Nike co-founder Phil Knight is no stranger to philanthropy, despite the controversy some of his contributions have garnered in the past.

As Oregon’s wealthiest residents, Knight and his wife have agreed to pledge $400 million USD to a new investment fund to support the Black community of Portland. The initiative, the 1803 Fund, is meant to provide monetary support for education services, art programs and other projects for Black residents of Albina, the inner North and Northeast Portland. In the early 1900s, Albina was considered the center of Black society, but by the 1960s, the community was decimated due to urban renewal projects backed by the city.

With the Knights’ pledge to the 1803 Fund, they plan to repair some of the damage done by investing in the programs. The fund’s CEO, Rukaiyah Adams said that the Knights’ investment is “unparalleled” in a press release, “[It] has the potential to significantly change the culture and landscape of Portland. A place-based effort of this magnitude is unique and has never been done before in Portland – let alone the United States.”

Knight has given millions of dollars to conservative Republican politicians in Oregon through years past — the state does not cap personal campaign contributions — a donation history that doesn’t square with Nike’s progressive agenda. However, he has said that his investment in the 1803 Fund is due to his personal relationship with Northeast Portland. Knight recalls his memories in the press release, “Some of my most important memories are connected to the Eastside of Portland.” Knight has previously supported Portland’s Black community with his funding of the local Head Start programs, as well as Self-Enhancement Inc. With the Reubild Albina project, Knight hopes to support the community to receive greater accessibility to economic opportunities, all while bettering their well-being as a whole.