Our Commitment to Anti-Racism
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When it comes to racial equity and social justice, we walk the talk.
CCC’s success hinges on our ability to invest in underserved communities, shrink gaps in income and health care, and meet the individual needs of the clients we serve.
While homelessness can happen to anyone, racial inequities limit access to affordable housing, behavioral health care and living-wage jobs. This leads to higher numbers of Black, Indigenous and other people of color in Portland’s homeless population.
There is a long history of systemic oppression, stigmatization and criminalization of these communities. We know that dismantling these systems is the work not of days or weeks, but of decades.
CCC is committed to removing barriers and advancing equity for the BIPOC community we serve by:
- Improving how we deliver culturally responsive services.
- Advocating for systemic change.
- Broadening our community partnerships.
- Prioritizing equity in our organization.
How we’re accountable
In 2020, Central City Concern was moved to greater action by the social unrest and the killings of Black and brown people at the hands of the police. Our employees and clients were vocal in asking for increased accountability in the organization’s commitment to racial equity and becoming an anti-racist organization.
We took rapid action, knowing that it would also need to be coupled with years of ongoing commitment. Immediately, we:
- Created a temporary anti-racism response team to support equity at all levels of our organization
- Held an employee town hall to elevate Black voices, which led to policy changes
- Set organizational anti-racism commitments
- Set goals around strengthening culturally specific programs
- Conducted anti-racism trainings for managers and supervisors
Since 2020, we have also:
- Trained managers and supervisors in the Foundations of Equity through our Leadership Academy Program
- Piloted equity training for all staff
- Formed the Equity Steering Committee, a governing body overseeing CCC’s equity and anti-racism strategy
- Embarked on a project where culturally specific program senior operations leadership and the executive leadership team began collaborating and incorporating feedback from staff and clients to develop recommendations for best practices in culturally specific programs
- Made Hooper Detoxification Stabilization Center more accessible for LGBTQ people and people of color
- Improved data reporting on equity issues and created equity performance measures
- Made changes to HR policies with the goal of increasing diversity among our staff, managers, executives and board by investing in recruitment, professional growth and retention, so CCC reflects the varied backgrounds of the people we serve.
- Identified policy and funding issues rooted in discrimination, then working with elected officials and community partners to address them
- In 2022, CCC supported SB 1510, the Transforming Justice bill, which will reduce racial disparities in traffic stops, improve success for people on probation and parole, and create the Justice Reinvestment Equity Program.
- In 2021, CCC supported HB 2172, which expanded access to early release from parole and probation and SB 397, which reformed the expungement process.
- In 2020, CCC advocated for a city land use change that made it easier to provide housing for people who were incarcerated.
- In 2020, CCC supported Measure 110 and since its passage has been deeply involved in its implementation. Decriminalizing possession is in direct response to the war on drugs that has predominately harmed communities of color, especially Black communities. CCC staff have also contributed to advocacy efforts to hold off cuts to services that Measure 110 has funded.
Our future goals include:
- Formally launching equity training for all staff
- Continuing to invest in improving culturally specific programs and becoming a more culturally responsive organization
- Including equity and anti-racism in our criteria for working with outside vendors
- Continuing to invest in increasing diversity among our staff, managers, executives and board
- Continuing to set specific goals and timelines to uphold our anti-racist commitments
Help end homelessness
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