It took me a long time to warm up to the idea of a merger. The board of Equity Foundation knew we needed to change our infrastructure in order to do our best work and uphold the vision of our community. After several tough conversations, we realized that this wasn’t about Equity Foundation; it was about our mission, our donors, and our collective hope for a more equitable world. When I shifted from having a goal about the foundation to having a goal about the work, I realized we could do more by leveraging the infrastructure of another foundation. The founders of Equity Foundation — the people who had Equity most near and dear to the hearts because they had built it — agreed.

From that moment on, Pride Foundation seemed like a natural fit. We evaluated a bunch of other foundations, which all did great work. But none of them had decades of experience working with LGBTQ people, working on our issues, and connecting with our communities — none of them except Pride Foundation. Pride Foundation has our communities’ best interests in mind and a track record of being sophisticated, smart, and thoughtful. They feel like a sibling to Equity Foundation, like family.

I am now thrilled to share news of this merger with you, as it will enable a whole new magnitude of change for the Equity Foundation community. I am thrilled to also share that I will be joining the board of Pride Foundation, as one of two representatives from Equity Foundation. Together, with the combined thinking and passions of both foundations, we’re going to come up with new ways to advance our mission in Oregon. I hope you’ll stay in touch as we help more people in our community be a spark for social justice.

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