Upcoming non-profit currently sponsored by United Way of Kitsap, serving people of color in Kitsap County.
Our mission is to heal, inform, and empower our marginalized and underserved communities through racial justice, financial literacy, and wellness. Through this process we are making our brothers and sisters problems our problems, while solving them together.
Our vision is to build sustainable wealth and self-empowerment among the black and brown community.
This initiative will create a
pathway to freedom:
Financial Freedom- Debt Management, Business, Property & Investments.
Freedom from racial oppression and thoughts of inadequacy.
Freedom from unhealthy mental and physical habits.
Provide knowledge to address racial justice & injustice among the brown and black communities. Bringing awareness to systematic racism, racial profiling, stereotypes, and biases.
Promote effective and relevant health, mental health, and wellness strategies for people of color. Bring awareness to individuals' personal health and educate the community regarding cultural influence and appropriate interactions.
Financial literacy will empower individuals to take control of their personal and business finances by learning and understanding their history and the importance of proper money management. Education will include budgeting, savings/investments, owning property, entrepreneurship, credit, and other vital components to gain financial freedom and create "generational wealth".
UFSI Board Members
Darryl Riley is a survivor. Despite having grown up in poverty on Chicago’s West Side and living in a broken home since the age of 8, Darryl worked hard in school to overcome the adversity faced by black males in America. His dreams and hard-earned music scholarships were disrupted when, as a teenager, he was in a park when a fistfight broke out between two acquaintances, and Darryl, being nearby, received his first felony before the age of 18.
Like most Black males in America, he wasn’t afforded the ‘freedoms’ to see beyond his circumstances. He grew up in a cycle of dysfunction that began generations before as black men and women tried to survive in tightly packed areas with limited job opportunities and resources. These, among other circumstances, created a void of strong male examples. All Darryl wanted to be when he grew up " was alive".
The War on Drugs of the ‘80’s, and some bad decisions, opened a pipeline of drugs and prison that took up a substantial part of Darryl’s life. Every time Darryl left incarceration with hopes to better his life, the system failed him by marginalizing, stigmatizing, and not providing substantive opportunities towards his rehabilitation and transition back to society. Nevertheless, a paradigm shift did occur.
Since 2014, Darryl has been the owner/operator of Hands of Favor LLC. Two business that employ a dozen people- He is also a licensed Barber- He works for positive change in the community as a member of the City of Bremerton’s Racial Equity Advisory Committee, and as a founding design team member of the newly opened charter school, Catalyst Bremerton. He sits on the board and is co-committee chair of outreach for the upcoming Music Discovery Center of Quincy Square. Darryl is also serving his 3rd term as one of 2 citizen members on the City of Bremerton’s Audit Committee that supervises the city Auditor.
He happened to be reading Booker T. Washington’s, “Up from Slavery’ while he witnessed George Floyd’s public lynching on TV. Darryl had seen that movie before, and knew he had to act. Inspired by the resolve of his ancestors, Darryl learned how they went from being newly freed, to creating Black Wall St in Tulsa Oklahoma within 50 years. So, he teamed up with a couple of likeminded individuals, and developed UFSI to help free his people from the grips of 21st century slavery.
Today Darryl enjoys freedoms he never imagined as a child. Combining his own experiences and knowledge, Darryl knows what it takes to break the cycle that keeps people bound by drugs, recidivism, and poverty, and desires to create pathways of freedom so other people of color can do the same.
Born in Pasco, Washington, Cynthia Brady has spent much of her life in Kitsap County. Cynthia is an alumni of Olympic College and the University of Washington. She holds an Associates Degree with an emphasis in Chemical Dependency Professional Training and a Bachelors Degree in Ethnic, Gender and Labor Studies. Cynthia’s professional goal is to strengthen her community by affecting change in the lives of those impacted by drugs, the criminal justice system, poverty, homelessness and racial discrimination - barriers that prevent social, and economic growth an development. Her personal goal is to empower the lives of the people she meets, encouraging others and sharing the knowledge and wisdom that comes from a power greater than herself, whom she chooses to call God. Cynthia works as a Substance Use Disorder Professional at West Sound Treatment Center in Port Orchard. She is also the vice president of Up from Slavery Initiative. Her hobbies are reading writing cooking and refurbishing old furniture. She loves to see lives change for the better. One of her favorite quotes is “Be the change you want to see.”- Gandhi
Carl Bivens was born and raised in Kitsap county. As a practicing educator, he sees firsthand the importance of having parents involved in their children’s lives. He believes in Up From Slavery‘ Initiative’s mission to empower our community through education and financial literacy. Healthy families make his life easier in the classroom. As the executive secretary, Carl’s goal is to use his skills as an educator and writer to enhance the voice of people of color and reduce recidivism in the criminal justice System. He believes that our community, our country will thrive and become stronger if we work together to confront the challenges that face us today.
Tazsjah Green was born in Seattle, Washington and is a long time resident of Bremerton.
For the past 8 years, she has worked as a Mentor Coordinator for PYA (Partnering for Youth Achievement), a faith based youth program serving as mentor in the local middle, high, and alternative schools. She is a founder of PACT (Police and Community Together).
Her passion for empowering the youth, recidivism and building community is rooted in her upbringing - Observing the affect of drugs, alcohol, mental health, and the school to prison pipeline has had on her and those around her.
Tazsjah’s mission is to use her experience and connections in the community- from working in the schools, local businesses, community organizations, youth groups, local and statewide council, as well as national organizations such as APRI (A. Phillip Randolph Institute) to help as a resource and guide to help people heal, learn, unlearn, and live a full and healthy life in a community they feel safe and involved in.
Raised in the great Pacific Northwest, Kendra Galloway is an entrepreneur and known in the area for her expertise in administrative support, business finance and hospitality. After graduating Western Washington University with a Bachelor’s in Human Services, Kendra spent 12 years as an administrative support professional in Public Education servicing at-risk youth from 8th to 12th grade. In 2018, Kendra opened her own business, Capital Lifestyle Management, which provides event coordination and administrative support to small businesses and non-profit organizations in Kitsap and Pierce county. Kendra has a passion for entrepreneurship. She owns a second small business and partners with her husband on a third. Her peers respect her organization and multi-tasking abilities. Kendra is also known for professionalism, and having the ability to communicate and meet deadlines. Her reputation is one of integrity with the heart to serve others. She strongly believes that “knowledge has power”; therefore, her vision for UFSI is to empower black and brown youth, and young adults, with the knowledge and resources to successfully fulfill their purpose in life.
Marshall Bevins struggled as a youth. Born in Philadelphia and raised there by his great grandmother, he was always seeking the attention of absent parents. Instead of using his academic talents, he turned to the corners that housed drug dealers and other street elements. At the age of 14, he moved to Bremerton with the help of a sibling who is in the military but still ended up in prison. Through it all, Marshall chose not to let this define him. He survived and is now on the management team of one of the biggest auto dealerships in the state. He is now an inspiration for others in the fight against recidivism. One of Marshal’s biggest accomplishment was to get his civil rights reinstated. He purchased his first home in 2019. His goal is to help others avoid the same mistakes as him by empowering youth with tools for financial literacy and living.