CCC Job Announcement :: Leadership Development Director

CCC Organizational Announcment.png

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT

Title:                LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Status:             Full-Time, exempt

Reports to:      Executive Director

Location:         Portland, Oregon

PROGRAM & POSITION OVERVIEW

The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) envisions an Oregon with leadership that is reflective of our state’s diverse communities.  We seek to significantly expand the capacity of communities of color to self-organize, network, build culturally-specific social capital, and provide leadership within and outside of communities of color.  To achieve that vision, we created Bridges – a leadership development initiative for Oregon’s communities of color.  Bridges include six culturally-specific leadership development programs aligned under one cross-cultural umbrella, and graduates approximately 100 leaders of color each year.  The initiative is currently entering its fifth year of programming.  The CCC is seeking a new Leadership Development Director to oversee the day-to-day implementation of the Bridges Initiative, as well as develop and execute long-term strategies for ongoing success and sustainability.

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW

The mission of the CCC is to address the socio-economic disparities, institutional racism, and inequity of services experienced by our families, children, and communities; and to organize our communities for collective action resulting in the social change to obtain self-determination, wellness, justice, and prosperity.  Formed in 2001, the CCC is an alliance of culturally-specific community-based organizations with representation from the following communities of color: African, African American, Asian, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, and Slavic.  The CCC supports a collective racial justice effort to improve outcomes in communities of color through advocacy, culturally-appropriate data and research, and leadership development in communities of color.  For more information, please visit www.coalitioncommunitiescolor.org.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES

  • Develops and oversees implementation of the CCC’s leadership development strategy
  • Supports six culturally-specific leadership development programs to continuously improve by providing technical assistance and curriculum development support
  • Collaborates with CCC members and partners to identify gaps in leadership and representation and to identify priority leadership positions
  • Coordinates with advocacy and policy staff to link and mobilize leaders’ participation in CCC actions and campaigns
  • Assists organizations in successfully integrating leaders of color into decision making
  • Places leaders in strategic positions that drive systems change to improve outcomes for communities of color
  • Supports leaders through one-on-one mentorship, coaching and skill development
  • Builds relationships with stakeholders to increase the visibility of leaders of color
  • Facilitates cross-cohort training, retreats, and events for leaders to network and learn across culturally-specific programs
  • Collaborates with communications staff to develop and support a Bridges’ communications and marketing strategy, including maintenance of a robust alumni website
  • Acts as the public face of Bridges
  • Develops and implements a long-term funding strategy to ensure the sustainability of Bridges including grant writing and donor relations
  • Oversees the leadership development budget
  • Coordinates initiative evaluation and manages online database to track participation and program impacts
  • Other duties as assigned 

PREFERRED QUALITIES & QUALIFICATIONS   

  • Minimum of four years of relevant experience including, but not limited to, leadership development, civic engagement, or community organizing
  • Strong knowledge of leadership development tools and processes including curriculum development and alumni support strategies
  • Commitment to racial justice, and dedication to and experience working with organizations of color
  • Understanding of grassroots organizing and how to increase political influence with strategic mobilization of issue supporters
  • Strong project management experience including coordination between multiple programs and project staff
  • Excellent relationship building skills with a variety of stakeholders and community members
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and facilitation skills
  • Successful budget management, grant writing and fundraising experience
  • Experience with Web content management, online platforms and the use of social media to reach targeted audiences
  • Ability to self-motivate and self-direct

COMPENSATION

Starting salary is $60,000.  Paid time off is based on tenure with the organization and is generously accrued.  We also provide medical, dental and vision insurance, a Flexible Spending Account, and Life Insurance.  Employees may enroll in a 401k retirement plan with employer contribution after one year of employment.  We provide an $80/month transportation stipend and a $25/month cellphone stipend.

TO APPLY

Please send a cover letter and resume via email to info@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org. Applications must be submitted by December 14, 2017 at noon.

CCC Announcement :: Leadership Development Staff Transition at CCC

CCC Organizational Announcment.png
rob-1-200x300.jpg

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Partners:

Please join me in congratulating our colleague Rob Nathan who will be leaving the Coalition to work at Metro as the Solid Waste Community Engagement Specialist.

Even though we only got to work with Rob for a short time, he accomplished so much on behalf of our members and communities of color in the Metro region. Rob successfully staffed the BRIDGES convening earlier this year and has engaged and supported our BRIDGES network of leaders. Rob has also worked closely on the development of an innovate pilot project with METRO to engage BRIDGES leaders in meaningful and authentic dialogue on important civic issues in the region. Rob also was the lead on the CCC's local budget advocacy and helped secure vital funding for services for our members. Rob played a major role in planning and emceeing the CCC's 2nd Annual Summer Soiree.

Rob's leadership and passion for social and racial justice will be greatly missed. It was wonderful to work with such a delightful and amazing professional and I'm sure he will accomplish many great things for our community.

Rob's last day at CCC is today. He will begin at Metro on November 29th.

CCC will hire a new Leadership Director and the job description is now available on our website. Please forward this to your networks.

In the interim, if you have any questions or need assistance with Leadership activities at CCC, please contact me.

Thanks,

Dani Ledezma

Interim Executive Director

October 2017 Equity Lens

CCC EL Newsletter.png

Welcome to this edition of the Equity Lens! This edition provides a fresh look at the work of our members, partners, and community leaders.

Here's a quick overview of this edition of the Equity Lens:

  • CCC MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

  • CCC PARTNERSHIP WITH OREGON JUSTICE RESOURCE CENTER

  • CCC'S RESEARCH JUSTICE EFFORTS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH METRO

  • CCC MEMBER FALL GALA OVERVIEW

  • WELCOMING NEW CCC LEADERS TO HACIENDA CDC & PORTLAND AFRICAN AMERICAN LEADERSHIP FORUM

  • A Halloween Quiz!

CCC Member Spotlight: VOZ Portland

romeo.jpg

Romeo Sosa

Executive Director, VOZ Portland

Voz is a worker-led organization that empowers diverse day laborers and immigrants to improve their working conditions and protect civil rights through leadership development, organizing, education and economic opportunity. We provide day laborers with leadership development opportunities as well as classes aimed at providing them with the skills they need to secure long-term employment. Voz uses Popular Education methodology in our leadership development and grassroots organizing, and we have a strong history of community engagement as a worker-led organization.  Romeo Sosa has been Executive Director since 2004.

Where I came from:

The Mayan story is a story that goes back thousands of years. It is a story of struggle to defend our language, our tradition, our culture, and our religion from the Spanish who invaded us. As a Mayan growing up during 36 years of Guatemalan civil war, it was important to understand political justice-- why I was seeing bodies and houses burning. At eight, I learned rich people were taking land and the poor were fighting back to defend the land-- sacred, Mother, and life giver in my culture.

What is a day laborer?

When I came to the U.S., I discovered the irony of the American Dream: I did not find riches, but instead I worked in the fields and the first thing handed to me was a shovel. I was changed by the exploitation of workers and racism we experienced. In the past ten years, we challenged some of the community assumptions about day laborers and immigrants: that they are drunks, homeless, drug dealers, or terrorists. They are people seeking work, food, safety, and peace. I worked in the fields, cut Christmas trees, picked tomatoes and blackberries, worked as a janitor, and took care of people with disabilities. Too many jobs to count just to survive. I discovered VOZ when I worked in the St. Francis dining hall feeding day laborers.

How Voz formed:

VOZ began in 2000 and is becoming one of Portland’s strongest organizations pushing for immigrant rights. One of the main reasons VOZ exists is that we want day laborers to organize themselves, to stand up and speak up about the issues they face, and to ensure they are seen as equal.  We are empowering people to change their own reality by creating solutions. We also founded the National Day Laborers Organizing Network so day laborers from across the country can share their experiences.

And we are seeing victories through our coalition work.  We united with Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition and, with the help of the City of Portland, we established the first worker center in the city. There we offer skills, health and safety training and art, computer, and English classes while people wait for work. Because we need to have voices of day laborers in decision making processes, VOZ developed leadership development curriculum. Day laborers are becoming aware of their rights (and we put these on a “green card”), particularly regarding wage theft and immigration enforcement.

Climate justice

DSCN0886.jpg

Over the past few years we have been integrating environmental and climate justice and disaster resilience into our work. This is particularly relevant with historical hurricanes and earthquakes battering our communities across Central America, Caribbean Islands, and North America. Day laborers are the first responders to natural disasters, yet the most exploited-- no access to safety precautions, facing wage theft, or even being deported when the job is done (so as to avoid payment). Day laborers need safety, rights, and green jobs training like we are doing with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Our communities need green jobs-- not a decision between health, safety and work.

Our Fights are Connected

Now, more than ever, we must see the intersections between policies of the new administration, immigration and criminal justice, workers rights and climate justice.  It is encouraging to see people uniting and working together around immigrant rights like I have never seen before. For example, OPAL organized a march to support immigrant rights because it is clearly connected to the dangers day laborers face when cleaning up from human induced climate change disasters. Rights for immigrants and workers is climate justice.

Oregon Justice ResOURCE Center's (ORJC) new advocacy guide focuses on disrupting mass incarceration at the local level

The United States is widely known as the world’s jailer. In recent months, the problem of racialized mass incarceration has gained increased attention, around the country and in Oregon. 

With the recognition that too many people have been criminalized, and that sentences have become overly punitive beyond a point of effectiveness, comes a push for radical transformation starting in the communities where stakeholders live, work, and answer to the people who elect them.
— ORJC

A new Advocacy Guide, “Disrupting Mass Incarceration at the Local Level,” released earlier this summer by the Oregon Justice Resource Center provides a starting point. The Guide illustrates that locally-elected leaders at the city and county levels have tremendous power to drastically change systems of over-criminalization if pushed to do so by the communities they serve.

OJRC’s strategic local focus seeks to increase opportunities for engagement. Local level engagement removes some of the barriers to participation that too frequently prevent communities most impacted from having their voice heard, such as the time and travel needed to advocate with state legislators.

County and municipal actors also have great potential to perpetuate or eliminate the extreme racial disparities embedded within our criminal justice system. The Guide illustrates how local elected officials have a wide array of power and discretion to either decrease or increase our reliance on incarceration including local policies around whether to stop, to search, to arrest, to fine, to divert or charge someone, how long of a sentence to seek, and whether they will stay in county jail or go to a state prison.

The Guide provides a resource to build community power to make progress around racial justice and civil rights by holding elected leaders accountable. Increasingly, there is a push to direct limited tax dollars to fund more effective approaches and community led programs outside of the criminal justice system, including culturally responsive community supports that are more effective at prevention. There are multiple opportunities to engage in the budget process such as the county budget hearing hosted by the Coalition of Communities of Color.

For communities of color there is an added degree of urgency to this work that goes beyond the glaring racial disparities currently embedded within the justice system. Recently, some policy reforms across the country have led to a decrease in overall incarceration numbers but an increase in racial disparities. This troubling trend illustrates the necessity for communities of color to be included at the table in decision-making early on and to engage locally long after elections are won or reform bills are passed.

Currently, the Oregon Justice Resource Center is seeking community feedback, collaboration and ideas on approaches to transform the justice system at the local level. Presentations and assistance with facilitation are available free of charge. The Guide is publically available to download on the OJRC website here.

CCC & Metro Partnership: Leveraging the Value of Community Expertise When Making Important Decisions

Community-led research is at the foundation of our efforts to understand the lived experiences and realities that stem from the social, political, economic, cultural and structural complexities of our region. The Coalition of Communities of Color’s research justice model has created this opportunity while also striving to build the research capacity of our community members. This collaborative, community-led research is inspirational and Metro is honored to support the Coalition of Communities of Color in this critical work.
— Scotty Ellis, Equity Strategy Program Analyst, Metro

This year the CCC organized multiple discussion-based community focus groups and conversations in the region to identify culturally specific community priorities and explore advocacy strategies while emphasizing community strengths. These activities included a spring and summer engagement of CCC Bridges Alumni with Metro to explore community priorities related to their five year racial equity strategy; eight culturally specific community conversations with African, African-American, Asian, Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, and Slavic communities about racial equity issues in Washington county; statewide cross-cultural focus groups to develop a multi-racial narrative around racial equity; and a City of Portland wide series of intersectional and multiracial focus groups about people’s experiences with hate-motivated violence.

The CCC’s method of engagement is rooted in our culturally specific leadership development model and our research justice vision that asserts that people of color are experts of their lived experiences and have a right to be heard and a right to know information. During these workshops we focus on trust building and intentionality by create a space for shared experiences to be heard and where the labor and expertise of people of color is valued.

Our approach embodies the following values:

  • Equitable partnership -- equitable community involvement from the beginning to the end of the process rather than a one-way mining of a community’s experiential and cultural knowledge.
  • Community Priorities – Elevating expertise of communities of color, emphasizing community strengths, and addressing self-determined community priorities.
  • Transformative Action – Enabling community-generated solutions in public policy and decision making towards creating lasting change.
  • Sustainable Capacity – Building long term and sustainable capacity among communities of color to develop their own expertise, define priorities and propose meaningful solutions which goes beyond a single project.
  • Transparency and Accountability – Commitment to a transparent process with built in accountability where communities that were engaged have the opportunity to provide critical review.
  • Our clients agree with these principles and value culturally specific experiential and cultural knowledge that is typically left out of mainstream and colonized definitions of knowledge.

In order to find out more about how you can conduct community engagement in a way that is equitable and rightfully values communities of color as experts, contact either Shweta Moorthy (shweta@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org).

CCC Member Fall Fundraisers Galore!

This fall, a number of powerful events were hosted by our CCC members to showcase their work, their strength and the resiliency of communities of color.  Here are just a few of the events that have successfully taken place during this season, along with some fun pictures from social media.  There are still plenty of future opportunities for folks to come out, have a great night, see the beauty of our communities, and financially support the important work of these culturally specific organizations.  Both Milagro and the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) have exciting events coming up soon!  If you’re interested in finding out more information about these upcoming events, please click on the links below to connect with their respective websites. 

Self Enhancement Inc.'s Soul of the City

Saturday, Sept 16, 2017

Event Pics from Self Enhancement Inc.’s Event (https://itsaboutyou.smugmug.com/SEI-Soul-of-City-091617/These photos are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.

Latino Network's Noche Bella

Friday, Sept 22, 2017

Event Pics from Latino Network’s Twitter - @latnet_PDX

Urban League of Portland's Equal Opportunity Awards Day Dinner

Tuesday, Sept 26, 2017

Event Pics from Urban League of Portland’s Twitter - @ULPDX

“Éxodo” A Day of the Dead Production

Created with Tracy Cameron Francis and Roy Antonio Arauz

October 19 – November 12, 2017

World Premiere / Bilingual

Special Events: Talk-back following the 2 PM performance on Sunday, October 22, 2017

For more info and/or to purchase tickets: http://milagro.org/event/exodo-dia-de-muertos/

¡Viva Milagro!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

6:30pm – 9:00pm

RSVP by October 24

El Zócalo at El Centro Milagro | 537 SE Stark Street | Portland, OR 97214

For more info: http://milagro.org/ or 503-236-7253

14th Annual NAYA Gala

Friday, Nov 17, 2017

Portland Art Museum | 1219 SW Park Avenue | Portland, OR 97205

For more info and/or to purchase tickets: http://nayagala.org/

The CCC Welcomes New CCC Executive Directors to Hacienda CDC & Portland African American Leadership Forum

Ernesto High Res - Square.jpg

Ernesto Fonseca

Executive Director, Hacienda CDC

Tell us about yourself and your racial justice vision

Since I arrived in Oregon, I have been asked this questions many times. My approach to racial justice emerges from my upbringing in Mexico. I was born to a plumber and a homemaker in a small community in Central Mexico. As many families still do today, we grew up in poverty. My first memories of home are those of a tarpaper house with two rooms that leaked every time it stormed. This was stressful, but I didn’t know any differently—it was simply the way our life was, so I did not think of it as a challenge. I had a wonderful childhood playing in the mud or catching bugs in adjacent empty lots with my brothers and sister and our neighborhood friends. My parents always asked us to dream big and study hard, and they led by example. I watched as my father went from a plumber to building his own construction company and soon after, my mom followed her own dream and became a nurse.

My own family’s story demonstrates the vast potential already present in our communities of color and low-income families. I see it as Hacienda’s work to make sure our families can access the critical ingredients they need to unleash that potential: a stable, affordable home, a healthy family life that allows our youth to learn and grow, opportunities for economic success, and access to affordable health care and healthy communities. My family relied on all of these assets, and thanks to my parents’ encouragement I have had amazing opportunities such as becoming the youngest violinist in the chamber orchestra in my home state, pursing degrees in architecture and community development, and helping to found the Arizona State University Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family to empower other families like mine to seguir adelante. Now my partner, Susan, and I are passing these values along to our children Copitzi and Emiliano. And we’re also making sure they know about Benny Beaver, even though they grew up as Sun Devils!

My experiences and upbringing have shaped and strengthened my values and priorities. I joined Hacienda because we share those values with the people we serve; we shared the same struggles. Investing in our low- and moderate-income families and individuals from day one, in health care, housing, education and economic opportunity access are fundamental elements that will bring influence, resources and power to communities of color. And an Oregon where all Oregonians can reach their full potential is the version of Oregon we want to achieve.

What’s your favorite Fall-related activity?

Camping and getting to enjoy a nice and exhausting hike in the middle of the woods is one of my favorite things to do in the fall. Spending time in solitude contemplating nature is just amazing!

 
Joy High Res - Square.jpg

Joy Alise

Executive Director, Portland African American Leadership Forum

Tell us about yourself and your racial justice vision.

I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I have been very blessed to join the Portland African American Leadership Forum family. I joined PAALF after managing the PAALF People’s Plan—a visioning project with the goal of empowering the Portland Black community to assert their right to actively shape the city they live in, to create a plan that framed the policy agenda projecting the vision for a thriving black community, and to advance community-initiated projects that benefit Africans and African Americans living in Portland, Oregon.

Before joining PAALF, I owned and managed Design + Culture, a collaborative design and racial equity strategy firm. I received my Masters in Arts in Theories of Urban Practice from Parsons the New School of Design in New York City. My graduate thesis examined the role of people of color in urban transformation and the practice of self-determination as a mode for producing healthy communities in my study the Right To Difference - Intercultural Modes Of Producing A Democratic, Participatory, And Inclusive Urban Space. I attended Miami University, receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science. I am an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Pi Alpha Zeta Graduate Chapter, a member of the Miami University Young Alumni Council, and a member of the Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT).

My racial equity vision is grounded in self-determination. From the Nguzo Saba, we have come to know Self-determination as Kujichagulia, the meaning is to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves. The principle is rooted in reclamation and preservation of an afro-centric concept of self and community, by listening and being guided by our inner voice.

What's your favorite Fall related activity?

I love the Fall! My favorite fall activity would have to be baking treats for my friends and family. I am very proud to say that my paternal aunt has shared my family's secret sweet potato pie recipe (trust me, this was not an easy task). Food is such an intimate activity; it feels good to enjoy this special family recipe with loved ones.

How do you do Halloween Quiz!

Click on the image to take our Halloween quiz!

Click on the image to take our Halloween quiz!

CCC Announcement :: Join Us In Welcoming Our New Advocacy Director

Dear Friends, Colleagues, Partners, and Supporters:

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 4.12.10 PM-1.png

Please join the Coalition of Communities of Color in welcoming our new Advocacy Director, Jenny Lee. Jenny brings extensive advocacy, convening, and facilitation skills along with a passion for racial justice. Jenny comes to CCC from Neighborhood Partnerships, where she helped convene the Oregon Housing Alliance, engaging coalition members and partners throughout the state and to help develop state legislative priorities to ensure all Oregonians have access to safe and decent housing. With her leadership and coalition building skills, the Housing Alliance secured several key legislative and funding victories. We are very excited to have her join the team. For more information about Jenny's background read her bio here.

Jenny Lee will begin on October 2nd, and can be reached at:  jenny@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org.

DACA Community Forums

Latino Network is hosting Community Forums to provide resources and information to individuals and families affected by the Trump administration’s decision to repeal DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Legal experts will be available to answer general questions.

ES. Latino Network esta preparando una serie de foros comunitarios para proveer recursos e informacion para individu@s y sus familiares afectados por la decision de la administracion de Trump para revocar al programa de DACA. Expertos legales estaran disponibles para contestar preguntas generales 

LN DACA Flyer

DACA

 

Community Forum

Latino Network is hosting Community Forums

CCC Announcement :: Amanda Manjarrez Transitions from CCC

Dear Friends, Colleagues, Partners, and Supporters:

It is with much joy and a tinge of regret that I am announcing that Amanda is leaving the Coalition effective July 31st. Amanda has accepted the position as Director of Advocacy at Latino Network. Please join me in congratulating her on this important position where she will no doubt excel.

During her time at the Coalition of Communities of Color, Amanda effectively set up a strong foundation for the Coalition's advocacy work. Amanda worked collaboratively with our members to achieve several legislative accomplishments in this legislative session and increased legislative accountability through the to be published Racial Equity Report Card. This year, the CCC Lobby Day had over 150 participants. In the fall of 2016, under her leadership, CCC helped pass 4 out of the five ballot initiatives CCC endorsed, including more resources for affordable housing and resources to improve high school graduation rates. At the City, CCC helped pass the Small Donor Elections reform that will increase political power for communities of color in Portland.

Even though I only got the opportunity to work with her for a short time, I will miss her commitment to and skills in collaboration, coalition building, and social justice organizing. Amanda is inspiring to work with, and I am sure she will continue to accomplish great things for our community.

In the next few weeks, CCC will hire a new advocacy director. Click the button below to view the full job announcement, and please forward to your networks.

June 2017 Equity Lens :: Bridges Update

Bridges Alumni Provide Metro Input on their Equity Plan

Bridges Alumni participating in focus group discussions with Metro & Momentum Alliance.

Bridges Alumni participating in focus group discussions with Metro & Momentum Alliance.

This spring and summer, Metro has partnered with the Momentum Alliance, the CCC and our Bridges Alumni to help Metro better understand community priorities as they relate to the new 5-year equity strategy Metro has developed. This community summit focused on setting priorities for 4 of their prominent departments; Parks and Nature, Oregon Zoo, Property and Environmental Services, and Planning. This spring we had 36 participants from the tri-county region comprised of alumni representing all of our culturally specific Bridges Leadership Development Initiative programs. Participants will return in September to review the qualitative data collected by the CCC and Metro for a second round review. Final recommendations on community priorities will be finalized this October. 


Remembering: Vanport 69th Anniversary

The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it..history is literally present in all that we do.
— James Baldwin
Source: City of Portland Archives

Source: City of Portland Archives

This past month, May 30th, 2017 marked the 69th anniversary of the Vanport flood. CCC wants to take a moment to remember this tragedy as it provides all of us with a critical lens into Oregon’s history surrounding race and class. This tragedy also gives us context for the importance of using a racial equity lens when we think about issues surrounding, housing, employment, healthcare, and more. Because we understand our history and how we are unconsciously controlled by it, CCC and our members are committed to reshaping our future. Click here to access our resource, ReBuilding Community, developed by the CCC, Redefine, and Urban League of Portland. This report provides a disparate impacts analysis and cross-cultural agenda to prevent displacement and gentrification. 


Have you joined the Bridges Online Directory?

 

Are you alumni from one of our Bridges Leadership Initiatives? Make sure to create a profile on our Bridges Online Directory so we can stay in touch about more paid civic engagement opportunities like these.  

 

June 2017 Equity Lens :: Redefine Update

The 2016 elections and federal level rollbacks on pro-people of color and pro-climate policies have only heightened the important role of states, cities, organizations, and communities in leading racial, environmental, and climate justice efforts. 

Redefine: CCC's Initiative for Environmental and Climate Justice and the Climate Justice Collaborative focus on building leadership and capacity within communities of color and driving racially just environmental and climate solutions at the state and local level. Moreover, the CCC is focused on building strong coalitions and understands the intersections of issues and movements. We have offered just a snapshot of our efforts below. These priorities will make our communities more resilient, address climate change and work to eliminate racial disparities.  


Climate and Energy Justice

On June 1st President Trump began the process of pulling out the United States from the Paris Climate Accords, increasing the disastrous effects of pollution and climate change on our communities and slowing the transition to an equitable, clean energy economy. However, on the same day, Multnomah County and the City of Portland became the first communities in the Pacific Northwest to commit to being powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050.
 
We know communities of color, low-income communities, Native American tribes, and immigrants and refugees are hit first and worst by climate change and the pollution that drives it. We also know we must shift our exploitive economy (profit-driven, growth-dependent, and industrial) to one that is regenerative (sustainable, equitable and just for all its members)—and our communities must be at the center of fighting the bad and building the new. A Just Transition must:

  • Shift economic control to communities
  • Democratize wealth and the workplace
  • Advance ecological restoration
  • Relocalize most production and consumption
  • Retain and restore cultures and traditions
  • Drive racial justice and social equity

Read more about the regenerative economy and Just Transition framework through Movement Generation.That is why Verde, the CCC, and partners like OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Community Action Partnership of Oregon (CAPO), and Northwest Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (NWSEED) pushed and secured provisions in the 100% Renewable Resolutions that prioritized:

  1. Holding low-income ratepayers harmless during this energy transition, which is fundamental to ensuring that access to the financial and environmental benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy is shared equitably across all economic classes.
  2. Requiring clear commitments to community-based development and ownership of renewable energy infrastructure, which people of color and low-income people can use to meet their priorities. The City and County are required to support capacity building of organizations to realize these goals.

What does this mean? This means our communities can define our energy and economic future, by envisioning, planning, and developing an economy, energy savings, and benefits that serve local community needs. Much of today’s energy policy rewards those with economic means to maintain a low-carbon lifestyle rather than reducing financial, technology, and ownership barriers for communities already leading and innovating—communities of color, low-income communities, and tribes. Climate justice means not only shifting from exploitive fossil-fuel based sources of energy, but also dismantling corporate control of energy sources and transitioning to democratic, community-based control.
 
Learn more about energy democracy and community-based energy:

 A big thank you to Multnomah County (Chair Kafoury, Commissioner Vega Pederson, County Commission, and Office of Sustainability) and the City of Portland (Mayor Wheeler, City Council, and Bureau of Planning and Sustainability) for supporting this vision.


Housing Justice, Rent Stabilization, and Climate Resilience

The CCC released a report “Building Community: A Disparate Impacts Analysis and Cross-Cultural Agenda to Prevent Displacement and Gentrification” written by the CCC and Urban League of Portland and funded by Meyer Memorial Trust. The “Rebuilding Community” brief is based on the experiences of many of Portlanders from communities of color, advocacy organizations and a series of culturally-specific focus groups held over six months. It provides a vivid narrative of the impact of barriers to people finding a stable home. The report recommends policymakers can help slow the displacement of communities of color by passing legislation like HB 2004A, which limits evictions without cause against individuals and families who follow the terms of their leases.
    
Housing Stability and Anti-Displacement: What does environmental and climate justice have to do with it?

Investments in environmental and climate justice strategies do not work if they do not include investments in housing stability and affordability. Lack of affordable, safe and energy efficient housing leads to heightened displacement, worsening existing environmental injustices such as communities located near high traffic and pollution corridors; increased distances to healthy foods, jobs and community centers; less ability to afford energy or water costs due to increased transportation costs; and less access to public transit and walkable neighborhoods.

Displacement of our communities to the outskirts of cities directly contributes to climate pollution due to increased travel distance, prevents equitable access to new climate resilient infrastructure and environmental benefits, and decreases economic stability. People experiencing homelessness are overexposed to environmental hazards such as pollutants, extreme weather, and incomplete pedestrian infrastructure—clear environmental injustices. Moreover, increasing climate impacts in other parts of the country are making the Portland metro region a more attractive place to live in. Of course, climate change is just one factor among many that influence people to move, but as climate change heats up, many have theorized that migration to the Portland and the Pacific Northwest will accelerate, which will make housing even more expensive.

Combating displacement through strategies like equitable development, affordable housing, local minority contracting and construction, and energy savings is a climate, economic and community resilience strategy. We recognize that climate solutions can stabilize neighborhoods and communities and help alleviate poverty.
 
For more legislative updates see REDEFINE’s most recent newsletter here.
 

June 2017 Equity Lens :: Advocacy Update

The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) endorsed a bold agenda to advance racial equity in the 2017 Legislative Session. Each bill prioritized by our members aims to address socioeconomic disparities, institutional racism and inequity in services affecting our communities. The Oregon Legislature has come a long way toward addressing racial disparities and creating more opportunities for all. In 2016, we also saw a record number of leaders of color elected by Oregonians to represent our communities in Salem. These are signs of progress. But, we still have a long way to go to overcome Oregon’s difficult history with racial inequality and exclusion.

On March 1st, over 150 advocates from communities of color met at the state capitol in Salem for CCC’s Legislative Advocacy Day. The day was an opportunity for community members to meet with their legislators to advocate for more affordable housing and tenant protections, greater investments in education, health care, protecting civil rights, and expanding economic and environmental justice.  Many visited the legislature for the first time. Throughout the session, CCC members have also had the opportunity to testify in front of legislative committees on issues benefit our communities, like a bill to develop ethnic studies standards or creating a fund to invest in culturally-specific early learning. To advance racial justice for the long term, it’s imperative that we continue to work toward elevating the voices of communities of color in policy-making.

This year, the CCC is also leading the 2017 Legislative Report on Racial Equity. The 2017 report released this fall will be the fourth edition of the facing race series. It is a project of nine nonpartisan, community-based organizations dedicated to advancing racial equity through legislative advocacy. Our hope is that this report will encourage legislators to continue to engage with communities of color early and often.  To be included in the report, a bill must be identified as a priority by communities of color and be explicit about addressing race, reduce or remove institutional barriers that lead to poor outcomes in communities of color, or protect against racial discrimination and violence. The following legislation was nominated for this year’s report.

  • HB 2004: Prohibits landlord from terminating a tenancy without cause. 
  • HB 2845: Requires the Oregon Department of Education to develop statewide ethnic studies standards.
  • HB 2864: Requires higher ed. institutions to provide ongoing culturally competency opportunities, create standards, and provide bi-annual reports on progress.
  • HB 3066: Creates an early childhood equity fund to invest in culturally-specific early learning services.
  • HB 2355: Provides a system to record and track data from officer-initiated pedestrian and traffic stops; mandates training; and reduces penalties for possessing a small amount of drugs.
  • HB 3078: Improves safety and creates savings for the state by fixing the family sentencing alternative, reducing presumptive sentencing, removing mandatory minimums and reinvesting savings into supervision and treatment.
  • HB 2232: Provides coverage for the full range of reproductive health services with zero out-of-pocket costs.

This session, we’ve seen significant progress on many of our priorities. The bills that require funding are just starting to be heard in the Ways and Means committee, while bills like HB 2004 and HB 2864 are on their way to the Senate floor for a final vote. With the 2017 Legislative Session wrapping up in July, our hope is that the legislature will take meaningful steps toward advancing racial justice and investing in Oregon’s future. 

June 2017 Equity Lens :: Research Update

We at the CCC have steadfastly moved towards our mission of racial justice despite the challenges and aggressions of white supremacy and racism exacerbated under the Trump presidency. In 2017, the community-based participatory research project in Washington county has made progress in its efforts to consult with public entities to share and inform equitable data collection practices as well as partner with local nonprofits to share our principles of research justice and raise awareness of online data equity tools. In addition to the Washington county project, CCC's research justice efforts have taken a leadership role in co-founding the Portland United Against Hate Initiative with CCC members, community-based organizations and the City of Portland. 

Washington county research project: The steering committee outlined and proposed a resilience-based understanding of racial equity as well as a shift away from the ‘white savior complex’ of achieving racial equity through policymaking. At its core, the project seeks to understand the lived realities of communities of color, their experience with systemic oppression (both historical and contemporary), and reflect the strengths, resilience, and aspirations of communities of color. This project is rooted in equitable partnership and collaboration with impacted communities. Community leaders are playing an integral role in defining their priorities, articulating their experiences, and identifying strengths that can inform the research but also build the capacity of their community. Our inclusive, community-driven process is invaluable as it informs both the quantitative data analysis and the planned community specific conversations in Washington county over the summer. 

We have also formed partnerships and created initiatives with CCC members and organizations (both public and private) that share our research justice vision of racial equity and will work to implement similar efforts into their practices. In the immediate aftermath of the US presidential elections, the CCC joined a group of community organizations to create a short and long term response to the uptick in hate behavior against communities of color. Through this collaborative partnership, the CCC helped found the Portland United Against Hate (PUAH) initiative. The CCC research justice program leads the data response efforts of PUAH and is working collaboratively with partners to create a hate documentation process that serves an authoritative memory and evidence of racism driven hate in a seemingly progressive city. In addition to PUAH, the CCC is also a stakeholder in the Regional Equity Atlas and leverages that role in advocating for community-driven research agendas and equity driven data.

Aside from starting new projects to progress our racial justice mission, the CCC research program has also worked with public partners to ensure the continuity of past advocacy. So far this year, the CCC has completed their research consultation with West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District and helped them create culturally appropriate, data collection surveys that assist in determining the extent of racial disparities in their jurisdiction. We have also commenced a consultation with Oregon Health Authority about the Race Ethnicity Language and Accessibility data collection standards, and have begun advising Portland State University (PSU) and Joint Office of Homeless Services on research methods to accurately capture the houselessness experiences of communities of color in Multnomah County.