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East Portland Welcomes You! eastportland.org

Develop and implement outreach program to residents typically underrepresented in East Portland neighborhood associations: renters, youth, disabled, diverse race and ethnicities, etc.

Bus rider outreach program is designed to reach residents from East Portland's diverse and underrepresented communities, specifically low-income, transit-dependent, youth, elderly, disabled, people of color
The project (Social Adjustment and Integration of Iraqi Population in East Portland) was a real learning process through its successes and challenges, taking into consideration the very young age of the Iraqi organization and the Iraqi community in Portland. It is big step in closing the cultural gap between the mainstream culture and the new comers’ culture, and it is a courageous and far sight by EPAP to fund our project. It is very ambitious to bring psychosocial change in 5-6 workshops, this process will take years but I am confident it is going to succeed since people now are willing to engage in community activities like in the Health Equity campaign, and we started a solidarity fund for the Iraqi community. The project included eight workshops that were held at: East minister Presbyterian Church, East Portland neighborhood office, East Portland Precinct, and East Portland Community Center. The average number of participants was around 20-25, and they were men and women of different ages (17-55y.o). These workshops in were the first opportunity for the Iraqi community in east portland to meet the wider community of elected and governemental officials and residents.
Slavic Community Center held classes that taught how to pass a citizenship class which involved lots of effort from the attendees. Having English as their second language, it was beneficial, as the students had told us themselves, that we had a teacher that was fluent in English and Russian languages. This really gave a boost for the students to be able to learn everything quicker and to be able to retain information. During the class we also taught the importance of voting once they become citizens, also we explained the importance of selective services and most of all we encouraged them to be involved in the community projects and provide their useful cultural knowledge to enrich other people of Portland with their uniqueness and creativity. As the classes were coming to an end, students started begging us to not finish these classes with this, but to continue on next year. We had success stories right away since few of our students had to go and take citizenship test during the time that our classes were still going on. They passed the test and came back to class and encouraged other students that these classes helped them to pass since they did not pass before.
EPAP grant (2011) funded AmeriCorps Community Organizer helped establish outreach work in the Rosewood area. A majority of the residents in the immediate community are underrepresented, coming from diverse ethnic backgrounds, age, and income and education levels. Through listening and engaging many residents, neighborhood association participants have a deeper understanding of the north section of Centennial Community Association. CCA events and gatherings are now promoted through and supported by the Rosewood network. The organizer worked with The Rosewood Initiative to begin holding gatherings with community members and partners in a new community space at SE 162nd Ave and Stark. Community members from traditionally underrepresented populations are now engaged in building Rosewood Cafe as a community center and hub for neighborhood transformation. They are also engaged in ongoing community building activities and improvement projects throughout the neighborhood. This continues to enable CCA to build relationships with more neighbors and partners in business, government, faith organizations, nonprofit, social service, and more.
Positive stories and activities are promoted through the East Portland Neighborhood Association News, a quarterly newsletter that is mailed to 7000 East Portland addresses. East Portland Action Plan submits positive media stories to every issure of the East Portland News and coordinates representatives to speak with media on a regular basis. East Portland Action Plan developed a brochure with a front page that states: "Pride in East Portland A Great Place to Live and Grow". EPAP funded an East Portland Economic Development Assessment that they made sure acknowledged East Portland attributes. The EPAP website focuses on East Portland attributes, including updates to the Action Plan. One of 5 priority strategies for the EPAP Economic Development Subcommittee is "Market East Portland as a Place to do Business".
ONI Diversity and Civic Leadership program funds five community of color, immigrant, refugee organizations to provide civic engagement, leadership and cacacity building resources for their organizations. Those groups are increasingly engaged in targeted outer East outreach efforts. East Portland Action Plan has funded and EPNO staff has supported work being done to coordinate and expand the PP&R summer youth activities, which has engaged leadership from East Portland Action Plan Civic Engagement language and cultural-specific communities and neighborhood associations. East Portland Action Plan has a Civic Engagement Subcommittee that is representative of diverse race and ethnic groups. This group establishes criteria and application development for the East Portland Civic Engagement Grant program. The East Portland Action Plan has actively sought and involved representation from renters, youth, disabled, diverse race and ethnicities, and LGBTQ communities