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:
- Supporting and expanding our culturally specific programs
- Improving equitable access and enrollment
- Advocating for systemic and policy change
- Broadening and strengthening our community partnerships
- Enhancing how we deliver culturally responsive services
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.
CCC's Immediate Actions in 2020
- 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
- Set organizational anti-racism commitments
- Set goals around strengthening culturally specific programs
- Conducted mini anti-racism trainings for managers and supervisors
But we knew the work was far from done.
- Trained managers and supervisors in the Foundations of Equity through our Leadership Academy Program
- Piloted equity training for all staff
- Convened a workgroup to support and strengthen culturally specific programs and elevate the needs of Black and Latinx communities
- Made Hooper Detoxification Stabilization Center more accessible for LGBTQIA2S+ people and people of color
- Updated our Quality Scorecard, an internal tool used to track program goals, to include equity measures for client outcomes and enrollment
- Found that data shows equitable outcomes for the majority of our BIPOC clients, with the exception of Native American clients, and will be focused on closing health equity gaps, which includes outcomes and access/enrollment, during this next strategic plan
- Made changes to HR policies, like developing an anti-nepotism policy and an internal mobility policy, 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
- Launched Karibu, a new culturally specific program that provides individualized stabilization and treatment services for Black and African American communities
- Committed to working on initiatives that drive Culture Change, Work Experience and Interntional Purchasing through our engagement with the Portland Means Progress initiative by Prosper Portland.
- Exceeded our DMWESB (Disadvantaged, Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, Emerging Small Businesses, Service Disabled Veterans Business Enterprises) goal for general contracting services
We have also identified policy and funding issues rooted in discrimination and worked with elected officials and community partners to address them.
- In 2023, CCC supported SB 581, which will allow more people who are on parole, probation, and post-prison supervision whose crimes are eligible to earn a reduction of up to 50% off their supervision time if they are meeting their goals.
- 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.
CCC continues to set ambitous goals to advance equity.
Our Future Goals
- Completing staff engagement survey to understand experiences of different staff populations by the end of 2023
- Launching initiatives to increase enrollment for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ clients so that the demographics of the clients we serve more closely represent the demographics of the population experiencing homelessness in our region
- Launching at least three affinity groups to create opportunities for building community among groups of staff by the end of 2023
- Launching the Behavioral Health Academy for people interested in pursuing careers in behavioral health, prioritizing BIPOC people
- Formally relaunching a diversity, equity and inclusion 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