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.
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.
- Board President, Darryl Riley
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 is a former board member 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Native to Seattle’s Central District, Charlina Green’s love for community has led her to be involved in numerous Faith-Based, Political and Community organizations. She is a follower of Christ, wife, friend, and avid traveler. Most recently, she has brought her talents to serve with Up From Slavery Initiative in both a creative and administrative role. Her desire to aid in creating harmony and equality within systematically oppressed communities is reflected in her God-given heart to serve. Charlina holds fast to the African proverb, “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Let’s never forget, building community is rooted in intentional and consistent every day action that starts with the individual, and continues with the collective.