Project Consultant & Writer
Charles W. Thomas, Jr.
Project Consultant & Photographer
Charles W. Thomas, Jr.
Concordia University Portland is honored to recognize the philanthropic contributions of Americans of African descent by hosting Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy, Reframed and Exhibited.
Whether it is your first visit to campus, or you are a regular – welcome! Our mission as a private, nonprofit, Lutheran liberal arts university is to prepare leaders for the transformation of society. We serve more than 5,000 students worldwide through bachelors, masters, law, and doctoral programs.
Engaging the broader Portland metro area community in events and exhibits on campus is an important and ongoing part of this mission. Concordia’s Multicultural Arts and Events Program is dedicated to educating and inspiring our students, faculty, and the greater Portland community. We provide a variety of programming year-round intended to increase public awareness and access to art and culture in our community. This programming includes art exhibits, art demonstrations and educational workshops, music presentations, author and poet readings, school days, documentary films, and dance presentations.
Since its founding in 1905, Concordia University has embraced and practiced the philanthropic philosophies presented in this exhibit. We believe in the power of philanthropy and in the talents and gifts of all people.
MRG Foundation envisions a just and joyful Oregon where people, cultures, and ecosystems thrive.
For the past 40 years, MRG has worked towards that vision by celebrating and sharing the stories, customs, and voices of philanthropists in our community; specifically philanthropists most impacted by injustice. Presenting Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy, Reframed and Exhibited is an opportunity for us to share, explore, and elevate African-American philanthropy experiences and giving traditions grounded in faith, mutuality, responsibility, and social justice.
The exhibit tells the stories of individuals who use giving as a tool for social justice, a driving value of MRG’s work. As a social justice foundation, we strive to provide ways for individuals to participate in community-driven philanthropy and social justice activism. We believe everyone has a role in the movement, be it bringing community together, attending a rally, or giving a gift, and through this exhibit we celebrate the important role of giving.
The power of Giving Back lies not only in hearing, seeing, and experiencing the stories of others but also sharing our stories, exploring similarities and differences, and finding inspiration for action. Through community conversations and other events hosted during the exhibit, MRG will create opportunities to connect, celebrate each of us as philanthropists, and work together to achieve social justice in the Pacific Northwest.