The City has a long and rich history of Portlanders engaging in their democracy. Yet the city’s Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color (BIPOC) often face barriers to civic engagement. These include language access, social and economic factors needed to participate, connection and knowledge about how systems work, capacity to make change through complex governmental processes, and a civic home — a place of belonging and ownership. Created in 2017, the Diversity & Civic Leadership (DCL) program offers grants to BIPOC-led community organizations to design and implement programs that grow:
- Leadership development,
- Civic engagement and community organizing,
- Culturally competent community building, and
- New channels of communication with City officials to affect public policy.
Participating organizations include:
- Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
- Latino Network
- Momentum Alliance
- NAYA Family Center
- Unite Oregon
- The Urban League of Portland
DCL leaders, alumni and partnering organizations have and continue to shape more equitable, just and healthy outcomes for all Portlanders. By partnering with communities through community-based organizations and community-directed programming, the DCL program’s impact includes:
- Community-led civic engagement infrastructure designed by and for BIPOC, immigrant, and refugee communities.
- Culturally-specific and in-language curriculum that develops community leadership and advances an awareness of social and racial justice issues, government processes, and organizing and advocacy strategies.
- Increased engagement by BIPOC, immigrant, and refugee community members in City, County, State, and Federal issues. Leadership by these communities in the setting of policy priorities and working with elected officials, bureaus, and agencies to advance those priorities.
Promote the Common Good: Civic Life is building stronger communities by supporting and empowering Portlanders. We think, act, and partner with our communities to better understand and take care of their diverse needs. We invite you to join us in this continuous, much needed work to make our communities safer and more welcoming for all.