Oregon Opens Coronavirus Relief Fund Only For “Black Community”

State establishes reparations-like fund using CARES Act money

Image Credits: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images.

The state of Oregon has opened applications for a coronavirus relief fund specifically for the “black community.”

The Oregon Cares Fund is a $62 million fund set aside from the federal CARES Act and is intended only for black individuals and black-owned entites.

“The Oregon Cares Fund is a targeted investment in the Black community from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund,” the fund website states.

“This fund is meant to provide the Black community with the resources it needs to weather the global health pandemic and consequent recession. The Oregon Cares Fund is for Black people, Black-owned businesses, and Black community based organizations.”

The application period opened on Monday and all funds must be distributed by Dec. 30, according to the Portland Business Journal.

“This is a historic first step to address the disparities facing Black Oregonians in the face of Covid-19,” State Rep. Akasha Lawrence Spence (D-Portland) said in a statement. “Oregon has underinvested in its Black citizens for far too long.”

“From this moment forward, our state must commit to continued investment in the health and economic well-being of our communities throughout this pandemic, in the recovery efforts, and for as long as it takes to finally close the inequities that have crippled Black Oregonians for generations.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler heralded the launch of the fund.

“Thank you to the incredible work of our State’s Black lawmakers, organizations, and Black leaders for your advocacy to reinvest in BIPOC communities,” Wheeler wrote on social media.

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