Building Roots — Dream Center Fundraiser on Sept. 22, 2022
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September 22, 2022
AYCO Center in Portland
We will be grateful for your partnership and generosity including if you and your company, organization or business can sponsor our Dream Center Campaign.
Since 2009, African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO) has been serving immigrant refugees in the Portland Metro area. We aid through education, empowerment, independence, and more. AYCO provides mentoring in many different forms, through coaching, tutoring, and one-on-one mentoring with at-risk youth.
AYCO's mission is to settle the past, engage the present, and hope for the future.
We are a culturally specific organization led by the East African immigrant and refugee community in the Portland Metro Area. We started with 6 boys and a soccer ball and a decade later we engage over 20,000 Somali and East Africa immigrants and refugees per year through youth services, civic engagement, and health and disability services.
VISION, we deserve to thrive We envision a future where a strong cultural identity within immigrant communities of the Pan Africa Diaspora is supported by inclusive educational and economic opportunities.
CURRENT STATE 1 in 5 Black youth in Portland is a Somali immigrant and refugee Somali immigrant and refugees are the furthest from justice in education, health, housing, and economic development. Somali students are overrepresented in special education, and school disciplinary actions. We are constantly confronted by anti-Blackness, xenophobia, ableism, and Islamophobia.
DREAM WITH US Support AYCO's fight for racial, immigrant, and refugee justice The AYCO Dream Center will be a hub for immigrants and refugees of the Pan-African Diaspora and communities of color to feel at home. It will spur economic development without displacement and provide protective factors against systemic inequities.
We have worked hard to grow and strengthen our organization, and we are determined to be an enduring community hub for immigrants of the Pan-African Diaspora. We were devastated to learn in late 2021 that our bid to remain and construct our Dream Center in our current location was ultimately not selected by the Portland Housing Bureau and Metro Council, and that our organization would be displaced for urban development. Yet we as an organization and community have remained as resilient as ever. After over 8 months of searching and harsh competition in Portland’s buyers’ market, we are so pleased to have had our offer for $3.6 million on the beautiful, never occupied Flex building on SE 82nd Avenue accepted, and we are now in the early contract stages.
This is a crucial time for our organization. Funding and assistance from you will make it possible for us to finance and begin development for this new permanent building for our Dream Center so that we can continue improving our community’s social determinants of health, supporting the public health response, building stronger neighborhoods, addressing educational disparities and negative economic impacts exacerbated by COVID-19, and beyond. We currently have $1.5 million in funding in hand and several additional requests pending, as well as bridge lending secured through Craft3.