Leading with Race: Research Justice in Washington County

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Leading with Race: Research Justice in Washington County

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Welcome Letter

We are thrilled to present this report which represents the culmination of over two years of engagement and relationship building in Washington County. This report is the first in-house research publication of the Research Justice Center of the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC).

In the summer of 2016, at the Beaverton Public Library, County and city government representatives and culturally specific community organizations based in Washington County convened for the first time. That meeting resulted in a unique, multi-stakeholder collaborative process informed by CCC’s research justice vision that creates space for communities to be leaders and partners at all decision points of the research process.

We, the steering committee, share the desire to be proactive in bringing about racial justice in Washington County so that all our communities have the ability to flourish. We celebrate this coming together of community and government inequitable partnership in this research project. It has often been hard but as Audre Lorde said, “I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”

Communities of color deliver three key messages in this report along with a call to action.

  1. Communities of color have always lived in Washington County. Immigration and gentrification has brought more people of color to the area. They are a part of the fabric of the county and they strive to make this place their home.

  2. Their reality consists of both experiencing oppression by racist institutions and practices and their resilience and resistance to that. They are made to feel invisible and hyper-visible.

  3. Communities of color are experts in their lived experiences, and Washington County will be better by working together. This report shows us how to do that.

While this report represents the culmination of our initial inquiry, we intend for it to catalyze dialogue and action to build the community we want. We seek to unite people and various stakeholders in Washington County in collective action for the advancement of racial justice. It is time to act.