December 2016 Equity Lens :: REDEFINE End of Year Update

End of Year Wrap Up

The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) and our members continue to work with communities of color, tribal governments, environmental, public health and labor partners across the state to develop a strong front and climate justice policies focused on real greenhouse gas emissions, jobs, and equity.  These policies must support a cohesive racial justice agenda for the State of Oregon and the City of Portland.

To achieve our agenda, REDEFINE, the CCC's Initiative for Climate and Environmental Justice, has worked collaboratively with partners to build capacity in member organizations as well as provided education and engagement opportunities focused on environmental and climate justice.
The development of a curriculum workgroup and series of cross-cultural workshops has helped communities of color better understand public policy and to develop their personal narratives as a tool for their climate justice advocacy.

Our first climate justice workshop focused on: 1) understanding the root causes and impacts of climate change on a personal, local and global level, 2) identifying solutions, and 3) connecting attendees to opportunities to take action. Our second workshop for organizations and communities of color will be held on Wednesday, December 21, at 5:30 pm (REGISTER HERE) and will be focused on how 2017 climate justice policies (e.g. capping pollution/investing in communities, housing, and transportation) can support a larger racial justice agenda and respond to community needs.  Upon completion of our two-part workshop series on climate justice, we will adapt these for other organizations of color. In 2017 we will build on this foundation through a series on green infrastructure funded by the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District.  Please contact Maggie@communitiesofcolor.org to host or attend a workshop.

Finally, we continue to seek resources from local and national funders to support communities of color to act and lead on environmental and climate justice solutions. Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT) recently awarded grants to CCC members  Africa House, Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) and VOZ Workers’ Rights Education Project through MMT’s Healthy Environment Portfolio.  The grants will support capacity building, strategic planning, and curriculum development around environmental and climate justice.

2016 CCC Voter Guide

The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) is an alliance of culturally-specific community based organizations that advances racial justice through advocacy, research, and leadership development.  The CCC includes representation from African, African American, Asian, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, and Slavic communities.

  Please click on the image to download a copy of the voter guide.

Please click on the image to download a copy of the voter guide.

We consider ballot measures that significantly impact communities of color, including immigrants and refugees and have made the following endorsements. As our communities diversify, we must do more to ensure all communities in Oregon succeed.  One strategy is to ensure that funding is targeted to address the needs of communities most impacted by socioeconomic disparities, institutional racism, and inequity of services. 

The CCC has taken a public position on key ballot measures and recommends a YES vote on the measures outlined in our 2016 CCC Voter Guide because we believe they are a step in the right direction toward achieving racial justice in Oregon.

 

 

Communities of Color Month of Action for Measure 97

October 14, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Amanda Manjarrez, 505-400-6513, amanda@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org

Communities of Color Month of Action for Measure 97

(Portland, OR) – Communities of color are increasingly engaged in Oregon’s future, with leading cultural organizations mobilizing voters for Yes on Measure 97. With Oregon’s demographics rapidly changing, and more than 1 in 4 Oregonians identifying as persons of color, Measure 97 would reverse decades of public divestment that have perpetuated racial disparities, investing in Oregon’s long-term health and prosperity.

In support of Measure 97, key organizations have announced plans to engage Oregon voters through door knocking, multilingual phone banking and bilingual ballot parties. Groups including the Coalition of Communities of Color, APANO, Causa, Unite Oregon, and the Oregon Latino Health Coalition are scaling up efforts with hundreds of new volunteers to reach 13,000 voters, including those who have been recently registered through Oregon’s New Motor Voter Law.

“We’ve struggled for 25 years as corporate profits have skyrocketed while health disparities persist and our kids don’t graduate on-time,” says Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, Executive Director of APANO, adding, “Yes on Measure 97 balances the scales ensuring corporations pay their fair share so our children and Oregon will thrive.”
“Measure 97 will provide Oregon with the ability to make targeted investments in education that will improve outcomes for communities of color,” says Julia Meier, Executive Director of the Coalition of Communities of Color.

“Our groups are fired up and getting out talking to neighbors, family and friends for Yes on 97. After decades of divestment, Measure 97 stabilizes revenue for Oregon and allows us to extend health care access to children and families across Oregon,” says Andrea Williams, Executive Director of Causa.

Measure 97 would raise the minimum tax on corporations, applying a 2.5% tax on Oregon sales over $25 million dollars. Measure 97 is endorsed by over 260 organizations.

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Formed in 2001, the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) is an alliance of culturally-specific community based organizations. http://www.coalitioncommunitiescolor.org/. APANO is a statewide advocacy organization, uniting Asian and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice. http://www.apano.org/. Causa is Oregon’s Latino immigrant rights organization working to defend and advance immigrant rights by coordinating with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. http://causaoregon.org/. Unite Oregon represents the merger of– Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) and Oregon Action (OA) – who together have decades of experience organizing immigrants, refugees, people of color, and low-income Oregonians to address racial and economic disparities and improve quality of life in our state. http://www.uniteoregon.org/. The Oregon Latino Health Coalition is a collaboration of individuals and organizations who are dedicated to promoting health and wellness and reducing disparities for the Oregon Latino community through prevention, education and sharing of resources. http://orlhc.org/

CCC Member Announcement: A Night of Poetry & Conversation

CCC Member, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), invites you to join us for an evening of powerful poetry by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a Marshallese poet and climate justice activist, followed by a conversation with Jo Ann Hardesty, President of the NAACP Portland Chapter. 

Light refreshments will be provided. Childcare is available upon request, at least one week in advance of the event. For more information, please email Khanh Pham at khanh@apano.org. 

Co-sponsored by: COFA Alliance National Network, Coalition of Communities of Color, Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, and Renew Oregon


Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner is a Marshallese writer. Her writing highlights the traumas of colonialism, racism, forced migration, the legacy of American nuclear testing, and the impending threats of climate change. Bearing witness at the front lines of various activist movements inspires her work and has propelled her poetry onto international stages. She has performed her poetry in front of audiences ranging from elementary school students to most recently over a hundred world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit, where she performed a poem to her daughter, "Dear Matafele Peinam". Currently she lives and works in the Marshall Islands, where she teaches Pacific Studies courses at the College of the Marshall Islands. She is also Co-Director of the youth environmentalist non-profit Jo-Jikum, which empowers youth to work towards solutions on environmental issues threatening their home island.  For more information, visit her website: https://kathyjetnilkijiner.com/

April 2016 Equity Lens :: REDEFINE Update

Redefine Logo with tagline

Vision

The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) and our partners envision connected, balanced, healthy and thriving communities framed thRough:

  • Principles of Environmental Justice
  • Relational Worldview Model
  • Multiplicative Benefits and Sustainability Redefined
  • Seventh Generation Perspective
  • Social Cohesion

Members of the CCC have established this shared vision to guide our work in Redefine: The CCC’s Initiative for Climate and Environmental Justice.

We believe any environmental or climate initiative must lead with racial and economic equity, prevent harm, provide benefit, and ensure inclusive and accountable decision making. Keep reading to learn more about how we apply these principles. To see the 2016 Redefine Principles, please click here.


Projects

Tyee Khunamokwst: “Leading Together”: Cross Cultural Climate Justice Leaders—In December 2015, the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), the CCC, and OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon were awarded a grant from the Kresge Foundation to implement Tyee Khunamokwst: “Leading Together”: Cross Cultural Climate Justice Leaders.  Tyee Khunamokwst is our three-year climate resilience plan for the Portland metro region that articulates how communities of color can shape public processes related to climate resilience.  We prioritized cross cultural climate action capacity, housing justice, transportation justice, green infrastructure and disaster resilience.  Additionally, our collaborative is working with national grantees to make the case of anti-displacement as a pillar of climate resilience. To see the full and abbreviated version of the plan, please click here.


Advocacy Efforts

Again, members of the CCC jumped full force into 2016 short session, securing victories with Minimum Wage, Inclusionary Zoning, Coal to Clean, and more.  The CCC also pushed for three main bills with partners at Renew Oregon and Living Cully related to our climate and environmental justice work. To see detailed information on the CCC's 2016 Legislative Priorities, please click here.

Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan—With its passage, Oregon became the first state in the nation to phase coal out of its energy grid.  The legislation also doubles our use of renewables by 2040, creates a community solar program with a 10% low-income subscription target, and incentivizes additional electric vehicle infrastructure. Over the long run, given the high cost of coal infrastructure and maintenance, switching to renewables will reduce energy costs for ratepayers. Community solar allows residential and small commercial customers of Pacific Power and PGE to participate in the ownership of off-site solar projects which would be credited against their electricity bill.  It also directs the PUC to ensure that at least 10% of the overall community solar program capacity be provided to low and moderate income customers.

Cully Park—Verde is transforming a 25-acre brownfield in Portland’s largest and most diverse neighborhood (Cully) into a public park. This new community asset provides opportunities for healthy eating and active living, educates youth, creates jobs and sets a template for community development of environmental infrastructure. 

Healthy Climate Bill—The CCC supports a carbon pricing bill that ensures Oregon meets its statutory climate pollution reduction goals and holds major polluters accountable. Equitable climate policy means historically underserved communities are involved in decision making, are not harmed by climate change and policy solutions, and see revenues reinvested in ways that reduce disparities and create direct benefits and opportunities in our communities.

Check out Greenlining Institute’s report to see how California has reinvested carbon pricing revenue to address the priorities of low-income communities and communities of color. 

And on everyone’s mind? Air toxics in Portland. Cadmium and arsenic associated with glass manufacturing were detected first around Bullseye Glass (SE) and Uroboros Glass (NE).  As people of color and people with low-incomes, we have known for decades the burden of air pollution, toxics and particulate matter on our communities in Portland and globally. While no community should experience these risks, why have two “hot spots” of metals in certain neighborhoods finally drawn attention to air quality, yet the disproportionately higher risk in our communities of color and low-income communities due to diesel exhaust and other toxics have not? We are working with our partners at Beyond ToxicsCRAG Law Center, Neighbors for Clean Air, Oregon Environmental CouncilOPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, and others to ensure more than spot treatment. The State of Oregon must be accountable to the health of our communities. Contact the CCC, OPAL Oregon Environmental Justice, and Neighbors for Clean Air for upcoming workshops, resources, and advocacy opportunities.


How You Can Help

Where else can you lend your voice, experience and expertise? Through 2016 and 2017, we are poised to continue our fight in the legislature to:

  • ensure polluters pay for the harm they cause to our communities and environment;
  • provide equitable funding and representation for our communities;
  • regulate diesel and air toxics that compromise our health; and
  • expand use of clean energy technology to reduce environmental and financial inequities.

Do you have a story to tell related to the health of your community? Contact Maggie Tallmadge, Environmental Justice Manager, at maggie@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org.  The CCC will also develop a series of workshops on climate and environmental justice including concepts, root causes, solutions, and advocacy opportunities. Reach out and stay tuned for more details!

April 2016 Equity Lens :: Leadership Development Update

Bridging cross cultural Leaders from cohort Classes of 2015-16!

Over 100 leaders from the 2015-2016 Bridges programs came together on February 20th for the Second Annual Bridges Cross-Cohort Convening. Participants from the African American Leadership Academy, African Leadership Development Institute, Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Institute, Lead for Oregon, Slavic Leadership Development Project and Unid@s spent the day networking, building relationships and discussing cross-community issues and meaningful leadership. The convening was co-facilitated by trainers from Multnomah County’s Community Capacitation Center and alumni from each of the programs. 

 Member's of LEAD's current cohort

Member's of LEAD's current cohort

“This truly was incredible. Really, just the mere fact in bringing everyone together was and IS power in transformational change. My African & Asian brothers & sisters moved me - inspired me!” - Feb. 20th 2015-2016 Bridges Participant

“This is the first time that I have been in a room with a group/groups of people this diverse in Portland. I was able to get to know more about people, their issues, hardships, and joys.” - Feb. 20th Bridges Convening Participant
 Members of UNID@S' current cohort

Members of UNID@S' current cohort

On behalf of the CCC and BRIDGES, we would like to thank all those individuals that supported and participated in this year's convening. More pictures will be posted in an online gallery on the CCC's website. 


Coming Soon! Bridges Alumni Online Directory

Our growing network of Bridges alumni will soon reach over 400 skilled community leaders! This summer the CCC will launch an online directory to honor andshowcase these individuals and their work in our communities. The directory will also act as a public resource for alumni to network with each other, for external stakeholders to view and contact leaders, and support connecting alumni with ongoing leadership opportunities in Oregon.

For more information about BRIDGES please email Jessica Lee, Leadership Development Manager, at jessica@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org.

April 2016 Equity Lens :: Research Update

Communities of Color in Washington County Research

The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) is launching a community-based participatory research project into the lived realities of communities of color in Washington County, Oregon. This is a collaborative project in partnership with CCC members, community-based organizations and local jurisdictions in Washington County. Since the release of our ground-breaking research on Multnomah County in 2010, the CCC has received numerous requests to conduct research in Washington County. The time is ripe to expand the CCC’s research work to document the lived realities of communities of color in Washington County. The county’s demographics are rapidly changing, primarily through increased numbers of communities of color and immigrants and refugees. Racial equity has to be a priority for the county.

This research project has three aims. First, building knowledge about communities of color in Washington County. The project will bring Washington County’s diverse communities into focus and help create awareness for less visible communities of color. Second, develop stronger relationships between communities of color in Washington County and build social capital. The project will support communities of color in Washington County by heightening leadership roles for people of color in the County and will bring additional resources into Washington County by providing the data and research needed for grant proposals and for funders to target their investments. Third, increasing the regional capacity of the CCC to be a resource to Washington County. The project will greatly increase the CCC’s network of relationships with organizations and leaders across the County.

The Washington County research project is both a testament to the CCC’s stature as a leading racial equity advocate using social justice informed research and is an opportunity to broaden the current advocacy lens to improve outcomes for communities of color in Washington County.

Latino Network, Coalition of Communities of Color, and Stand for Children Oregon Unite Behind Initiative Petition 65

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 25, 2016

CONTACT: Kelsey Cardwell

kelsey.cardwell@gmail.com

425-753-0461

@BetterHSNow

Latino Network, Coalition of Communities of Color, and Stand for Children Oregon Unite Behind Initiative Petition 65

Today, the Latino Network of Oregon, the Coalition of Communities of Color, and Stand for Children Oregon announced their lead role as coalition sponsors for Initiative Petition 65 (IP 65). They head up a growing list of supporters like Adelante Mujeres, Benson Tech Foundation and Native American Youth and Family Center campaigning to improve Oregon’s high school graduation rate, and career and college readiness.

As the economy grows, IP 65 will target new money to Oregon’s most pressing problem—the state’s critically low graduation rate. If passed this November, it will directly fund proven high school that will increase student success. It will expand career-technical education (CTE) programs and college-credit courses, and implement proven dropout prevention strategies across Oregon.

“Oregon’s high school graduation rate is one of the lowest in the country, and last year, only 66 percent of kids of color graduated on time, a full 10 points behind white students,” said Julia Meier, executive director of the Coalition of Communities of Color. “It is time to take action to help Oregon’s students, particularly our most vulnerable students, because they cannot afford for us to wait any longer.”

Oregon’s public schools have great kids, dedicated teachers and hardworking staff, but the numbers show that our high schools are ill-equipped to serve our students, especially students of color:

Last year, over 2,500 kids of color dropped out of high school in Oregon, at rates significantly higher than their white peers, according to the Oregon Department of Education.
Only 15 percent of black students, 16 percent of Pacific Islander students, 21 percent of Hispanic students, and 22 percent of American Indian students leave community college with a certificate or degree, according to the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

However, at schools where students have access to career technical education, college-level coursework and dropout prevention programs, students of color fare far better in high school and college. For example, a  report released by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) found that CTE students are 15.5 percent more likely to graduate high school in four years than students statewide.  Students of color benefit even more. The graduation rates for African American students are 24 percent higher than those of African American students statewide, 21 percent higher for Latino CTE students, and 23 percent higher for Native American CTE students.

“Students of color cannot wait around any longer for adults to do something about Oregon’s disturbing graduation rate,” says Carmen Rubio, executive director of the Latino Network. “This initiative quickly creates opportunities that will support students in succeeding in high school and college. We are proud to call ourselves a coalition partner.”

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