The Black Parent Initiative (BPI) was established in 2006 to help families achieve financial, educational and spiritual success. BPI was founded and organized on a large body of educational research that demonstrates the importance of parental and family engagement in attaining educational success for children.
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)
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
"To step back to tradition is the first step forward."
- Mali Proverb
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
Sacred Roots Doula
A "Doula" is "a woman who serves". Sacred Roots Community Doulas are trained and experienced professionals who provide continuous physical, spiritual, emotional, educational, and advocacy support to Black and Multi-Ethnic families during the Pre-Natal, Labor/Birth, and Post-Partum period. Studies have shown, when a mother is supported by a "Doula," she will have shorter labors with fewer complications; and, babies are healthier and will breastfeed more easily!