Bending Toward Justice” – Senator Jeff Merkley


Today, I received a great honor. I was awarded with the Bending Toward Justice award from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.

As most of you probably know, the title of the award comes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He said in a speech once, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

I am honored to receive this award, but even more so, I am thrilled that the award helps shed more light on the work that I and many others are doing through our nonprofit Soul River Runs Wild. We are helping people to get outdoors and enjoy and learn from our public lands – especially young people of color and veterans.


I have been overwhelmed by the support for Soul River Runs Wild. There are so many people out there who really do care about the future of our youth, the future of our public lands, and the future of social justice on public lands. The outdoors is a place that many people of color enjoy and are well acquainted with. They enjoy fishing, hunting, hiking, bird watching, mountain climbing, skiing, and much more. But like anything, there are barriers. Soul River Runs Wild is working to break down some of these barriers by getting urban youth and veterans into the wild to learn the art of flyfishing and the science of stream ecology in a supportive, healing community.

I am grateful to Senator Merkley for helping to draw attention to our work at Soul River Runs Wild, work that is making a positive and tangible impact for veterans, youth, and public lands.


Board Member – Brian Chou, Wanda Brown (Mother), Board Member – Michael Wetter, Soul River Inc. Founder/Executive Director Chad Brown, Senator Jeff Merkley, Girl Friend of Chad- Stefanie Scovill, Board Member – Lauren Tiesort

The Soul River Runs Wild program would be impossible without dedicated volunteers and protected public lands and waters. And this work has shown me that one of the things I need to do to make my program a success is be a strong advocate for policies that protect public lands, including the Antiquities Act and the designation of national monuments.

In 2016, Soul River has six trips planned around the West, including one to the Owyhee Canyonlands. The Owyhee Canyonlands is an Oregon treasure and Soul River Runs Wild is thrilled to be bringing a group of young people and veterans to this amazing place where we will learn fly fishing, entomology, river navigation, conservation, and more. We have invited Senator Merkley on this trip, and we hope he can make it.

Keep It Wild,
Chad Brown
Founder and Executive Director
Soul River Runs Wild


Tuesday9:00AM - 3:00PM
Wednesday9:00AM - 3:00PM
Thursday9:00AM - 3:00PM

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Soul River Inc

1926 N Kilpatrick St,

Suite B,

Portland, OR 97217

Phone. 503-954-7625