The Office of Equity and Human Rights was established to promote equity and reduce disparities based on race and disability within City government as its primary task. The Equity Training and Education Program plays a key role by helping City staff cultivate an Equity Mindset and understand how to use an equity thought process in their work. The training builds leadership in City staff to make change and achieve equity at all levels, whether they manage people, structures, policies, programs, and/or practices.
The OEHR Training Team:
- Conducts citywide and bureau-specific equity training to engage and educate staff on how to begin using equity questions to identify or eliminate barriers to equity and improve outcomes for all
- Conducts equity training as part of Human Resources mandatory training for managers and supervisors
- Provides technical assistance to bureaus wanting to provide internal equity training
Training sessions help participants to recognize institutional and systemic barriers to just access to services and opportunities for people of color and people with disabilities. Participants apply their skills to develop strategies that remove barriers in policies, programs, and practices, focusing on race and disability issues and leading to improved outcomes for all.
Trainers and participants apply an adult learning conversational model to facilitate discussions and process, which creates a supportive learning environment, where people can express themselves without fear of judgment or recrimination.
The training is designed to be structured and interactive. Activities include brief presentations, short videos, small and large group conversations, self-awareness exercises, and practical exercises on real world or workplace scenarios.
Each session varies from two hours to four hours. A typical two-hour session is usually an overview of equity, systemic and institutional racism definitions, one small group discussion on a topic specific to the bureau, and a large group debrief. Typical three to four-hour training sessions include large and small group discussions, more practical exercises on specific scenarios, and in-depth discussions on issues such as implicit bias, and the difference between equality and equity.
Accomplishments since September 2012
- A total of 952 individuals from City's bureaus and community organizations have attended OEHR’s training sessions
- 687 participants included elected officials and managers/program administrators from 20 different bureaus, including the Police and Fire & Rescue
- 265 participants were from partner agencies working with the Portland Housing Bureau on ending homelessness