The founder and CEO of a leading racial justice nonprofit in Portland, Oregon, announced Thursday that he will continue to run the organization after taking a leave of absence last week over unclear allegations.
Cameron Whitten, who started Brown Hope in 2018, made the announcement after the group’s three-person board, which included Whitten, held its first meeting Wednesday in less than 14 months, according to OregonLive.
“The Board of Directors met last night and voted to reaffirm my role as the company’s active CEO. [Brown Hope]”It is impossible to give a detailed account of the latest news in the media because it involves confidential personal matters,” Whitten said in a statement.
“I can confirm that our third-party legal and human resources staff are working with the Board to ensure a fair and thorough investigation process,” Whitten added.
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“Honestly, I come back to work a little shaken, a little hurt. But most importantly, I’m inspired by the overflowing support as community members and Brown Hope staff come together to advocate for justice and due process,” Whitten said.
Gregory McKelvy, who serves as the chairman of Brown Hope’s board of directors, announced to employees and the press last week that both Whitten and third board member Dahsia Fontleroy were on leave after allegations that she did not provide details. He also announced that he was serving as the organization’s new interim president.
In an announcement Thursday, Whitten announced that the board voted Wednesday to add two new members and reaffirm him as CEO and reinstate Fontleroy and make him interim president.
The Oregon Department of Justice, which oversees the state’s nonprofits, announced that it has launched an investigation into Brown Hope, in addition to its own internal investigation.
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Oregon DOJ spokesperson Ellen Klem told OregonLive on Monday that the agency’s Charitable Activities Division is preparing to review the group in the coming days.
Klem also said the organization did not file its 2021 tax returns until November 15, as required by state law.
“I wouldn’t say it’s common,” he said. “But I also wouldn’t say it raised any major alarms.”
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According to its website, Brown Hope’s mission is to “plant and nurture seeds for racial justice and healing. We serve and mobilize communities to heal our collective soil from the poisons of our past and present so that our future roots can flourish.”
Projects include strengthening Portland’s Black community through social gatherings, mutual aid, job training at a local bakery, COVID assistance, and providing 25 Black individuals with a three-year guaranteed monthly basic income.
Brown Hope has found herself overflowing with cash in recent years, pulling in more than $3 million in a six-month period in 2020, particularly following the death of George Floyd, according to Williamette Week. According to the filings, more than $800,000 of his money came in the form of government grants in 2020.
The point of sale noted that this figure is a sharp jump from the $39,000 it reported in 2018 and the overall lack of revenue it reported in 2019.
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Brown Hope and Oregon DOJ did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.