Equity Lens

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. 

CCC Announcement :: Julia Meier Announces Transition from CCC

Dear Friends, Colleagues, Partners, and Supporters:

I am announcing my transition from the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC). I am thankful to the best group of folks someone could work with: our members, staff, Board, partners and funders. I am indebted to the leaders who started meeting 16 years ago to form what would become the CCC. Individuals who saw that racial justice requires cross-cultural movement building. In 2009, I joined the CCC as its first staff member. Since then, we grew from an $85K budget into a more than $1M a year organization. We expanded from a one-staff shop to a growing and impactful organization with a well-earned statewide reputation as a leader in racial justice.

We have accomplished so much together.

  • We highlighted the rich diversity of Oregon and uplifted the growing and thriving communities and organizations of color who call this region home.
  • We spent 2009 to 2014 conducting research that lifted the veil off of regional narratives about race. It showed that Portland is neither as white nor the utopia that some people tell themselves.  Communities of color are large and growing rapidly. There are deep and broad racial inequities.
  • We tirelessly advocated on behalf of culturally-specific and pan-immigrant and refugee organizations for equitable public and private funding of communities of color. We moved from defending the utility of organizations of color to working in partnership with funders on how to operationalize equitable funding.
  • We built our voice and visibility in Oregon politics so Oregon policy can be set by those most impacted by the issue. Our annual legislative action day earlier this month had more than 150 participants. We are creating a 501(c)(4) organization.
  • We created Bridges - the CCC's leadership development initiative to promote representative leadership. Bridges includes six culturally-specific leadership development programs united under one cross-cultural umbrella that collectively graduate about 100 leaders of color each year. In its fifth year, Bridges is moving into a new phase centered on robust advocacy and civic engagement.
  • We are implementing a community based research project in Washington County. We have a full-time researcher who is partnering with local jurisdictions and community organizations to put together a first of its kind report on the lived realities of communities of color in Washington County.
  • I am proud to have been a part of the CCC's journey. As far as we know, there is nothing like us anywhere in the country. Cross-cultural alliances tend to be time-limited or issue-limited.  And I know why. This work is hard and broad - it is about movement building - it is generational work - and it is about achieving racial justice.

Our work has never been more important. The CCC will be here to fight for representative leadership, built political power in communities of color, community-owned data and research, and equitable policies - including the re-balancing of resources - to tackle our community's toughest issues.

We have the right team in place at the right time to do this work. I give my deepest gratitude to, and I have the utmost confidence in, the CCC team: Kodey Park Bambino, Amanda Manjarrez, Shweta Moorthy, Rob Nathan, and Maggie Tallmadge.

I will be with the CCC for the next couple of months working full-time then part-time and a supporter of the CCC forever. The Board of Directors is leading the search process for the next Executive Director. Carmen Rubio at Latino Network is the point person on the Board for the hiring process and any questions or input you may have. Here is a link to the Executive Director Job Announcement. Please help me get the word out about the position.

I send my love to all the supporters of the CCC.

Julia Meier, Director

Coalition of Communities of Color

December 2016 Equity Lens :: Research End of Year Update

Research End of Year Update

The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) adopts a ‘research justice’ framework that centers communities of color as the experts of their lives and acknowledges their right to self-determine, their priorities, and their right to impart that as authoritative knowledge to policymakers and other audiences. This year the CCC hired a full-time researcher to lead our data and research strategy as well as implement culturally appropriate data and research projects that advance racial justice.

In the last nine months, the CCC has launched a multi-stakeholder community-based participatory research project into the lived realities of communities of color in Washington County. Also, the CCC is continually exploring collaborative and consultation opportunities focused on culturally appropriate and equitable data projects with institutions of higher education and local governments.

Click Here To Download Summary

Click Here To Download Summary

After the tremendous impact of CCC’s An Unsettling Profile research series in Multnomah County, we are leading the first comprehensive community-based research project about the state of racial equity in Washington County. We are seeking to shift common understandings of racial equity from a deficit framework of perceiving communities of color as victims to a strength-based approach that allows communities of color to identify their strengths and sources of resilience and re-frame racial disparities as repercussions of institutional racism that are barriers to their well-being. 

The CCC has also been invited to consult on data gathering and collection projects by Portland State University (PSU), Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS), Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (WMSWCD). The CCC is on OHA’s ad-hoc Race, Ethnicity, Language And Disability (REALD) committee to ensure that state and county health datasets collect culturally appropriate data and that the great community advocacy that had led to the adoption of REALD is sustained. We are also working in collaboration with PSU to recommend the best methodologies to JOHS to identify homelessness among communities of color. Lastly, we are consulting with WMSWCD to assess racial disparities in their service provision. 

Looking forward to 2017, the CCC is committed to providing responsive and strategic research to advance racial justice advocacy and movement building with our communities, member organizations and outside partners.

For more information and questions, please contact Shweta Moorthy, Researcher, at: shweta@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org (503) 200-5722 Ext 555.

December 2016 Equity Lens :: Advocacy End of Year Update

This year, the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) hired an Advocacy Director to increase our ability to impact change locally and in the upcoming legislative session. That change started with the 2016 election.  In the 2016 election cycle, the CCC:

  • Endorsed five ballot measures aimed at improving the lives of people of color in Oregon.
  • Produced a 2016 voter issue guide to help inform voters of key ballot measures that impact communities of color.
  • Collaborated with each campaign to turn out volunteers, organize canvasses in communities of color, get the word out in the media, and provide guidance on campaign strategy. 
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While we know the result of the national election will create new challenges, locally we were successful on 4 out of 5 CCC ballot initiative priorities. These local victories will give more families access to safe, affordable homes, improve our schools, and protect our natural areas. Also, we saw new levels of engagement in communities of color that will set the stage for future success on the ballot.

Even during elections, we know that our work on other issues impacting communities of color does not stop.  Since the passage of HB 3499 (English Language Learners programs), the CCC has worked diligently with our allies to develop rules for the new law that will lead to better implementation and ultimately outcomes for English Language Learners (ELL). This week, the State Board of Education adopted many of our proposed rules thanks to the incredible advocacy of our allies in the ELL Advisory Workgroup.

Earlier this month, the Portland City Council passed the Open & Accountable Elections Act, which will enact a new public campaign financing program that matches low dollar donations given to candidates. The CCC and our member organizations helped lead the way to pass this important reform, working with a local coalition of over 30 organizations. Check out this op-ed written by Julia Meier and Joseph Santos-Lyons to learn more about how it impacts communities of color.

This new law will create more opportunities for diverse representation in Portland city government. The program empowers candidates to run for office without taking big campaign contributions. Instead, candidates can run with small-dollar contributions from local city residents that will be matched 6-to-1 by the city. In a city where only 7 women, 2 people of color, and 2 people from the outer east side have ever been elected to city office, and at a time when big special interest money is dominating our elections - this is huge victory for our communities.

2017 CCC Leg Endorsements.jpeg

As the CCC prepares to announce our 2017 legislative endorsements, we will continue to work hard to engage the community and create opportunities to advance racial equity in Oregon.

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.

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.

July 2015 CCC Member Spotlight

Slavic Network of Oregon was founded over ten years by leaders within the Slavic community. Since its inception, Slavic Network has played a critical role in Portland's Slavic community by providing culturally-responsive programs that meet the unique needs of Slavic seniors, parents, and children.

Most recently, the Slavic Network of Oregon has focused its efforts on developing relationships with religious Slavic organizations. As a result of the intentional outreach efforts, the Slavic Network was able to provide annual programmatic support to 2,000 Slavic community members through trainings, support, and encouragement. 

As a grassroots community-driven organization, the Slavic Network of Oregon leverages the leadership and experience of the Slavic Advisory Committee (SAC), a team of Slavic community leaders with a vested interest in the Slavic community. The SAC team strategically surveys their respective community to identify community needs and develop culturally responsive solutions that meet the needs of their community. The SAC also organizes trainings and workshops for the community. As result of the Slavic Network's long-standing presence in the community and strategic partnerships with the religious organizations, the average audience for the trainings are about 300 people. 

Ultimately, the Slavic Network's community engagement efforts with community leaders and organizations has improved the quality of life for Slavic people in Oregon.

July 2015 Equity Lens: Education Justice Update

HB3499 Signed Into Law!

Governor Kate Brown signing into law HB3499 with students and members from communities of color.  (Photo: Gordon Friedman / STATESMAN JOURNAL)

Governor Kate Brown signing into law HB3499 with students and members from communities of color. (Photo: Gordon Friedman / STATESMAN JOURNAL)

This legislative session, Governor Kate Brown signed into law HB 3499, a comprehensive approach to improve outcomes for Oregon’s English Language Learners (ELL) by increasing transparency, accountability, and systemic supports for schools, educators, and students. Currently, only 49% of ELL students graduate from high school and for many years, communities of color throughout the state have struggled with these detrimental educational outcomes. Leaders from communities of color knew we could do better, and with HB3499, our communities have the ability to turn this crisis into an opportunity for students throughout Oregon. HB3499 will ensure that ELL resources are focused on delivering quality ELL programming to our most vulnerable students and resetting the status quo of using these critical resources to fill shortfalls in school budgets.

The CCC, our members, and our community partners were instrumental in all leading facets of this groundbreaking legislation – from research on best practices for ELL students, to compiling statewide data on ELL outcomes, to drafting the bill, and to building a broad base of support with communities of color throughout the state. The CCC appreciates the leadership of Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO); Center for Inter-Cultural Organizing (CIO); as well as our advocacy our partners at Stand for Children and Northwest Health Foundation.

“With out the advocacy and united voice of leaders from a the Coalition of Communities of Color and Stand for Children this groundbreaking law would never have been passed.” - Nichole Maher, President and CEO of Northwest Health Foundation

In addition to community leadership on HB3499, the Department of Education and the Governor’s Office provided leadership in convening all stakeholders to have facilitated dialogue about the impact of this legislation leading up to the session.

HB3499, which was sponsored and championed by Representative Joe Gallegos, passed with unanimous support from both the house and the senate. If you have any questions or need any more information, please feel free to contact the CCC.

July 2015 Equity Lens: Community and Economic Development Update

Bullitt Foundation Site Visit to Cully Park

Bullitt Foundation Site Visit to Cully Park

We’ve ended the 2015 legislative session, we’re midway into the summer, and CCC’s Community Economic Development Program (CED) is heating up!

Already, CCC completed a CED environmental education series, which provides an opportunity to set a CCC wide vision of the environment, displacement and gentrification.

In addition to ongoing organizational and coalition work, we are continuing efforts on a collective agenda to address displacement and gentrification, uplifting the voices of those most impacted by gentrification and displacement and respecting our culturally-specific histories, experiences and approaches.

Members are scaling existing community engagement processes, environmental initiatives, and climate justice work to a regional and statewide level. 

We have joined Renew Oregon, a statewide campaign to pass climate policy, advocating for legislation that will (1) drive significant carbon and pollution emissions reductions, (2) mitigate the negative impact of climate change and climate policies on communities of color, and (3) provide opportunities and reinvestment for communities of color.

Finally, CCC members, NAYA and OPAL are completing robust climate resiliency planning to ensure our communities are prepared for the impact of climate change on intersecting priorities such as meaningful participatory planning, transportation, housing, public health, and economic opportunity.  Look at CCC and collaborative work on climate action here.

A WRAP UP ON SOME RELEVANT LEGISLATION:

  • HB 3470 The Climate and Justice Stability Act moved much further than expected—through public hearings, out of Rules and into Ways and Means.
  • With incredible support HB 2564 Inclusionary Zoning passed through the House and into the Senate, but Senate leadership opted against a final vote on the bill.

CCC PRIORITY BILLS:

  • SB 214: Age 3 to Grade 3 - In Senate Committee on Ways and Means upon adjournment
  • SB 553 A / SB 554 A: Disproportionate Discipline - Signed into law
  • HB 3499 B: English Language Learners - Signed into Law
  • HB 3025 B: Ban the Box - Signed into Law
  • HB 2002:  End Racial Profiling - Signed into Law

Please contact Maggie Tallmadge, Environmental Justice Manager, at maggie@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org with any with related initiatives, efforts and events!