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The Blueprint Foundation

Workforce Development For A Diverse Green Sector

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Provide youth resources and mentoring where opportunity gaps exist with a focus to uplift, educate, and support the development of black-identified youth and other communities of color.

Engineering Promise

A co-created initiative for parents and care-providers of Black early learners to help them develop STEM based problem-solving skills through culturally specific engineering design activities. 

Grounding Waters & Constructing Careers

Blueprint’s flagship programming engaging school-age youth in discipline-specific mentoring with an emphasis on stewardship, education, and career exploration in the green sector.


Tappin Roots

A yearlong Environmental Educator Internship program specifically for Black-identified high school students, consisting of monthly symposiums and culminating in summer employment with one of the collaborating partner organizations (Friends of Tryon Creek, The Blueprint Foundation, and ELSO, Inc.)


Green Workforce Academy (GWA)

A paid 5-week intensive course for Black and Native-identifying adults looking to increase their environmental literacy and job preparedness for green sector careers through a combination of classroom learning modules and site-based activities with community partners. 


Connecting Canopies

A coalition of private sector industry partners, government entities, and BIPOC community members working together to reimagine urban forestry management and developing strategies to increase tree canopy regionally in the most equitable ways possible.

Change is in the Air Program (CAP)

A collaborative climate justice initiative financed by the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) to engage, educate, and support Black community members in the science of air quality monitoring, data collection, advocacy work, and generating revenue through platform developments for data storage, analysis, and visualization. 

Land Acknowledgement

As people of the African diaspora, we offer this land recognition in solidarity with the
original caretakers of this sacred Land, including the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz,
Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other
tribes who share our ancestral history of reciprocity with nature.

We acknowledge the land was never meant to be owned and that it was taken by force
and genocide following the Willamette Valley Treaties of 1855. We also recognize that
historical and ongoing colonialism makes this Land Acknowledgement an insufficient
gesture. Land Acknowledgements are merely a tiny step on the long journey to rectify
the pervasive systemic injustices and genocide faced by Indigenous Peoples.
We believe true justice includes Land Back, as Indigenous sovereignty is intricately
linked to our collective liberation.

We seek to amplify the voices and activism of
Indigenous community members and organizations who continue to steward the Land
while seeking justice. Further, as Black people, we recognize the complexity of including
stolen Land as part of reparations for the enslavement of Black people.
The Land of Turtle Island sustains us all. We wish to express profound gratitude to its
Indigenous peoples for their stewardship of the natural resources we depend on for
sustenance, shelter, and mental wellbeing.

Equity Stance

Successful movements require a threshold of change agents who live and work within
the context where the change is to occur. The green movement of Portland has yet to
meet this threshold, due to the disenfranchisement of residents from lower-
socioeconomic status, racial/ethnic minority, LGBTQ2IA+, and disabled communities.

We firmly believe that we need people from the most vulnerable communities to not
only become knowledgeable about the environment, environmental degradation, and
solutions, but to also develop a visceral connection to nature – Connections that lead to
increases in nature-based activities, informed advocacy, and life-long stewardship,
including stewardship performed through careers in the green sector.

Blueprint programming is intended to engage Black identified community members of
various intersectional identities in nature-based activities that foster a realization that

the environment is an extension of themselves – As much a part of their wellbeing as
eating or breathing or meditating because it is.

Believing so is the reclamation of our ancestral history of reciprocity – of being one with
the earth rather than an owner of it.

Reconnecting our people to the environment requires:

  • Physically engaging them in culturally relevant activities that build neural associations with green spaces.
  • Culturally responsive education about what they are seeing and experiencing.
  • Empowerment to take an active role in intersectional environmentalism.

Once we have these connections made in our brains, we will forever have the urge to
advocate for and steward the environment just as we advocate for and protect
ourselves. But it starts with multigenerational for-us-by-us programming. Consequently,
we partner with organizations that share our belief that access to culturally- nature-
based activities and training fosters stewardship and conservation ethics in people.

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