Phil Knight Donates $400M to Benefit Black Communities in Portland

Phil Knight, a billionaire and co-founder of Nike, announced on Monday, April 24, 2023, at an event at the Nike campus in Beaverton that he and his wife would give $400 million to help Black people in Portland’s North and Northeast areas.

Acc to OPB, The gift from Knight and his wife Penny Knight to the 1803 Fund, which was announced on Monday, will pay for education services, art programs, and other projects for Black Portlanders in the inner North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods that used to be called Albina.

In the early 1900s, Albina was the center of Black business and culture. However, by the 1960s, homes and community centers had been torn down as part of urban renewal projects backed by the city.

Phil Knight Donates $400M to Benefit Black Communities in Portland

These building projects, which included the Memorial Coliseum, Legacy Emanuel Hospital, the Moda Center, and a stretch of I-5, k!lled a lot of Black people in Albina. The community, which now includes the areas of Eliot, Boise, Humboldt, Overlook, and Piedmont, was hurt even more by the decades of gentrification that came after these projects.

The 1803 Fund wants to fix some of this damage by putting money into projects that help Black people in Portland. Rukaiyah Adams started the fund. She was the former head of investments at Meyer Memorial Trust and a founding board member of the Albina Vision Trust, a charity that invests in the historic Albina neighborhood in the same way.

Adams is also the head of the board of directors for OPB. The Albina Vision Trust may be best known for its work to help black people in Portland through the huge project to widen Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter.

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β€œToday we’re focusing on Phil’s commitment to the fund, we don’t have all the details on how the fund will work,” Adams said. β€œBut we do know the three areas it will focus on are education, place, and culture and belonging.”

The Knights are the richest people who live in Oregon, and they have given a lot to universities for a long time. Phil Knight has given money to Republicans in the state in the past. He said that the fact that he put money into the 1803 Fund shows how he feels about Northeast Portland.

Front Office Sports the Offical Twitter handle also shared this news, which is given below-

“Some of my most important memories are connected to the Eastside of Portland,” Knight said in a news release. Knight said that the “handshake deal” that led to the start of Nike happened close to the Memorial Coliseum. In the 1980s, Knight also worked with Black leaders to open the Nike Community Store, a store that gives some of its income back to nonprofits in the neighborhood. Since November 2022, the store has been closed because of fears of retail theft.

Knight has another interest in the area. In June, he and Alan Smolinisky, a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, made a $2 billion deal to buy the Portland Trail Blazers, whose home is the Moda Center. Last summer, Jody Allen, chair of the Portland Trail Blazers and director of the Paul G. Allen Trust, said the team wasn’t for sale.

Tony Hopson Sr., the founder and CEO of Self-Enhancement Inc., a nonprofit that helps Black kids, talked about Knight’s investment at an event on Monday. Hopson said that he talked to Knight after hearing that Nike would give $40 million to Black community groups all over the country in June 2020.

The full story of this news has already been published on the Oregon Department of Public Broadcasting.

Louis Ebert

Louis Ebert is a talented content writer with a passion for creating compelling stories and informative articles. With years of experience in writing, Louis has honed their skills in crafting engaging content that resonates with readers.As a content writer for, Louis explores the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. From delving into the latest trends in local business to highlighting community events and leaders, their writing offers a unique perspective that captures the essence of the area.

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