The Black Economic Prosperity Agenda began June 10, 2020. Members of Portland Business Alliance, the largest area chamber of commerce in Oregon came together to unite on an economic agenda that would create an inclusive economic economy for all Oregonians. These leaders issued a direct response to systemic economic inequity called “The Invisible Knee”. The seven-member advisory board is made up of BIPOC business leaders who are committed to improving the economic outcomes that are often the cause of
disparate outcomes that exist within Oregon’s black communities.
BEPA’s mission is to achieve economic equality that is lasting, and durable. The work includes an unapologetic Black economic resilience agenda for our region. We seek to improve the median household income of Black Portlanders. We seek to improve access to capital, quality education and healthcare to eliminate challenges that dampen an already bleak economic outlook for Black Americans.
BEPA has an established relationship with Portland Business Alliance and has partnered with the National Association of Minority Contractors to ensure anonymity and mission alignment.
Learn more about the Invisible Knee here.
The Director will contribute creative, dynamic and forward-thinking leadership to, and is responsible for, the success of the Black Economic Prosperity Agenda initiative. This is a new position, leading new and innovative work.
BEPA is an initiative launched by members of the Portland Business Alliance and many member supporters. It has 100% participation from the PBA board. This role will support Black-serving organizations, reimagine
economic development and support large scale systems change projects. The initiative will be a long-term effort, co-created with Black business communities to understand how economic equality can show up as the best possible partner in the work to advance racial justice and equity in Oregon. Our hope is to build new relationships with philanthropy as well as with individuals, government agencies, cross-sector institutions, businesses and nonprofit organizations—to think creatively and holistically about how to be in partnership, and be transformational and impactful with our economic development agenda.
Learn more about this new initiative here
Core responsibilities of the Executive Director role includes: collaborating with the BBA Advisory Board to set the initiative’s direction; developing and executing strategy and work plans; deepening relationships with community; engaging at relevant policy tables; oversight of initiative assessment; providing field leadership; and inspiring partnerships, collaborations and co-funding relationships. The Director also prepares and
manages the initiative’s administrative budgets and has oversight of its operational needs.
The position is responsible for cultivating successful collaborations across the Oregon economic ecosystem leveraging connections and skills from throughout the region to strengthen both the initiative and the organization. As the initiative develops, additional staffing may be warranted, at which time the Director would be responsible for managing, motivating and developing a strong team. In all facets of responsibility, the Director ensures that the missions key values of equity, collaboration, innovation, inclusion, and transparency are upheld.
- Develop and implement a strategic and well-balanced initiative that incorporates the full range of economic development principles. Leveraging influence, communications, business investments and relationships – to address disparities experienced by Black business in Oregon.
- Develop formal mechanisms for and maintain ongoing practices of deep community engagement and relationship building to ensure that the initiative’s strategies are community-informed and build reciprocal trust with Black community leaders throughout Oregon.
- Seek, identify and maximize bridging opportunities, supporting and engaging in work that attracts allies and builds cross-racial solidarity to advance the initiative’s strategic goals.
- Continually survey the local, regional, and national landscape to identify emerging innovations, policy
opportunities and trends, furthering partnerships in the initiative’s areas of focus and in philanthropy.
- Lead the development of new strategies and approaches that address emerging business needs.
- Maintain a strong external presence in local and statewide community events, participating in relevant local, regional and national affinity groups, as appropriate.
- Develop and maintain strategic relationships with policy makers, nonprofit leaders, public and private stakeholders and funders.
- Serve as a facilitator, convener, and connector to further the initiative’s strategic goals.
- Collaborate with the BBA Advisory board to cultivate and support a strong practice of engaging members to provide strategic guidance and oversight of the initiative and leverage member insights and influence.
- Prepare and manage the initiative’s annual strategic work plan as well administrative budgets.
- Offer personal interest and commitment to working in a diverse and inclusive work environment that places a high value on equity.
- Strong understanding of the importance of the role Diversity, Equity and Inclusion play in the development of an economic equity strategy.
- Knowledge of historical and present systems and structures that have prevented the participation of underrepresented groups in economic development.
PREFERRED COMPETENCIES SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- Significant and distinguished work experience (10+ years) across a variety of organizations and/or sectors with relevant understanding of racial justice, business community-driven policy advocacy, etc.
- Deep knowledge and understanding of historical racism and discrimination in Oregon.
- Strong analysis of root causes driving disparities experienced by BIPOC communities and of structures and systems that impede Black liberation. Ability to identify high-impact leverage points to achieve durable systems-level change.
- Demonstrated ability to translate concept into action, with a proven record of success in developing and implementing innovative strategies and solutions with the engagement of others.
- Significant experience cultivating business relationships and diverse collaborations, including intergenerational, cross-sector and cross-racial.
- Working knowledge of best, promising and emerging practices and innovations nationally, regionally and locally that advance racial justice.
- Demonstrated experience and creativity in operationalizing equity and inclusion on a systems basis.
- A team player orientation with exceptional collaborative leadership and facilitative management skills.
- A demonstrated willingness to reiterate a strategy and approach, with the ability to course correct as necessary.
- Demonstrated ability to integrate knowledge and learning and the capacity to effectively use research and evaluation.
- Demonstrated experience working effectively with a broad range of stakeholders to address complex policy, systems change or service delivery challenges – especially those related to equity, community change, economic justice and vibrant inclusive communities.
- A willingness to challenge conventional thinking coupled with the ability to collaborate effectively and encourage dialogue.
- Outstanding written and oral communication skills, interpersonal awareness and excellent listening skills with a communication style that reflects clarity, authenticity, transparency and approachability.