October 2019 Equity Lens Newsletter

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Welcome to the October 2019 edition of the Equity Lens! The year has continued to be as busy as ever and the CCC staff has welcomed new leaders to the team.


  • CCC Organizational Updates

  • CCC Member updates

  • Research Justice Update: PUAH Featured on OPB’s Think Out Loud



The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) is pleased to announce that after an extensive search process, Andrea Valderrama will be leading the organization’s policy and advocacy efforts as Advocacy Director.

Andrea brings over a decade of experience in coalition building, policy development and implementation, and resource allocation experience including work with the Oregon Student Association, Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project, and most recently in the Office of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. She has contributed to the successful passage of dozens of policy and programmatic initiatives like Tuition Equity, Open and Accountable Elections, multi-jurisdictional Sanctuary declarations, tenant protections and workers’ rights.

“My work has always been guided through a people first philosophy,” shares Andrea. “People should come before policy, and policy should not come before the people. I look forward to joining the team at CCC and to improving outcomes for communities of color with communities of color”.

Andrea is a first generation Latinx who lives in outer east Portland with her daughter and mother. She was also the first person of color to serve on the David Douglas School Board and currently serves as Chair. Marcus Mundy, Executive Director at CCC states, “We are excited to have Andrea lead our advocacy efforts at a time when strategic, statewide advocacy rooted in racial and economic justice is urgent and necessary. Her leadership and lived experience make her ideal to lead this work”.

Please join us in welcoming Andrea to the team. You can read Andrea’s bio and contact information here.

Taren Evans joins the Coalition of Communities of Color as the new Environmental Justice Manager.


For the past few years Taren has worked as Neighborhood Revitalization Manager at Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East where she worked along with Living Cully partner organizations, Verde, Hacienda CDC, and the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) on anti-displacement efforts in the Cully neighborhood. Prior to that she worked for the City of Portland at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability where she focused on applying an equity lens to the 2015 Climate Action Plan.

Taren serves on the Parks and Nature Equity Advisory Committee for Metro and as a Steering Committee member for the Cully Boulevard Alliance. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Portland State University. You can contact her at taren@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org.

Taren is looking forward to working with members to build capacity and ground work in community concerns and priorities. She is leading CCC’s Redefine program, the coalition’s initiative for climate and environmental justice. Redefine meetings have recently reconvened and are held on the second Thursday of the month from 10:00 am to 11:30 am at rotating locations. Meetings are open to all CCC member organizations.

Please reach out to Taren at taren@coalitioncommunitescolor.org if you have interest in attending.


Effective immediately please submit all invoices to accounts@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org

CCC Accounts Payable will need the following from all Independent Contractors prior to release of payments: 

  1. Copy of the Independent Contract Agreement

  2. W9 

  3. Invoice

  4. All receipts if applicable (reimbursements for expenses) 

  5. Sign in sheets if applicable (contracts that include focus group sessions, etc.) 

Please submit all documents to accounts@coalitioncommunitiescolor.org and copy the CCC staff member responsible fo the contract.

CCC Member Updates

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Community Forums - Funded by the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Hosted at Milagro

Arts organizations of color or culturally specific organizations and majority culture arts organizations address issues of DEI in their own unique ways depending on funding, capacity, and organizational priorities. Both groups face unique challenges with DEI and working in silos does not create opportunities for deeper cultural understanding or long-lasting organizational change, independent of institution based funding initiatives.

Most often, DEI initiatives and resources are directed toward majority culture institutions who have historically not committed or implemented efforts in that area. In a majority of scenarios, their efforts are qualified by funding. Additionally, the majority of DEI initiatives are designed by those of the majority culture, absent of input and decision making from POC.

In both, the internal determination and capacity to see the project through will not survive a funding lapse.When looked at from the perspective of POC and organizations of color, the picture alters. Since the majority of DEI initiatives focus on race as the primary issue of concern, organizations that identify as culturally or racially specific often are at a loss in determining what course they might take.

A community forum coupled with consultant expertise, allows for both groups to learn from one another, discover opportunities and bring about change in ways working internally does not support.

Due to its innovative approach, the program has the potential for many outcomes including, models for cultural and community partnerships, models for audience engagement for underserved communities, or a new model for DEI success and implementation. Other solutions may also be discovered in the process.

Sign up to be a part of the forum discussions. Email liset@milagro.orgto be put on the participant list and receive updates.


APANO Seeking Qualified Candidates for Communications Associate Position

The Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) and APANO Communities United Fund is looking for a motivated and culturally responsive Communications Associate to support our communications efforts. Apply for the position here.


Preschool for All Task Force Report

Click here to download the report.

Click here to download the report.

In July Multnomah County's Preschool for All Task Force released a report detailing a plan to make universally affordable preschool available for all 3 and 4-year-olds in the county.

In the fall of 2018, Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson convened a coalition of leaders from the public, private, and social sectors to advance the momentum toward equitable preschool access, built through community collaboration over the last seven years. Over the course of nine months, this Preschool for All Task Force developed a roadmap for overcoming the barriers to providing universal preschool in Multnomah County, starting with children who have the least access to quality, affordable opportunities.

To address these barriers, they devised guiding principles and a set of recommendations as to how to develop an equitable preschool system. To ensure that the resulting model was designed with, as opposed to for, the community, Commissioner Vega Pederson asked the Early Learning Multnomah (ELM) Parent Accountability Council (PAC) to serve as an advisory board and invited two PAC members to join the Task Force. Partnering with PAC reflects the Task Force’s commitment to designing a program that centers the values and priorities of families of color within Multnomah County.

Key recommendations include ensuring preschool is free for all families living at or below the Self Sufficiency Index, investing in both preschool and culturally specific multi-generational early learning programs, investing in a variety of program types, including home-based preschool, increasing the wages of preschool teachers and staff, and investing in significant workforce development supports focused on providers of color and providers who speak diverse languages.

In the next phase of work, a broad coalition of community leaders, culturally specific organizations, and early childhood providers are working to bring Preschool for All to the ballot in 2020 and to build an implementation plan that holds community leadership and equity at its center. Organizations interested in participating can contact Commissioner Vega Pederson's office to join in the work."

Research Justice Update



“Though reported hate crimes in Oregon rose 125 percent between 2013 and 2017, the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported. Portland United Against Hate is working to improve the way that the city responds to hate incidents and has launched an online reporting system to track hate incidents in Portland. We hear from two people involved in the group, Shweta Moorthy and Page Smith.”