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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Equity and Human Rights

Realizing Equity. Enhancing the City of Portland.

Phone: 503-823-4433

Fax: 503-823-4420

421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204

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Equity Training and Education

Training Photo

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 Office of Equity and Human Rights Training Team:

    1. 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
    2. Conducts equity training as part of Human Resources mandatory training for managers and supervisors
    3. Provides technical assistance to bureaus wanting to provide internal equity training

The Focus

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.

The Model

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 Process

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.

Time Commitment

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

  • Over 6,000 individuals from City's bureaus and community organizations have attended OEHR’s training sessions
  • More than 5,000 participants from the City included elected officials and staff from all the City bureaus, including the Police and Fire & Rescue
  • More than 700 participants were from partner agencies working with City Bureaus.


If you have questions, please contact the Equity Training Manager Yolanda Sánchez at or (503) 823-5582.

Updated on 7/19/2019