Nike co-founder Phil Knight, along with his wife Penny Knight, announced on Monday afternoon a $400,000,000 investment in Portland’s historic Albina district.
Rebuild Albina, the investment project, is designed to support the current and future generations Black Portlanders by investing in education, culture, and place.
Rukaiyah Adam, former chief investment officer of Meyer Memorial Trust, will manage the money through a newly-established 1803 Fund. The money will be managed by the newly established 1803 Fund, led by former Meyer Memorial Trust chief investment officer Rukaiyah Adams.
Knight and Penny have a long history of charitable giving. They are ranked No. With more than one billion dollars in donations in 2020, Knight and his wife are ranked No.4 in the nation for philanthropy. Adams has spent eight years at Meyer Memorial Trust as chief investment officer, which is one of the largest grant-making organizations in the state.
"Penny, and I, have always believed in Portland's community. Lower Albina, on the Eastside Portland is where I have some of my fondest memories. Jefferson High School was the site of the "all-comers" track meets in my youth, led by coaches Doug Basham and Bill Sorsby. Phil Knight, in a release from the press, said that Bill Bowerman's handshake agreement with Nike was made in Lower Albina. Lower Albina, near Memorial Coliseum, was the focal point of the first agreement with Ron Herndon & Tony Hopson for the construction of a Nike retail shop with a portion of profits going back to the community.
The 1803 Fund will combine elements of philanthropy and private investing to strengthen Portland's Black Community through collective prosperity and investment.
Adams stated in a release that 'This investment has the potential of significantly changing the culture and landscape' of Portland. A place-based initiative of this magnitude has never been attempted in Portland, let alone the United States.
Adams is a fourth generation Oregonian who returned to her hometown in 2012 after working as a corporate lawyer in San Francisco.
She managed a $7 billion investment fund while at The Standard. She served as the past chair of the Oregon Investment Council for six years, which oversees Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund.
Adams spent eight years at Meyer Memorial Trust as chief investment officer, where she led the endowment to its first $1 billion.
In 2021 the Meyer endowment returned 16.56 percent in a year. Adams left the organization at the beginning of August 2022.
Rebuild a part of the historically Black Lower Albina Neighborhood, which was destroyed by urban renewal.
The Knights pledged to donate the majority of their wealth estimated at more than $45 Billion, the largest fortunes in Oregon. The Knights donated more than one billion dollars in 2020. Of that amount, $465,000,000 went to the University of Oregon, and $900.7,000,000 to the Knight Foundation.
The Business Journal published an article in 2018 about the Knight Family's philanthropy. It showed that the family's charitable efforts go beyond the high-profile and sometimes controversial gifts made to the University of Oregon Stanford and Oregon Health and Science University.
Nike's support would not be possible without the economic empowerment, education and social justice, as well as racial inequalities.