The Cascadia Education Project
The Cascadia Education Project (CEP) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based out of Portland, Oregon that works to build and strengthen the connections between the different people who live here, between culture and landscape, and between groups that work to create a deeper understanding of how the land here connects us in countless ways. They are an umbrella organization, and through their projects and programs, they offer educational, participatory, and collaborative opportunities for those who wish to foster alocal culture and ecology for a sustainable future in the Pacific Northwest.
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The Cascadia Education Project (CEP) was born from the Portland Alliance in the early 1970’s. The organization officially formed as a non-profit health collective in 1974 taking inspiration from the Diggers movement in San Francisco that created free cities and mock stores in which they gave away free medical supplies, care and food to those in need.
During the 1980’s the organization began to become the Alliance for Social Change, and after the bioregional movement started in earnest in the Pacific Northwest, they changed their name to the Cascadia Education Project.
The idea for the Cascadia Education Project formed out of the realization that education needed to be an important component of bioregionalism in order to share ideas around reinhabitation of Cascadia. Cascadia Education Project sponsored the Alliance for Social Change. It became the umbrella group for all other projects such as Cracked Pots, Cascadia Commonwealth Cooperative, Western Workers Conference, and Green Maps.
All board members had projects that were fiscally sponsored by CEP and each member brought quarterly reports to the board meetings about the financial situation and work of each project. The open nature of the CEP in the past is mostly due to the fact that the various projects really did not want to assume full responsibility for maintaining their own 501-c-3.
“CEP was like an eddy in a stream where small fish swim into and are protected for a little bit until they get their own non-profit status or become something else,” says Tim Calvert.
CEP has always represented an umbrella organization that has helped small projects get on their feet and then once the projects get strong they no longer needed CEP to be their umbrella.
In 2013, a new board of directors (council) was formed, filled with a commitment to keep the spirit of the Cascadia Education Project going. Focusing on fiscal sponsorship, networking, and raising bioregional awareness — we commit to supporting each other and new projects and partners that support a more resilient, healthy, diverse, just and equitable world.