PHOTO: Dave Dahl of Dave's Killer Bread and Constructing Hope Executive Director Patricia Daniels.
BY JATHAN JANOVE
From Michael Brown to George Floyd to the unrest in downtown Portland, race has become an ever more visible issue. Fortunately, here in The Rose City, we have a gem that has been creating career paths in the construction industry for the formerly incarcerated, who are disproportionately people of color.
Constructing Hope grew out of an initiative in a predominantly Black church in Northeast Portland, Irvington Covenant Church. To address the problem that people of color disproportionately struggle financially and end up incarcerated, the organization spent years building an alliance of construction companies and trade unions to provide a rigorous apprenticeship program, including life skills. The program helps people who might otherwise fall through society’s cracks and enables them to become stable, positive members. Patricia Daniels gave up a lucrative corporate career to serve as executive director of constructinghope.org.
As with many organizations, COVID-19 delivered a financial blow. However, thanks in large part to Dave Dahl, creator of Dave’s Killer Bread, Constructing Hope is rebuilding its finances. Spurred by a $100,000 match challenge from Dave, many of us have been raising funds. I created my own donation page with my own modest match proposal.
As a member of the Portland Jewish community, I’m happy to see many of our community members on the donors list. We are a vibrant Jewish community that cares about the welfare of all.
I will match gifts to the limits of my ability through the end of the campaign July 24. I’m also offering contributors a personalized autographed copy of my friend Claire Hartfield’s book, A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, winner of the 2019 Coretta Scott King Prize. Those who contribute on my page and provide a mailing address, will receive her book directly.
“Thank you to the Jewish community for your generous support of Constructing Hope,” states Patricia Daniels. “It’s great to know we have an important ally in our cause.”
Dave Dahl adds, “I love that the Jewish community is noticing and supporting CH. It really warms my heart.”
Jathan Janove is a local author, columnist, executive coach and organization consultant. You can read more about Patricia and Dave in Jathan’s interviews with each of them on theboymonk.com.