Portland, OR.  400 supporters turned out for The Circle of Growth Luncheon, the largest annual fundraiser for the The Black Parent Initiative. The nonprofit’s goal is to ensure parents are equipped with the knowledge, support and resources they need to not only improve birth and health rates, but to encourage flourishing parent-child relationships, overall increasing a child’s potential and future successes. This year’s focus was on the “First 1,000 Days” program, which encompasses multiple levels of support; from Doula services during pregnancy and post delivery to Home Visiting program working with parents of infants and toddlers.

Charles McGee (BPI President & CEO) and Commissioner Loretta Smith at the February 22nd event at
The Sentinel.

Songstress Saeeda Wright serenading the audience with the Black National Anthem (Lift Every Voice) as well as Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.”

Charles McGee (BPI President & CEO) spoke about the organization’s programs.

​Jeanette Shaw, Charles McGee, Jon Isaacs

The room was filled with elected officials, community partners, and BPI families. The luncheon raised over $146K.  It was a success in part because of sponsors, Uber (presenting sponsor), Home Forward, Providence Health, The Standard, Kaiser Permanente, Trimet, PCRI, FamilyCare Health, Pacific Power and Walmart. 

From The Black Parent Initiative:

The Black Parent Initiative (BPI) was established in 2006 to help families in achieving financial, educational and spiritual success. BPI’s co-founders Johnell Bell and Charles McGee founded the organization based on a large body of educational research that states the importance of parental and family engagement and stability in attaining educational success.

The original premise was to engage Black parents and caregivers utilizing historically predominant Black churches as the organizing place, based on the notion that the missing link was Black families’ absence from conversations around education reform. Through community feedback, research, and experience, BPI’s approach has evolved to its current state. BPI is currently the only culturally specific organization in Portland focused solely on supporting low/moderate income parents as a vehicle for enhancing the lives of Black youth. Our programs- Together We Can (TWC), Parent University, and Black Family Resource Center- are based in a large body of research that shows children are more likely to succeed in learning, life, and realizing their dreams when supported by stable, and engaged adults.

Our unique approach is to improve the lives of Portland’s Black and multi-ethnic children by focusing on optimal health, cultural identity development, parent education, and ensuring parents and caregivers have the resources to ensure children succeed. We provide a range of services including parent coaching, parent training, and education. We have a history of working with parents of young children seeking reunification from foster care, preventing their child’s removal from the home, or navigating a moderate crisis in the home. BPI strategically partners with parents to improve parents’ job prospects, secure stable housing, access health care, enhance parenting success, and promote family stability.


BPI provides culturally specific programming to transform the lives of families and children.  Parents and children who have a strong sense of identity can achieve their dreams.  We assist parents and caregivers in strengthening their involvement in the lives of their children so their dreams can be realized.

Culturally Specific Programming

Program designs and services that are explicitly built upon, and connected to the cultural values and traditions of Black and African people. Programming that is designed to preserve and instill historical values that contribute to optimal health and well-being, and reorder, change, or greatly modify behaviors or practices that are harmful/detrimental.  The structure and design of the program illuminates and promotes the positive cultural and racial identity of Black people. (adapted from Madeleine Leininger’s definition of Culturally Specific Interventions, 2002)

Parent University

Experience – promoting parent engagement in education and literacy

Educate – home-based support for improved child reading and comprehension

Equip – cultivating parent advocates

Empower – mobilizing parent advocates

Together We Can

Intensive Home Visiting- relationship-based; focus on safety, stability, and personal growth

Home Visiting with Group Services (Ubuntu)- personal growth, consciousness, and connection

Home Visiting with Community Engagement- optimal health promotion and community connection

Black Family Resource Center

Providing information, direct support, materials, educational experiences, and community connections to promote optimal health.

  • Intellectual

  • Emotional

  • Physical

  • Spiritual

  • Socio-Economic

  • Relationship

To read more about our programs visit TheBPI.org