"Poverty rates are a significant measure of desperation, and an illustration of the failures of capitalism to provide adequate incomes for the community at large. "
Existing data that informs decision making in Multnomah County inadequately captures the lived
experiences of communities of color. Rarely do existing reports include dimensions of race and ethnicity.
Much research has been undertaken without the involvement of those most affected by the decisions
guided by the research. The impact is that communities of color are rarely visible at the level of policy.
Data has been used to obscure and oppress rather than to empower communities and eliminate disparities.
This is not acceptable, and leads to inequitable policy and devastating outcomes for people of color.
“Communities of Color in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile” is the first of a series of reports
developed in partnership with Portland State University. The report documents the experiences of
communities of color in Multnomah County. The subsequent six reports will be community-specific
reports on the African American, African immigrant and refugee, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, Native
American and Slavic communities.
The results of the report are unsettling. But there is opportunity for creating a new policy environment
that supports rather than harms communities of color. The report can arm communities of color with
accurate data and advocacy methods needed to communicate effectively to change policies, and provide
public agencies with the data necessary to reinvent systems in a fair and equitable manner. We aim to
ensure that datasets are culturally sensitive and comprehensive, and to influence research development
processes to empower communities and reduce disparities.
Advocating for policy decisions that improve outcomes for people of color is the top priority. We hold
institutional and policy reform and the formation of a powerful racial equity advocacy coalition as central
to improving outcomes. This report builds an important knowledge base from which to advocate and to
educate. Educating our communities and the community at large about the disparities and inequities faced
by communities of color is crucial to achieving racial equity.
We seek to unite people in collective action for the advancement of racial equity. It is time to act.
The African Immigrant and Refugee Community in Multnomah County:
Home . Who We Are . What We Do . Areas of Advocacy . Research . Communities . Contact Us The Coalition of Communities of Color addresses the socioeconomic disparities, institutional racism, and inequity of services experienced by our families, children, and communities. The Coalition organizes our communities for collective action resulting in social change to obtain
self-determination, wellness, justice, and prosperity.