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The mission of the Black United Fund of Oregon is to assist in the social and economic development of Oregon's low-income communities and to contribute to a broader understanding of ethnic and culturally diverse groups. 



In 1983, leaders in North and Northeast Portland, Oregon noticed that many philanthropic organizations were providing minimal support to communities of color. To combat this inequality those same leaders started the Black United Fund of Oregon to channel charitable funds to low-income areas. 



Amina Anderson, BUF Oregon Founding President

Dr. Dorothy Alexander, First President of the Governor's Commission on Black Affairs (Oregon)

Skip Collier, Entrepreneur

Ron Herndon, Executive Director- Albina Head Start

Donna Harris, Oregon Native and long time NE Portland Resident

Rev. John Garlington


Kimberlee.s Headshot 2017.jpg



Philanthropic Alignment | Asset Management | Education Programs Advocacy | Strategic Direction | Community Relations

Why she loves the Black United Fund: I love the Black United Fund because the program offerings provide hope in numerous communities throughout Oregon. The Black United Fund sheds light on the common dreams that we all share for our children and families to reach their best and highest potential. Education as a catalyst for long term sustainable economic growth, is an empowering force that transcends popular culture and generations.

How she advances the mission of the Black United Fund: I am deeply committed to seeing individuals reach their potential. With this in mind I have worked locally, nationally, and globally; in Africa and Mexico toward the education advancement of women and youth. However, I was not a traditional student. As a working wife and mother, I earned by Bachelor’s degree in Social and Behavioral Science and later went on to earn a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration on Global Leadership and Management. My life's work as an advocate and funder, while in pursuit of my on academic achievements, allows me to serve the community with passion and intention.

What you won't find on her resume: I am married to my high school sweetheart and together we have two children. I wield the superpower of Mac and Cheese. There is little I can’t get my family to do, if I bring homemade baked Mac and Cheese to the bargaining table.

Email Kimberlee at


PRogram Manager

Mentor4Success | Program Development and Evaluation | Community Relations

Why she loves the Black United Fund: Education can be used as a tool to improve economic disparities for entire communities. Supporting the educational goals of students throughout Oregon and SW Washington provides students with the tools and support they need to succeed. Tools include a general knowledge of the college acceptance and attendance process, trustworthy mentorship, and accountability. I love that BUF strives to not only help students achieve their educational goals, but also to become well-rounded students and more importantly contributing community members.  

How she advances the mission of the Black United Fund: I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations from the University of Oregon. Using my background in fundraising, marketing and public outreach I assist in building relationships with key community partners and education advocates so BUF can continue to provide resources to students advancing to college. 

What you won't find on her resume: I am a fourth generation Portland native. My family has resided in the Boise-Elliot neighborhood in North Portland since the VanPort Flood in 1948. Most of my family attended and graduated from Jefferson High School…GO DEMOS!

Email Symone at



Allister Byrd, MA

Development & Program Associate

Workplace Giving | Grant Funding | Community/Program Support & Cultivation

Why she loves the Black United Fund: I have witnessed the ways in which education can change the trajectory of a person's life and that of their community. My parents were among the first in their families to attend college, blazing a trail that encouraged their siblings, friends and larger community in East St. Louis. The mission of the Black United Fund mirrors this narrative: ensuring access to education and providing support for just two people can create leaders that inspire and lift up entire communities with their success.  

How she advances the mission of the Black United Fund: I earned a Master's Degree in International Development with a special concentration in Human Rights from the University of Denver. I believe access to education is a fundamental human right, and enjoy researching international innovation in education to culturally adapt these programs to the benefit of my own community. Additionally, my passion for research and evaluation enables me to support BUF's long term goals in understanding which programs and strategies create the biggest impact in our community. 

What you won't find on her resume: Although I am an only child, I come from a family of vibrant folks across the South and Midwest. My great-aunt Doris Allison was President of the Jackson Mississippi branch of the NAACP and worked closely with Megdar Evers. My paternal grandfather was an entrepreneur and skilled pitcher in the Negro American League, while my maternal grandfather played guitar and toured with Ike and Tina Turner. 

Email Allister at


Marketing Communications outreach Associate

Social Media | Marketing Communications | BUF Alumni Engagement | Public Relations

Why she loves the Black United Fund: I come from a family that has instilled the importance of education as a tool of advancement and exponential returns to our community. The benefits of academic and experiential education are undeniable. It is beyond important that every student have access to a college education regardless of their background, culture, or economic standing. I love that BUF provides students with opportunities to achieve their goals; making dreams reality.

How she advances the mission of the Black United Fund: With a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, my background in social media, marketing and communications allows me to formally represent the Black United Fund. Through campaigns and also interacting directly with partners, grantees, and students I help to shape the organization's messaging. As a recent college student, I have perspective that allows me to connect with students and families on a wide range of education attainment matters.

What you won’t find on her resume: I am an enchilada enthusiast, who as a scholar, artist, athlete, attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco on a basketball scholarship. Although my focus sport throughout high school was basketball in my senior year, and only year of running, I won a state title in track and field.

Email Jade Zoie at



Michael Alexander | Board President

Port of Portland Commissioner, Former CEO and President of Urban League of Portland

Cobi Lewis | Board Vice President & program committee Chair

Umpqua Bank, Vice President | Director, Corporate CRA & Community Development Corporate Communications

Tamara Kennedy-Hill | Board Recording Secretary & evaluation Committee Chair

Travel Portland, Vice President of Diversity and Community Relations

Sheldon F. Joseph | Treasurer

SF Joseph, LLC, Principal Consultant

Patti Miles | Property Development Committee Chair

ininci group Inc, Senior Project Manager: Project/Construction Management

Carla Kelley | governance committee chair

Attorney, Retired Senior Counsel

Damian Crowder

Prosper Portland, Project Manager





For over 30 years, Black United Fund of Oregon has been committed to providing financial support and life-changing programs for low-income communities and communities of color in Oregon. The ultimate goal of the Black United Fund of Oregon (BUF) is to increase opportunities for growth by encouraging philanthropic activity in our state and putting funds in the hands of organizations providing resources for underserved communities. 


By offering funding support for both students looking to pursue higher education and other nonprofit organizations, Black United Fund of Oregon helps to increase opportunities for underserved communities within Portland and SW Washington. Outside of offering funding support BUF provides programing that helps support both students and nonprofit organizations in navigating the challenges that are often associated with scholarship and grant applications. BUF operates under the belief that providing these programs and resources not only equips and encourages growth in our community, but also empowers and engages our target demographic. To learn more about our education and nonprofit programs and services, visit our EQUIP (Education Programs) and ENCOURAGE (Nonprofit Programs) pages.