If nothing else, this year has underscored a simple but powerful truth: A better Oregon can be found in the deep wisdom, strength, and compassion of our communities. From the pandemic and wildfires to Oregon’s renewed reckoning with racism, life has turned upside down for children and families in every corner of our state. And yet, we’re nothing short of inspired—though not surprised—by how Oregon communities have moved in remarkable ways to feed, house, teach, and altogether love their children in the midst of crisis.
Today, with gratitude to the countless Oregonians who champion the well-being of children, Foundations for a Better Oregon (FBO) is opening a dynamic new chapter of work. Anchored in shared learning, authentic collaboration, and our values, we’re setting out to demystify and reimagine how Oregon's systems can support every child to learn, grow, and thrive.
With a new mission, vision, and brand identity, FBO (long known as Chalkboard Project) is bridging community, policymakers, and philanthropy to collaboratively envision and advance a more just future for Oregon children and families. This work calls us to reach beyond schoolhouse doors and rethink the systems that too often fail our children and families—even as educators, social workers, childcare providers, and thousands more work so hard to make a difference. But FBO’s vision for the future is profoundly hopeful, and we believe within reach:
We envision a better Oregon that hears, values, and cares for every child. Communities, policymakers, system leaders, and philanthropy forge networks of trust, honor Oregon’s complexity, and move as one to remedy the historical and emerging injustices facing children. Public systems authentically engage families and communities in design and decision-making to uphold our collective commitment to children. Together, Oregonians nurture children’s learning, aspirations, and humanity, and every child knows that they belong.
In pursuit of our vision, we’re defining FBO’s strategic priorities by the structural and cultural change we seek to radically accelerate progress for children: In a better Oregon, research and data is community-centered; investment in education is equitable and coherent; and decision-making is inclusive and participatory. With our work rooted in partnership, these priorities are designed to elevate community-driven solutions and lay the groundwork for stronger, sustainable, and community-centered systems that care for every child—especially Oregon’s Native children, Black children, children of color, rural children, and so many more who experience systemic injustice.
With our experience in policy advocacy, convening, research, and storytelling, you’ll see FBO advancing these priorities in multifaceted ways. Whether we are growing a research community of practice, embedding equity into public investments, or developing new community engagement models, you’ll find our work grounded in shared learning, authentic collaboration, and collective risk-taking.