Plus, get out there and make a dog’s day, why don’t ya?

💖 How is uplifting young Black Portland voices

Plus, get out there and make a dog’s day, why don’t ya?

By Cassie Ruud

It’s Friday, and today you’re in for a real treat. 

But first things first: If you’re not caught up on the news of the week, like what shook out in the Hardesty internal investigation, our Weird Wednesday deep dive on the tunnels beneath Portland, and our weekly round up of food news, then you’re all set with those links. 

Now onto today’s goods: We sat down with Imani Muhammad from (Youth Organized and United to Help) — a local org devoted to empowering Black Portlanders through providing much-needed resources and leading impactful workshops like how to start a business and creating something from nothing. 

Scroll on down to learn about the great work they’re doing in our community. 

💖 How is helping young Black Portlanders

The attendees of one of’s programs Coaching Boys Into Men at Everybody Eats PDX. Image courtesy of

How did the project begin and how long have you been around? 

Youth Organized and United to Help ( began in 2007 after the death of a former student, Davonte Lightfoot. We held our first event in February 2007, three weeks after his death. became incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit in 2010. Our name was inspired by a revolutionary humanitarian, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, after he named an annual convention in 2008, It’s All About the Our founder was so inspired after attending the conference that she decided to adopt many of the practices used and apply them to our annual youth summit; including empowering workshops that focus on youth culture, issues, and hip hop.  

What are the main goals of your work? 

We have four tenants we follow: Literacy, Advocacy, Training & Workshops.

At, we’re connectors. We specialize in intergenerational organizing and have built a successful framework to galvanize youth and adults and engage communities.We accomplish that through:

  • Raising awareness around the school to prison pipeline epidemic
  • Inspiring literacy and eliminating barriers
  • Stimulating parent advocacy and training educators

We take a holistic approach to facilitation and education, pulling from our expertise in Trauma-Informed Care, Restorative Justice, Collaborative Problem Solving, Strength – Based Approach, Cultural Responsive, Empathy & Compassion. 

Our work is also rooted in the five elements of Hip Hop:

  • B-Boy/B-Girl: Body movement, health, exercise, street dance forms
  • Emcee: Rhythmic talk, poetry and divine speech, which includes beat boxin body music and body language
  • Graffiti: Street calligraphy, art and handwriting that can be found in Kemet, Egypt and Olmecs, Mayan Culture
  • Deejay: Rap music production and radio broadcasting which comes from the word Djembe, translating to an African drum representing the heartbeat of the people
  • Knowledge: History, past, present and future, with all elements there must be a level of knowledge and consciousness. also hosts workshops for young Black women to help inspire self-confidence, love, and advocacy for Portlanders. Image courtesy of .

What are some of the best ways that Bridgeliner readers can support you? 

We are always looking for individual and recurring donations to support our staff and operational budget. We are in need of financial contributions to add to our fund for resources and technology for the youth and families we serve. If you’re interested in volunteering, we would love to hear from you!

Do you have any upcoming events, volunteer work, or other exciting things coming down the pipeline? 

We don’t have any events planned at the moment but you can stay up to date by sending us an email and following us online. 👇

Where can folks find more about you? 

You can find us on our website at, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Thank you to our Bridgeliner Unabridged members. Stories like these are made possible with your membership and support.

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📰 Meet our staff at Bridgeliner

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✂️ Create beautiful pine needle baskets with Village Gallery of Arts (Downtown)


🎶 Get cruising on the Willamette with some ‘80s and ‘90s jams (Spirit of Portland)

🐈 Join the Oregon Humane Society for this Purr-fect-ly Howl-a-ween Event: A Benefit For the Cat Adoption Team (Online)


✍️ Create a spooky story using a deck of Tarot cards as prompts with HOCUS (Online)


🌱 Learn all about pollinator gardens for fall and winter with Dennis' 7 Dees Garden Centers (Online)

🤘 Kick your boots up with Dan & Shay for their arena tour (Downtown)

👑 Join the Portland Art Museum to examine what a woman’s role in power in the ancient world meant in the days of Queen Nefertiti (Online)

Saturday, October 30

🎵 Join The Resinators and The Cascadians at the Alberta Street Pub (King)

Sunday, October 31

👻 Enjoy a spectacular HalloQUEEN Drag show at The Pharmacy!(NW Portland)

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🙋 One more thing … 

Thank you for reading all the way to the end. 

Just to leave you with a few wagging tails — did you know that today is National Make A Dog’s Day, today? In other words, it’s a day to remind you and others that it’s always cooler to adopt than shop. So if you’re looking for that final push to go and get yourself a new best friend, consider this your sign. 

Alright, that’s a wrap on the week, folks. Have a good weekend, stay safe, stay dry, and I’ll be back in your inbox on Tuesday. 

Virtual hugs,

Cassie at Bridgeliner

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