Verde is an environmental justice organization, by and of BIPOC and low-income communities, with a mission to build environmental wealth in low-income and people-of-color communities. Our five programs are a reflection of community-identified priorities: generating monetary wealth and physical infrastructure (Verde Builds, Living Cully), securing beneficial environmental investments and policies through policy advocacy and community organizing (Energy, Climate & Transportation; Healthy Communities Coalition, Living Cully) and creating a shared analysis through developing leaders and building community power (Living Cully, Outreach). Verde is known for place-based work in NE Portland’s Cully neighborhood, but we also drive change at a local, state, regional, and federal level. We do this through grassroots organizing and base building, leadership development, policy advocacy, social enterprise and education.
Bottom Line for Portland
Clean and affordable energy
In the face of a quickly changing world affected by decades of disinvestment, communities must act quickly to build climate resilience. Verde co-led the campaign to pass the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF), creating $54-$71 million annually to be invested in Portland’s BIPOC communities.
Community green spaces
We respond to community needs and work alongside residents to solve problems. An example of how we literally build environmental wealth is Cully Park, a 25-acre landfill that was transformed from an environmental hazard into a park designed by residents and built largely by minority- and women-owned businesses.
Community voices in development decisions
Verde’s Healthy Communities Coalition (HCC) is a broad-based force to ensure that development in Portland is built on a foundation of racial equity. HCC negotiates community benefits agreements that bring people from the community into a planning and development process that has historically been limited to private developers and public agencies like Port of Portland.
Secure and affordable housing
Mobile home parks are one of the few remaining affordable housing options in Portland. We organized mobile home residents to convert their properties to non-profit ownership, resulting in 150 permanently affordable homes. We helped win Oregon’s first mobile home park zoning designation, protecting 3,000 families from displacement. In 2015, Verde and Living Cully partners worked tirelessly to purchase the former “Sugar Shack,” strip club known for illegal activity, with the hope of bringing long-term housing stability and community benefits to low-income and BIPOC residents in Cully. In 2017, Hacienda CDC purchased the property, and in 2021 broke ground on what is now Las Adelitas, a project that will add 141 affordable homes in the Cully neighborhood.
Quote: “Verde me empodera para tomar un rol de liderazgo en mi comunidad porque nos hacen saber que todas somos importantes, que cada voz y idea es importante, y nos apoya para que esas ideas que tenemos mejoren la comunidad. Nos informan de recursos, derechos y procuran mantener la comunidad unida. Es bello ver cómo personas podemos cambiar nuestra manera de pensar y ver como nuestra comunidad y familia mejora.” - Gloria, Líderes Verdes 2021
Translation: "Verde empowers us to take a leadership role in our community because they let us know that we are all important, that every voice and idea is important, and they support us in making those ideas that we have better the community. They inform us of resources, our rights, and they keep the community united. It is beautiful to see how we can change the way we think and see how our community and family improve." - Gloria, Líderes Verdes 2021
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
To be effective advocates for low-income and BIPOC communities, we monitor our organization through a DEI lens. We’ve built significant trust by being consistent, inclusive, and diverse internally and externally. Verde is the only environmental justice nonprofit in Oregon led by a woman of color. Our staff is predominantly bilingual/bicultural people of color. Our director team is all women and 75% BIPOC. Verde has one of the most diverse boards of any Portland-based environmental organization.
Come join us in person! On Giving Tuesday 11/29, stop by and visit Verde, Bark, Crag and OPAL Environmental Justice for an environmental non-profit happy hour at Fire on the Mountain’s NE 57th patio between 4pm - 8pm. Catch up on what we are all working on, enjoy some tasty bites and beverages, and be entered to win prizes!
Year Founded: 2005
Tax ID: 203685723
Verde is in the Environment category which is sponsored by A to Z Wineworks