Celebrating Pride Month: Championing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Athletics and Education

At the Multnomah Athletic Foundation, we believe in the transformative power of sports and education, and we are dedicated to creating opportunities for underserved and underrepresented youth in our community. As we celebrate Pride Month in June, we want to shine a light on the incredible work of some of our grant partners who champion diversity, equity, and inclusion. These organizations not only serve LGBTQ+ and gender expansive youth but are also led by individuals who share similar life experiences and stories. Together, we are fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment for all.

Portland Community Football Club (PCFC) has been making a significant impact by providing high-quality, affordable club soccer to low-income, immigrant, and refugee youth ages 5-18, while also being a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ youth. Led by a passionate team who understand the challenges these young athletes may face; PCFC fosters a sense of belonging and empowers them to express their true selves through the beautiful game. By breaking down barriers and promoting acceptance, PCFC is not only shaping athletes but also building a community where diversity is celebrated.

Campfire Columbia is serving youth through outdoor experiences and summer camps. With a mission to provide diverse youth with transformative outdoor experiences and educational opportunities, Campfire Columbia empowers young individuals to discover their strengths and potential. By specifically reaching out to the LGBTQ+ community, they create a space where all young people feel welcomed, respected, and have the opportunity to be authentically themselves. Through their programs, Campfire Columbia cultivates a sense of belonging and empowers young minds to embrace their identities.

Rose City Rollers (RCR) creates access to roller derby, a sport that promotes strength, teamwork, and resilience. By supporting and empowering young skaters while actively fostering inclusivity through their junior programming, the Rose City Rollers create an environment where everyone can thrive. Their league welcomes trans and gender-expansive athletes β€” regardless of their pronouns or gender presentation β€” who feel most comfortable playing women’s roller derby. These young athletes learn about themselves, gain a sense of pride and empowerment by working together as a team towards a common goal.

Representation matters because when young people see leaders who share similar life experiences, they feel a sense of validation and belonging. It sends a powerful message that their dreams and aspirations are not limited by their identities. By highlighting organizations like Portland Community Football Club, Campfire Columbia, and Rose City Rollers, we aim to inspire and empower LGBTQ+ and gender expansive youth to pursue their passions with confidence. When young individuals have access to supportive environments in athletics and role models who understand their unique journeys, they are more likely to thrive, both on and off the field.

This Pride Month, we invite you to join us in supporting these remarkable organizations that are making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ and gender expansive youth. Your contribution, whether big or small, can help create more opportunities, foster inclusivity, and empower young individuals to embrace their true selves. Together, we can build a more equitable and diverse community where all youth have the chance to succeed.

To directly support Portland Community Football Club, Campfire Columbia, and Rose City Rollers, please visit their respective websites or reach out to learn more about how you can get involved. Let’s come together and celebrate the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion in athletics and education.

We are grateful to our partners, supporters, and the entire community for their unwavering dedication to creating a brighter future for all young individuals.

Happy Pride Month!