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Faculty Favorite Lecture Series: Ann Curry-Stevens, School of Social Work
Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 2:00pm to Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 4:00pm

Racial Disparities in Multnomah County:
Moving Beyond Cultural Competency and White Ally Solutions

Faculty Favorite Lecture Series:
Ann Curry-Stevens, School of Social Work
Sponsored by the Women's Resource Center
at Portland State University
1802 SW 10th & Montgomery
(Montgomery Hall basement)
Thursday, January 19th
2:00-4:00PM in the WRC Lounge

Racial inequities are broad and deep across the region. Recent research has documented pronounced disparities in 28 different institutions and systems, the depths of which have surprised researchers and community members alike, and served as a catalyst for significant awareness building. But what of the link to action? Since the release of “Communities of Color in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile” in June 2010, the Coalition has been engaged in advocacy practice to advance reforms.

Disparities have been an enduring feature of social, political and economic life; surprising is that many disparities are more pronounced locally than elsewhere. The local context thus generates distinct challenges to understand the roots of these locally toxic conditions for communities of color. As a result, the Coalition has been seeking to understand the reasons for lack of progress in the region – this lecture offers a chance to consolidate such perspectives and share the challenges of local conditions and possible solutions.

This interactive presentation will share the results of partnered research with the Coalition of Communities of Color, then transition to the challenges that arise when reforms are proposed. The dominant discourse about what is required from dominant society will be detailed and critiqued; these comments center on the conventions of cultural competency, the white ally model, and the standard default position that suggests improved relationships will lead to reforms. Alternatives will be advanced, providing attendees with an understanding of essential ingredients for advancing racial equity at the personal, institutional and discursive levels.

For more information about this event, contact the Women's Resource Center at PSU by calling 503-725-5672. You may also email the WRC Events Coordinator, Kari Anne McDonald at