SEED Grant Recipients 2023

Prosper Portland is pleased to announce the 2023 recipients of the SEED Program Grants (Social Equity and Economic Development).  The SEED program ensures that funds aid organizations that foster social justice, economic development, and educational support. 

The selection panel evaluated more than 140 applications and shortlisted 36 finalists. A rigorous selection process highlighted organizations that best aligned with the program’s intent, focusing on supporting communities most affected by the prohibition of cannabis. 

Twelve organizations will receive grants, ranging from $40,000 to $200,000. They are:  

Peninsula Wrestling Club 

  • Award: $200,000 
  • Purpose: Supporting at-risk and special needs youth through wrestling and the adoption of the Beat the Streets Program to foster discipline, community, and positive character development.

Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center & Rosemary Anderson High School (POIC+RAHS) 

  • Award: $200,000 
  • Purpose: Implementing the POIC+RAHS Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Program in Multnomah County. 
  • Megan Bell, director of programs, said, “The POIC Construction Pre-Apprenticeship program helps people of color ‘get that work’ – and the SEED program helps to keep it going. Since 2017, we’ve placed youth and adults into jobs, prepped with hard and soft skills to ensure they’re ready for their new high-wage careers. The trades need more diversity, and funding from this SEED grant supports people most affected by former cannabis laws.” 

Latino Network 

  • Award: $75,000 
  • Purpose: Reducing gun violence through the MILPA Gun Violence Prevention and Street Level Outreach Program. 

Friends of the Children-Portland 

  • Award: $75,000 
  • Purpose: Addressing childhood trauma and systemic disparities and nurturing positive life outcomes for high-priority Portland youth. 
  • Traci Rossi, executive director, said, “We are honored and excited to partner with Prosper Portland to deepen our work around educational equity for youth of color. This grant will allow us to strengthen community partnerships with culturally specific organizations and become even more effective at creating unique opportunities for youth as they explore their interests and passions while achieving their goals.”   

Airway Science for Kids (ASK) 

  • Award: $75,000 
  • Purpose: Offering the ACCESS program for historically underserved students, emphasizing education, workforce development, and COVID-19 impact mitigation. 

Portland Playhouse 

  • Award: $75,000 
  • Purpose: Community-driven programs for one year, highlighting storytelling and dialogue that centers BIPOC perspectives. 

Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon 

  • Award: $60,000 
  • Purpose: Future Leaders Program for BIPOC and youth affected by cannabis prohibition legislation, with a focus on financial literacy and entrepreneurship 
  • Cobi Lewis, executive director, said, “MESO is excited to receive SEED funding to empower more than 100 youth of color in Portland to build financial literacy and discover their passion for entrepreneurship as they work toward launching their own businesses. Together, SEED and MESO will help prepare Portland’s next generation of BIPOC entrepreneurs.” 

Portland Workforce Alliance 

  • Award: $50,000 
  • Purpose: Building career pathways for Portland high school students, promoting workplace diversity, and increasing access to well-paying jobs. 


  • Award: $50,000 
  • Purpose: culturally specific education & workforce development for Black children; bridging gaps in STEAAM education access. 


  • Award: $50,000 
  • Purpose: Violence prevention and intervention strategy with mentorship fostering positive identity development. 

SMART Reading 

  • Award: $50,000 
  • Purpose: To support the impact of literacy  

The Red Door Project 

  • Award: $40,000 
  • Purpose: Producing four Evolve Experience performances at the Winningstad Theater, focusing on skills crucial for overcoming polarization. 

Organizations already funded by Prosper Portland must demonstrate increased capacity if funds are used on similar projects. POIC and MESO fall under this category. 

Akil S. Patterson, Cannabis-SEED Program Manager, will ensure the appropriate use of funds, service delivery, and program-specific reporting by collaborating with Prosper Portland staff overseeing existing contracts. 

Mr. Patterson emphasized the challenges faced during the selection process due to limited resources and numerous funding requests. “It’s our responsibility to make sure every dollar is directed towards making the maximum positive impact in our community,” he said.  

For additional details, please contact the SEED Program. Prosper Portland remains committed to championing organizations that uplift and empower the city’s residents.