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.