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About Us

 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

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.

The Naming of UFSI

Inspired by the book "Up From Slavery" written by Booker T. Washington, I began to gauge how Black people went from being newly "emancipated",  to building wealth on Black Wallstreet in Tulsa Oklahoma within 50 years. This empowered me to reach out to a few like minded individuals,  and we developed the Up From Slavery Initiative to create pathways of freedom in an effort to do the same.

- CEO, Darryl Riley

Goals

Provide knowledge to address racial justice & injustice among the brown and black communities. Bringing awareness to systematic racism, racial profiling, stereotypes, and biases.

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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".

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UFSI Board Members

Co-Founder & CEO

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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 at 16, he was in a park when a fistfight broke out between two acquaintances, and Darryl, being nearby, received his first felony at 16. 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, and he's also a licensed Barber. Darryl and his newly formed entity, DSR Fitness LLC, recently executed a purchase of the franchise Snap Fitness Bremerton. He's worked for positive change in the community as a inaugural 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. Darryl also served 3 terms 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 like-minded 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. He likes to refer to himself as having a "PhD in the streets".

Co-Founder & Board Member

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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 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.

Board President

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Mr. Darkeim Brown is a native of Harlem, in New York City New York. Having limited options to fund College he enlisted in the Air Force in February of 1993. He eventually found his way to the Coast Guard where he earned his commission as an officer in 2000. In total, he served 29 years in the Air Force and Coast Guard where he provided oversight to many critical public service programs including environmental response, search and rescue coordination, and incident management. He served one tour in the Middle East where he oversaw the Coast Guard’s Middle East Engagements and planned and executed training for over 1300 students from 39 partner nations.While serving and traveling across the country, Darkeim notably used his off-duty time to continue public service as a volunteer in neighboring communities. His volunteer efforts include deliveries for Meals on Wheels in Virginia, Coaching America’s young athletes, and participation in numerous charitable events. Darkeim was awarded a Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for his commitment to community improvement.

Executive Secretary

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Stephanie Layson was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but is now a Kitsap County resident and teacher. Prior to relocating to Washington State, Stephanie taught for 10 years in southeast Washington, DC. Stephanie has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master's degree from George Washington University in Special Education. Stephanie's biggest passion is equity and literacy education for marginalized populations, especially those who have been labeled due to a disability.

Board Treasurer

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Glenna Matteson is originally from New Mexico where her family has lived for generations, but has been a Washington transplant for 3 years where she works as a Teen Services Librarian at the Kitsap Regional Library. She received her master's degree in library and information science from the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill, where she focused on youth services and library services to marginalized populations. Her thesis was entitled, "Stepping Out of Our Bubble: Developing Actively Diverse Collection Management Policies for Youth Literature." Glenna has worked at Title 1 schools, libraries in resource scarce neighborhoods, and has facilitated youth programming ranging from author visits to how to make the best slime. Above all, she is committed to advocating for youth voices and following their lead. 

Board Member

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Kevin J Mitchell, REALTOR®, was born and raised in NC but moved to Kitsap County, WA in

1998 to serve onboard the USS Ohio SSBN 726. After being honorably discharged from the US

Navy, Kevin received his two-year degree from Olympic College. Kevin began working at ADT

Security Services as a Residential Sales Representative and rose through the ranks to become

District Sales Manager of Western WA. In this role, Kevin found his passion to coach, train, and

help others achieve their goals. In 2015, Kevin and his wife decided to leave their corporate jobs and start two businesses. Kevin purchased a commercial cleaning franchise with Coverall and his wife started Bookkeeping, Etc LLC. In 2017, Kevin decided to hang up the mop and get his real estate license. Owning several properties, some of which, he has as rentals today. Kevin uses his knowledge and expertise to help clients achieve their real estate goals. One of Kevin's most memorable times in real estate was helping a client going through hard times, drastically behind on their mortgage and weeks from going to auction. After consulting with Kevin, they worked overtime to get the house "show ready",  the client was able to sell the home and move out of state to purchase a new home with cash. As a member of UFSI, Kevin enjoys sharing his

knowledge through real estate and financial literacy education. "The only limit to the height of

your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them." -Michelle

Obama

Board Member

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Dr. Karen Bolton is a retired tenured professor from Olympic College, and is an elected School Board Director for the Bremerton School District. Karen holds a Doctorate of Education from Brandman University, an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University and a B.S. degree in Workforce Education from Southern Illinois University. Karen’s work with education programs began with a twenty-year career in the Navy, where she trained and mentored leaders in supervisory positions at all levels. Throughout her adult life, she knew the importance of obtaining an education and achieving your educational goals, somethings that she shares with all of her friends, family and students, encouraging others to pursue and follow her dreams, something her mother taught her.

Board Member

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DeAndrea Williams was born and raised in Winnfield, Louisiana, but spent a good time of her youth in Bremerton as well. DeAndrea and her husband Darren, settled in the Kitsap County area in 2005 to raise their family. Dee as many know her, refers to herself as a “Community Supporter”; doing what she can to show support in hopes of make things easier for those she considers to be “in the trenches” doing the work to build and sustain a strong community. Dee has earned her Associates of Arts in Human Services and Sociology from Northwestern State of Louisiana and her Bachelors from The University of Pheonix. Dee’s biggest passion is helping young mothers create the life they choose for themselves through perseverance and education.

Board Member

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Teresa Jones is originally from New York City but spent 14 years in Los Angeles before moving to Bremerton the first time in 1978. Teresa’s work experience in Kitsap County began as an elementary school teacher. Eventually, a move to Seattle led to her working as the Assistant Director for a non-profit organization, a chemical dependency counselor, a home-based services counselor, and an organizational trainer. Upon returning to graduate school, Teresa received a Master of Social Work degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington School of Social Work. She spent the next 23 years in higher education as tenured faculty at Michigan State University, a lecturer at the University of Washington, and a Counselor at Olympic College.
Although Teresa has officially retired from employment, she has retained her license as a clinical social worker and provides clinical supervision to private practice therapists in the area. As a UFSI Board Member, Teresa enjoys using her passion for education, community service, and civic engagement to help advance UFSI’s vision and mission.

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