Over the past year, while some of the most contentious Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 erupted in Portland, Oregon, a 29-year-old man Cameron Whitten started receiving a plethora of messages from friends from all over asking how he was doing. At first, Whitten had taken these messages as a “did something happen to me?” Then, Whitten reached out to other Black people to ask: “Are you having white people message you too?” The answer was yes and from there Whitten had a brilliant idea.
On May 31st last year, Whitten posted on his Facebook asking for donations from his white allies to help fund his new program called the ‘Black Resilience Fund’ that would give money back to Black Portlanders who were financially struggling. On the first day, Whitten raised $11,000. On the second day, he had raised $55,000. On the third it was over $155,000. In less than a year, The Black Resilience Fund has raised over 2 million dollars.
Whitten has stated “Black folks have always needed a real economic jumpstart, like a stimulus package, in order for there to be parity with our racial wealth gap.” His organization is now planning for a fundraising event around the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, that will be coming up on May 25th.