Co-Founder and Operations Director.
Taji Chesimet is a vivacious, motivated and self-driven young man, who uses his understanding of self, inside and outside of larger social identities, to navigate his work. Interacting with people of all backgrounds, to address the most complex and uncomfortable issues with a candid, direct approach.
Taji served on the Multnomah Youth Commission for about a year and a half on their Youth Against Violence and Youth Education/Voice sub-committees. For the past year or so Taji has been the youth representative on the City of Portland's 3.96 Code-Change Committee. Engaging with City Council through the outlets of commissions, public testimony, and proclamations has been a tool Taji has used to have his voice be heard.
He also worked at The CENTER, a youth-focused space and coalition that works with Black United Fund, Latino Network, Urban League of Portland, and more; to allow youth to have space to talk about the issues that matter to them. Working with the community to engage in interpersonal issues, such as gentrification, race, and white privilege. Previously, Taji was the Project Manager at the Office of Equity & Human Rights Black Male Achievement for two summer cohorts. He has been a speaker at the ACLU of Oregon's Gala and currently works as an intern with their Policy and Development teams. He has held workshops at Oregon Students of Color Conference, Black Student Success Summit and a co-organizer for multiple events.
Taji prides himself on looking at the affinities and intersections of his identity and creating engagement opportunities that sit at the crossings of those intersections. He also looks for opportunities to engage other marginalized communities in the changing Portland scene.
He is currently a senior at De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon, and this fall, he will be a Freshman at the University of Chicago studying Global Relations with a concentration on Latin America and a minor in human rights.