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Darryl Riley

Co-Founder & CEO

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.

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.

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".

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