March 27, 2014
PORTLAND - Portland's Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR) hosted the Third Annual Governing for Racial Equity (GRE) Conference on March 25th and 26th at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Portland.
Multnomah County Office of Diversity and Equity, King County Equity and Social Justice, City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative, and San Francisco Human Rights Commission were partners on the planning committee.
The conference for government employees and elected officials attracted nearly 450 participants from the Pacific Northwest as well as jurisdictions in New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Iowa, Wisconsin, California, and Virginia. Workshops and presentations focused on the history of racism and on incorporating a racial equity lens for training, policy development, health, transportation, planning and other governmental functions.
OEHR Director, Dante James said, “This was planned as a regional conference, but as you can see from our attendees here today—this has turned out to be so much more.”
Featured speakers included Walidah Imarisha, Neva Walker, and Multnomah County Chair, Marissa Madrigal.
The purpose of the annual conference is two-fold: to educate participants and to build a network of government jurisdictions working to achieve racial equity.
The GRE Network works to eliminate institutional and structural racism, as they are the root causes of racial inequities. Our goals are to strengthen alliances, build organizational and institutional skills and commitment, share promising practices and develop and implement policies that promote racial equity.