OUR JOURNEY: Chapter History

Our journey began on October 27, 2012 at the Tea Zone and Camellia Lounge located in Portland’s Pearl District, a hub of urban renaissance just north of downtown. Over tea and cookies, a small group of mothers discussed the need and desire to establish a chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. here in the City of Roses. By August 2013, an interest group of thirty mothers known as the Portland Gems had been formed and sponsored by the Seattle Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Cyreena Boston Ashby - President; Kanitra Lopez - Vice-President; Shantel Johnson - Program Director; Latricia Tillman - Recording Secretary; Kimberlynn Heller, D.O. - Corresponding Secretary; Susan Monfries - Treasurer; LaQueanya Henry - Financial Secretary; and Darlise Blount Harrison - Editor were elected as the first executive officers. Under the guidance of Far West Regional Director Kathy Chappell Dossett and then-National Editor Regina Page, the interest group progressed to a provisional group soon after. Cindy Fontenot - Parliamentarian; Traci Rossi - Chaplain; and Tia B. Coachman - Protocol Chair were all appointed, completing the first executive board. Just one year later, at the 2014 National Convention of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, in Charlotte, North Carolina, 231 delegates unanimously voted for the provisional group to become the Portland Provisional Chapter on August 1, 2014. The official initiation of new members, the charter and installation of the Portland Willamette Valley Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. followed by the installation of chapter officers took place at Elephants on Corbett on Friday evening, October 17, 2014. Besides National Recording Secretary Regina Page and Regional Director Kathy Chappell Dossett, Regional Secretary LaTanya Bellow and Regional Member-at-Large Vara Allen-Jones attended these ceremonies. Special guests from the sponsoring chapter in Seattle included Chapter Vice-President Pamela Beard, Chapter Editor Lisa Johnson and Chapter Member Cecilia Hayes. 

As our chapter grows, we will continue to be intentional about developing our children into whole, civic-minded, community-spirited adults.

We will honor the sisterhood of motherhood.

We will uplift the African-American family.

We will because we must. 


Beyond OUr chapter

Jack and Jill of America, Inc. boasts over 230 chapters nationwide, representing over 40,000 family members.

Click on the logos below to find out more about our national organization, our philanthropic arm, and the fabulous Far West Region.


Membership to the Portland Willamette Valley (PWV) chapter can be obtained via legacy status or via invitation. Prospective new mother members for our PWV chapter who are seeking membership via invitation must be sponsored by a current member in good standing of our PWV chapter. We encourage you to review our events section and attend our upcoming public events to learn more about our chapter and gain contact with current chapter mother members if you are interested in the membership process. Legacy status applies to any child or spouse of a child whose mother graduated in good standing from a chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and who meets the other membership criteria. The deadline for filing a request for Legacy is January 31st.