If you cannot identify with people or a problem, then it’s difficult for you to create policy that can solve it. – Tennessee Rep. Raumesh A. Akbari, District 91
Envisioning an inclusive public engagement and decision-making process asks that we set a new expectation for what community partnerships look like. It starts with a public service culture committed to listening deeply to the people it serves.
It requires a responsiveness and openness to the difficult conversations that emerge from authentic engagement between public agencies and communities. The desired outcome is decisions that better reflect the cultural diversity of the region.
Workshop participants will hear from and engage with community partners, Metro staff from three public engagement efforts and a Metro councilor. Together, workshop participants and facilitators will explore the opportunities, challenges and difficult conversations that push public agency culture change. The workshop program will be framed around the following objectives in Metro’s equity strategy:
- Establish and strengthen relationships with communities of color
Discover how Centro Cultural de Washington County in Cornelius is helping Metro connect with community members to plan for a future nature park at Chehalem Ridge.
- Increase accountability by ensuring community involvement in the evaluation and implementation efforts Learn how Metro’s 2018 Regional Transportation Plan update is bringing community leaders to the decision-making table with elected leaders of the region to help create a vision for the transportation system of the future.
- Increase participation of communities of color in Metro’s decision making
Hear directly from young social justice leaders of Momentum Alliance’s Student Alliance Project and Leveraging Momentum Youth Education Advocates (YEA!) about how their active participation in the development of Metro’s equity strategy helped shape the final plan adopted by the Metro Council in June 2016.
Beyond inclusion: Partnerships that change the culture of public service moves the conversation from planning for inclusion to implementing collaborative and co-created engagement activities that bring voices from communities of color into the decision-making process in authentic and impactful ways. Connecting community to policymakers through shared experiences, problem-solving and opportunities to envision the future of the region together builds the trust and resilient relationships needed in these transformational times.
Participants attending this workshop will learn:
- Three things every public agency can do to more effectively engage with communities of color – as related by Metro community partners
- How community partners from each project measure inclusive and meaningful public engagement
- What community engagement experiences most impact decision-makers and why
- Community and staff presenters will be seated with workshop participants in theater-in-the- round format and use an open space to promote access, conversation and connections between presenters and participants.
- Participants are invited to bring examples of engagement activity and presenters offer suggestions for making activity inclusive and meaningful for their organization or community.
- Participants are invited to place an inclusion challenge in a fishbowl to be drawn by presenters who facilitate a crowd-sourced solution.
About the Presenter(s)
Scott Winn is a faculty member at the University of Washington, School of Social Work where he teaches courses centered on the role of social workers as agents for social and economic change. He is active with a variety of community groups including the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites and Western States Center. He is a Policy and Development Lead for the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative. Scott supports institutions, organizations and movements in addressing racism, heterosexism, classism and other forms of oppression through trainings and strategic development.
Michael Hulshof-Schmidt is the Executive Director of Equality Works, NW. Michael’s education includes a Masters in Social Work from Portland State University, and a degree in English from Oglethorpe University. He teaches Social Justice in Portland State University’s School of Social Work. His mission is to create and sustain conversations around race, gender, privilege, and LGBT issues: to speak one’s truth respectfully and with honor.
Kenya Budd is an educator and consultant with over 10 years experience in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has trained leaders across sectors and developed measurement tools for organizations, helping improve diversity outcomes. Additionally, Kenya has designed and led peace building projects for communities in conflict, specifically in Cowlitz and Clark counties in Washington.
Glenn Harris has been working on issues of race and social justice for over twenty years He has worked with community groups, foundations, and government agencies dedicated to building a more democratic, and racially equitable society. He is currently the President of the Center for Social Inclusion, a national strategy organization that works to catalyze communities, government, and other institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity and create equitable outcomes for all. CSI develops policy strategies, develops leaders on the ground, and researches how to normalize and reframe conversation on race to promote a more inclusive democracy.
Previously, Glenn worked as the Manager of the City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI). The mission of the Race and Social Justice Initiative is to end institutionalized racism in City government and promote multiculturalism and full participation by all residents. Glenn has supported the start of similar initiatives in jurisdictions across the country, and helped to found the regional Governing for Racial Equity Network.
Glenn’s work in the City of Seattle also included the establishment of the Seattle Office of the Community Police Commission and five years as the Southeast District Coordinator for the Department of Neighborhoods.
Glenn came to City government after five years with Western States Center, an intermediary that provides technical assistance and training to organizations working to achieve social change in an eight-state region. Glenn was also the Interim-Director at the MRG Foundation in Portland Oregon, and currently is a board member of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, and Willamette Valley Law Project, an Oregon based non-profit supporting farmworker rights.
What are racial microaggressions? How do you spot them? Most importantly, how can you interrupt them in constructive ways that avoid blame, shame, and guilt? This session will use engaging activities to explore what microaggressions are and why they are so harmful, and introduce the key skill of separating impact and intent.
Attendees will walk away with:
– A definition of microaggressions.
– Understanding of the difference between a person’s intent and the impact it may have on someone else.
– Greater skill and comfort with possible responses; by practicing with our scenarios or your own.
About the Presenter(s)
Theresa Logan is Facilitation Program Coordinator for Resolutions Northwest in Portland, Oregon. She provides case management and facilitation services to contract and fee for service cases, by conducting intake and case development interviews, analyzing potential interpersonal, organizational and systemic sources of conflict, identifying the central purpose and objectives for each meeting, designing interactive and engaging processes with agendas tailored to the needs and goals of the group. Theresa supervises a pool of 20+ volunteer and contract facilitators. She also designs and delivers a training and mentoring program for volunteer facilitators. In addition, Theresa co-develops and presents facilitation, equity and basic conflict resolution training curricula.
Barbara Diamond presents a training that illuminates how well-meaning people perpetuate inequity and highlights avenues for change. This film-based training covers the concept of microaggressions, unintentional slights against minority groups that reflect and maintain larger systems of power. Participants will view Barbara’s engaging documentaries Reveal Moments and What Are You?, which feature employees in the Pacific Northwest who are people of color and LGBTQ. Through group activities and facilitated discussion, participants will learn about microaggressions against people of color and LGBTQ people, as well as the relationships between racism, homophobia, and transphobia. Participants will emerge from the training with a comprehensive understanding of inequality and overlapping minority identities.
About the Presenter(s)
Barbara Diamond is a graduate of NYU Law School. She has practiced labor and employment law in Oregon for over 30 years. In addition to her law practice, Barbara is a diversity and inclusion consultant and trainer, focusing on Implicit Bias. She has presented on implicit bias/microaggression theory in conferences sponsored by the Oregon State Bar, the Oregon Labor Conference, the Teaching with Purpose Conference, and for private organizations and universities.
Marina Moro is an intern for Diamond Law, where she conducts outreach, develops curriculum, and presents trainings. In the past, Marina has worked for Laborers’ Local 483 and the Multicultural Resource Center at Reed College, where she created programming on racial and LGBTQ justice. Marina hails from Gilroy, California, the garlic capital of the world.
State and local governments are hiring again, but often they are having difficulty finding and retaining the right people. This is compounded by increased retirements and constrained budgets. Instead of viewing this as a problem, it may actually be an opportunity to include a largely untapped workforce that is eager to work and can fill some of the employment needs in government departments. Inclusion builds a strong and creative workforce. For many years businesses and some jurisdictions have found that the performance of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities or other significant disabilities is consistently equal or better than coworkers without disabilities. As such this makes hiring people with intellectual/developmental disabilities a cost effective way to build an inclusive workforce. Perhaps for this reason, it is reported that millennials are more attracted to workplaces which are diverse and inclusive.
This panel of public administrators and managers will describe their experience with hiring people who have intellectual/developmental disabilities. They can identify the opportunities and benefits associated with developing an inclusive workforce through this innovative hiring and the assistance they receive through supported employment agencies. Individuals with I/DD are an asset to employers, not a risk.
About the Presenter(s)
Harold Rains – Finance Manager, Clark County Department of Community Services.
Dave Miletich – Assistant Director for the City of Hillsboro Parks and Recreation.
Peter Capell, P.E. – City Administrator for the City of Camas.
Mark McCauley – Clark County Manager.
Cesilee Coulson – Executive Director, Washington Initiative for Support Employment
Individuals from each generation and culture bring with them different and unique cultural backgrounds, experiences, preferences, perceptions, values and beliefs that influence their working style, conflict and communication styles, attitudes and behavior. A better understanding about each generation’s influences and cultural values will allow employees and managers to develop unique strategies that increase motivation, improve performance, retention and improve customer service and teamwork.
Join us for this unique two-hour workshop, which combines both age and culture in one highly interactive, discussion filled interesting workshop.
About the Presenter(s)
Lillian A. Tsai
Born and raised in Malaysian Borneo, award winner Lillian A. Tsai specializes in the facilitation, training, design and implementation of cross-cultural competency, intercultural communications, diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategies, team interventions and programs. She also specializes in coaching people of color and managers of minorities.
Her clients span multiple industries, including aerospace, academia, automotive, cruise line, finance, sportswear, technology, healthcare, mental health, public health, semiconductor, law enforcement, manufacturing, supply chain, government/public agencies (City to Federal), not-for-profits, transportation, steel, oil and consumer products.
She served on multiple boards including the Portland Human Resources Management Association (PHRMA) as director of Global HR & Diversity & Inclusion, the Oregon Organization Development Network (OODN), NW China Council, and the Women’s Center for Leadership. For more information, see tsaicomms.com
Alisa Blum is Principal Consultant at Alisa Blum & Associates, a training consulting and coaching company specializing in improving individual & organizational performance. She has worked with a number of public agencies including the US Forest Service, the City of Portland, Tri-Met and Multnomah County, to improve communication across the generations, enhance management skills and help teams work more effectively. Prior work experience includes positions as a psychotherapist and training director.
An object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by force. Globally and locally, inequity, exclusion, and disparity have catalyzed social transformation and sounded the equity imperative: Now that we know better, we must do better! Collectively, we are coming to consensus that in order to achieve truly inclusive, cohesive, vibrant communities, we must work together beyond silos and comfort zones – alongside underserved community members shouldering the burden of social injustice – to tailor, innovate and implement upstream interventions aimed at solving the root causes responsible for poor outcomes. Yet many wonder how to find a path and stay the course when everything seems to be in flux?
In this session, we will work collaboratively using homegrown case studies – including the City of Portland’s Preference Policy and Metro’s Racial Equity Strategy – to understand how our shared history influences the present, the take-aways we can glean to co-create effective solutions, the most effective tools and metrics to get us to our goals, and how to identify points of intervention to make the change we seek. We will also explore grassroots and grasstops strategies to help us understand the important roles stewards, allies, advocates and champions play in increasing access, and achieving success!
About the Presenter(s)
Cat Goughnour is an award-winning, Oregon-born human rights advocate with a specialization in equity policy. She holds a Master’s in Sociology from London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s in Social and Political Philosophy from Portland State University. She founded Radix Consulting Group, a certified B Company specializing in human
rights and social justice, to help communities employ a solution-focused approach to address/ redress the root causes of disparity and catalyze social change. Cat has consulted with Urban League/Metro Equity Baseline and PolicyLink, is a Multnomah County Community Health Worker, a racial justice facilitator, and a published researcher.
This interactive discussion will result in sharing of practical wisdom and tools that attendees can take away from the session and use in their own work. CELS will share how they reach out and serve many different communities, and how they help to engage them in civic involvements and efforts. Attendees will benefit from listening to and asking questions about experiences, best practices, lessons learned and related tools. In addition to the presentation, participants will participate in exercises to learn ways to engage in new, inclusive multicultural partnerships.
About the Presenter(s)
The Citizen Involvement Committee (CIC) is a panel of up to 15 volunteers from throughout Multnomah County. It oversees the Office of Citizen Involvement (OCI), and works with County officials, departments, and the community to facilitate and enhance opportunities for citizen participation.