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News / Business / Clark County Business

Fourth Plain Forward’s ‘Building Bridges’ series: Community members of color get help growing businesses

Free workshops provide people guidance on marketing, branding, more

By Chrissy Booker, Columbian staff writer
Published: February 22, 2024, 6:06am
3 Photos
Fourth Plain Forward program manager Will Fuentes, from left, social media coordinator Almendra Velazquez and community development manager Sheila Davis during the &ldquo;Building Bridges&rdquo; marketing session workshop Tuesday at Fourth Plain Community Commons in Vancouver.
Fourth Plain Forward program manager Will Fuentes, from left, social media coordinator Almendra Velazquez and community development manager Sheila Davis during the “Building Bridges” marketing session workshop Tuesday at Fourth Plain Community Commons in Vancouver. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Vancouver nonprofit Fourth Plain Forward hosted its second marketing session of the year Tuesday afternoon aimed at helping community members of color hone their digital skills.

The “Building Bridges” monthly series is meant to empower community members by providing information on topics such as digital marketing, branding and social media, and how to apply those skills to a business.

Part of the nonprofit’s mission is to uplift people of color, with a particular focus on promoting equity along the Fourth Plain corridor. The organization wanted to bridge the gap for small-business owners and people of color by offering these sessions for free, marketing coordinator Kiana Coburn said.

“The purpose is to empower the community by giving them resources and the confidence to thrive. If there are things they could do themselves in a more effective way, they should feel empowered to do so,” Coburn said. “And if there are things that need to be done by an industry professional, they should have people to go to that they trust.”

If You Go

Who: Fourth Plain Forward

What: “Building Bridges: A Comprehensive Marketing Workshop”

When: 3 to 5 p.m. March 19

Where: 3101 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., Suite 101

Cost: Free

Information:www.fourthplain forward.org/

Tuesday’s session was hosted by Jurell Scott, social media marketing specialist for Soul Business District Association, an Oregon nonprofit that promotes economic development across North and Northeast Portland.

“It was meant to be like an introductory type course, so I was going really over the basics on how to build your social media pages,” Scott said. “I can’t echo that enough that it’s extremely important to hear about what the other small businesses are doing in your community, that you’re supporting one another.”

Coburn said Fourth Plain Forward wanted to ensure these sessions were more than a lecture. Instead, the series will include hands-on activities where people can apply what they’re learning. It will also give the community a chance to network with each other and the guest speakers. Each session will be led by an industry professional of color. The workshops will cover six topics over the course of the year including news releases, social media marketing, marketing profiles, content marketing, digital marketing and branding.

Remaining schedule

The “Building Bridges” marketing workshop will continue each month throughout the year. Each topic will be offered twice to accommodate scheduling conflicts.

The remaining schedule is as follows:

  • marketing profiles — March 19 and Sept. 18;
  • content marketing — April 17 and Oct. 23;
  • digital marketing — May 22 and Nov. 20;
  • branding — June 20 and Dec. 18;
  • news releases — July 24;
  • social media — Aug. 21.

 

Community Funded Journalism logo

This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

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