Empowering the Black Community for Economic Development

Rivermark works with several partners to bring financial wellness education to a greater population of the Portland Metro area. We know that financial education isn’t as accessible as it should be, so we’re determined to reach those who haven’t been given the same opportunities as others to learn about financial health and wellness. The Black Economic Collective (BEC) is one of the organizations we work with to bring that knowledge to our community.

BEC is a grassroots, community-based organization with a mission of community development through financial education, resource allocation, and a collaborative effort. The BEC was designed to empower the community to take control of their finances using education, mentorship, and a collective vision to enlighten youth on wealth management strategies. Their ability to inspire black youth within their Youth Enrichment initiative – connecting them to outdoor activities, facilitating STEM workshops, and promoting a positive influence as mentors – is almost as impressive as their active participation in promoting black businesses in our community and the financial education courses they provide throughout the year.

Rivermark has sponsored several activities and events held by BEC, not only financially, but we’ve provided staff to volunteer as financial coaches for their financial education workshop series. The workshops are aimed at covering real life issues tailored to our community needs including budgeting, credit, and debt management. We’ve also partnered with BEC for monthly virtual and in-person meetups to continue deepening the financial education resources that BEC provides its members.

“We are grateful for the guidance and support Rivermark has provided us with since our early stages of development. Originally, we got in contact with Rivermark for additional funding for our financial education series, but speaking with the financial wellness team, it became clearer that they wanted to do more to help with our mission. Rivermark continues to provide unwavering support as we help our community members on their financial journey,” said a spokesperson at BEC.

BEC's community building extends beyond Rivermark, with partnerships including Financial Beginnings, Clackamas County Bank, Umpqua Bank, Black Community of Portland, the East County Library Team, the National Society of Black Engineers, and Moorish Roots Farm.

To learn more about the Black Economic Collective or to get involved, visit their website: www.blackec.us