Welcome to the June 2018 edition of the Equity Lens! In this edition, we are excited to announce our new executive director, provide updates on our work, and highlight the work of our members, partners, and community leaders.
HERE'S A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THIS EDITION OF THE EQUITY LENS:
Meet the CCC's New Executive Director
The Board of Directors of the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) are thrilled to announce the new Executive Director, Marcus C. Mundy. Marcus will start on June 25th, 2018.
Marcus Mundy knows the CCC well, as a former Executive Director of a member organization and Executive Committee member, he was instrumental in the CCC’s publication of the Unsettling Profile series, and its ongoing advocacy for increased funding for housing and services for our culturally specific member organizations.
Marcus has a prolific career in leadership and is passionate about advancing racial justice in Oregon. He has strong relationships and roots in our communities and will lead CCC into its next chapter with a deep understanding of and commitment to communities of color.
About Marcus C. Mundy
Mr. Mundy is a Principal at Mundy Consulting LLC, an Oregon state certified minority small business. His practice assists clients in various disciplines including but not limited to: achieving equity, diversity and inclusion in personnel, contracting, supplier diversity, development and administrative areas; and achieving compliance with respect to applicable laws, regulations and accreditation standards for healthcare businesses and others.
Prior to his role at Mundy Consulting, Mr. Mundy served as the President and CEO of the Urban League of Portland, was the Vice President and Regional Compliance Officer for Kaiser Permanente Northwest, and has held a host of other leadership positions.
Mr. Mundy attended Howard University in Washington, DC, receiving his Bachelor (BBA) in Business Administration, and attended Howard University's Graduate School of Business. He received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Oregon’s Executive MBA program.
Mr. Mundy has served the community through his participation on numerous boards and community advisory positions, including the OHSU Foundation Board, the State Labor Commissioner’s Oregon Council on Civil Rights, the Oregon Community Foundation’s Regional Advisory Initiative, the Coalition for a Livable Future, EcoDistricts (formerly Portland Sustainability Institute) and, currently, Upstream Public Health.
He is also a Senior Fellow in Oregon’s chapter of the American Leadership Forum, our state’s premier leadership training group for over two decades. His proudest achievement, however, and forever, is as a father to his four children.
Equity Lens Interview:
1) You’ve had a long career in leadership roles, what is one accomplishment of which you are most proud?
As a proponent of servant leadership, I am proud of the fact that I focus on the humanity of the people for whom I work, despite the setting. If a leader can maintain empathy, and remember that there is a responsibility to serve and not just direct, there will always be much for which to be proud. Consistent empathy is the accomplishment I cherish the most, as it allows me to remember why I work.
2) What are you most excited about in your new role at the CCC?
I am excited to work once again with a high quality, dedicated, professional staff, and an organization that is fiercely clear in its mission. When a team is focused in its direction, great things can be accomplished. I am absolutely eager to connect with past colleagues and meet new leaders in the enlarged membership of the Coalition and our many partners. There is much work to be done to advocate for and collaborate with member organizations, and I hope to be able to help our collective goals to be achieved.
I once opined at a fundraising dinner, over a decade ago, that if you were a salmon or a tree or a bicycle lane in Oregon you had a better chance of being protected and having resources thrown your way than if you were a person of color trying to find a job or housing or healthcare or redress to civil injustice.
(Please understand that I am pro-salmon, pro-tree, and pro-cycling. It is just that I am even more a proponent of racial equity and justice, basic civil rights and economic opportunity. While the paradigm is not zero-sum, and we can accomplish many of these things simultaneously, I do believe that fairness for people must come first before we concentrate on addressing everything else.)
Much has changed for the good since my comments, in large part because of the relentless work of the Coalition and its members.
But an exciting facet of my new role is that I can remind the powers that be in this region that these issues remain current, must be addressed with urgency even now, and that the “new normal” we have become accustomed to (anesthetized by?) over the last two years is not normal at all, and must be met with resolute focus on change that benefits all. I look forward to the challenge.
3) What do you like to do to maintain work/life balance?
I love to read, I revel in writing, I relish wonderful food and discovering new places (both of which can be done abundantly in Oregon), and I embrace the opportunity to spend time with family and friends discussing issues of the day, and laughing out loud. Watching my athletic children compete in their various sports endeavors has also helped keep me grounded over the years, and eased the stresses of the day-to-day.
4) Trailblazers or Timbers?
Is that a trick question? I support each of those Portland treasures equally, although I do hope the Trailblazers prevail in signing LeBron James in the offseason (longshot), and the Timbers acquire the promising Tayo Edun (possible) in theirs. That would make for an exciting next year.
Summer Soirée a success!
On behalf of the Coalition of Communities of Color, our members, our board of directors, and our staff, we would like to thank everyone that attended the 2018 Summer Soirée! This is the fourth year of our annual fundraiser and it was our most successful one yet! Pictures from the event will be posted soon, but here's a glimpse of the pictures from the program and a video about CCC's work that we featured at the event.
If you were not able to attend, but would like to support the work of the CCC, you can still make a donation and help us advance racial justice through cross-cultural collective action.
Research Justice Update
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
On June 12th, the Coalition’s Research Justice Center will publish and release Leading with Race: Research Justice in Washington County. This report is based on the Center’s community-based participatory research project, which reflects the lives and aspirations of communities of color in Washington County. Leading with Race includes findings that our leaders can rely upon to build capacity, mobilize and advocate for better outcomes for culturally-specific communities in Washington County.
The next phase of the project entails providing an opportunity for community members living/working in Washington county to learn how to present research findings, facilitate dialogue and articulate their experiences to city councils, school districts, community-based organizations and so on. This is an important leadership development opportunity, particularly for those who live, work, and or have spent a significant part of their life in Washington County.
The CCC’s Research Justice Center and Advocacy Program will host a training for interested individuals sometime between the end of June and mid-July. Childcare and food will be provided during the workshop. Please contact Shweta Moorthy by June 19 if you wish to participate in this leadership development opportunity. Learn more about CCC’s Research Justice vision here.
Re-launching Regional Equity Atlas
The CCC’s Research Justice Center has taken the lead in re-launching Regional Equity Atlas in partnership with Ecotrust, Futurewise and 1000 Friends of Oregon. Currently in development, the Regional Equity Atlas 3.0 will include an online mapping tool and interpretive website, which will enable us to understand how well different neighborhoods, communities, and populations across our region are able to access the resources and opportunities they need to meet their basic needs and advance their health and well-being. We will not collect, analyze, and present data for its own sake – instead, the Regional Equity Atlas is designed to be a tool to catalyze lasting social change, and to support grassroots community organizing toward that end.
The Coalition will resource and train a cohort of 12-15 community members living in Washington County to design and implement small-scale research projects and co-develop the Regional Equity Atlas. The cohort will begin meeting in July 2018. Please contact Shweta Moorthy by June 19 if you wish to participate in this leadership development and community-based research opportunity.
The Portland and Multnomah County budget cycle and May elections made for a busy spring in CCC’s advocacy efforts. City and county budget advocacy has been a core element of CCC's work since the coalition’s inception. This year, we are exploring a new approach aimed at deepening relationships with local elected leaders and creating a broader vision for racial equity in our community. Since January, CCC has begun a series of quarterly meetings with the Portland mayor and Multnomah County chair to share our members’ policy and budget priorities in a cross-cultural context.
In addition to this new strategy, we partnered again this year with CCC member IRCO to host a Multnomah County Budget Forum focused on the priorities of communities of color. All five county commissioners heard from service providers, advocates, and community members about priority issues and the importance of culturally specific resources, with a number of CCC members testifying in person.
In the run-up to the May 15 election, we worked to increase engagement on racial equity in local races. On April 30, CCC teamed up with 1000 Friends of Oregon to host the only forum for all Metro Council candidates. Allan Lazo of the Fair Housing Council of Oregon was an outstanding moderator as candidates discussed their visions for Metro's work in racial equity, housing, transportation, and land use. The event was held at the Muslim Educational Trust's Community and Educational Center in Tigard; MET is CCC's newest member and we were delighted to hold this event in their beautiful space.
In line with our increased engagement in Washington County, CCC co-hosted a Washington County District Attorney Candidate Forum with the ACLU of Oregon and CCC member organization Unite Oregon. District attorneys are one of the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system, and this forum was an opportunity to center racial justice in these conversations. Shujat Qalbani of Unite Oregon drew on his own experience as a criminal justice policy advocate, prosecutor, and municipal judge to serve as moderator.
Now that election season and the budget cycle are over, we’ll be busy planning for advocacy on November ballot initiatives and the 2019 legislative session and look forward to creating a robust policy agenda and engaging in collective action for racial equity.
Energy Justice Update
June 1st marked one year since the City of Portland and Multnomah County passed a 100% Renewable Energy Resolution. Portland City Council and the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners adopted companion 100% renewables resolutions, establishing goals to meet 100% of community-wide energy needs with renewable energy by 2050 and to meet 100% of community-wide electric energy needs through renewable energy by 2035.
The Coalition of Communities of Color, Verde, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon and partners successfully advanced equity commitments to protect low-income ratepayers, support workforce diversity and target businesses, and incent community-based development of renewable energy infrastructure. Specifically, each resolution prioritizes “community-based development of renewable energy infrastructure,” and sets a target of supplying 2% of community-wide energy needs via such infrastructure by 2035.
While Oregon has been recognized as an environmental leader, communities like ours-- communities of color and low-income communities-- are often left out of the development, implementation, and enforcement of such initiatives and bypassed by the environmental, social and economic wealth created through the environmental and sustainability movement. We are on a path to reverse that on the local and state level.
In July, organizations and communities of color will build a collective understanding of energy development fundamentals and energy democracy, including how the fossil-fuel economy is an integrated climate and economic crisis which has disproportionately impacted low-income communities and communities of color. Using the capacity building of the “Community Energy Justice Summit” as a foundation, we explore what a long-term community-driven effort could look like that develops and implements community-based renewable energy resources and policies, thereby empowering our communities to realize environmental, economic, racial, and social justice benefits.
Since late 2017, the CCC has participated in the SB 978 [link: http://www.puc.state.or.us/Pages/Energy%20Initiatives/SB-978.aspx] process, including ongoing capacity building and advocacy to ensure the Public Utilities Commission integrates Environmental Justice, public participation, and climate change mitigation into its decision-making framework. We are simultaneously working to establish long-term intervenor funding for Environmental Justice groups. We believe this is an enormous opportunity to develop our communities as stakeholders in energy policy and shift the utility business model to center the needs of communities of color and low-income communities.
How will we build this new, regenerative, and cooperative future? Organizations like the CCC, APANO, NAYA, Verde, and NAACP Portland Chapter are moving forward models to transition from the old, extractive economy and fund a clean, equitable and racially just economy. The Portland Clean Energy Fund is Portland's chance to become a national model for transitioning our city to renewable energy in a manner that directly supports racial justice and equity. From funding new rooftop solar and energy efficiency projects to a robust job-training program for underserved communities, PCEF is how we can turn our values into tangible benefits for Portlanders and our climate. The initiative would levy a small surcharge on huge multinational corporations to capitalize a fund that will be directed to clean energy and climate investments that benefits low-income people and people of color (among other traditionally underserved communities). Find out more here about the ballot initiative campaign [link: https://www.portlandcleanenergyfund.com/] and check out the crowdfunding campaign [https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/385855/help-portland-clean-energy-fund-initiative-qualify-for-the-nov-2018-ballot], which will fund efforts to get the Portland Clean Energy Fund on the ballot in November!
Check out similar efforts and gain inspiration nationally through the Energy Democracy National Tour 2018 [link: https://energydemocracy.us/]. The Tour leverages the recently published book, Energy Democracy: Advancing Equity in Clean Energy Solutions, to strengthen, bring together, and expand the various strands and networks of the emerging energy democracy movement in the United States.