"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." Coalition of Communities of Color: An Unsettling Profile, p.3
Ann Curry-Stevens, an associate professor of social work expected sobering findings as she began researching social and economic conditions of Multnomah County's communities of color. But what she found was worse than she anticipated: overwhelming, pervasive disparities between people of color and white residents... (read more)
A new report by a coalition of minority groups labels Multnomah County a "uniquely toxic place" for people of color, where minorities consistently lag behind whites on nearly every indicator, from poverty rates to jobs.
Conditions in the county are worse than in other parts of the country and continuing to slide, said Ann Curry-Stevens, the lead researcher and an assistant professor of the School of Social Work at Portland State University... (read more)
Portland State recently released a report in conjunction with the Coalition of Communities of Color that found that communities of color-including newly profiled African immigrants and Slavic communities-are substantially disadvantaged compared to their white counterparts in Multnomah County.
Ann Curry-Stevens, an associate professor in the School of Social Work, contributed significantly to the report with her research and worked closely with the coalition to produce what will be the first in a series of detailed profiles of Portland's disadvantaged minorities... (read more)