A letter to my friends and colleagues in the struggle and the unfolding of it all…

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I have been reflecting about the current social, political landscape and the long road to justice that lays in front, behind, all around us- and the work that calls our names. Given the times, it has been tempting for me to resign myself to cynicism, depression, rage, or simply to numb myself out from it all.  I have been in a deep reflection on what it means to find hope in hopeless times. I’ve had to keep reminding myself that our generation’s story is not doomed to be a mere repeat of the last generation’s story, and the one before and the one before, and….

My work over this year directly and indirectly with so many people committed to racial and social justice has begun to nurture a response to these reflections. Taking a pause in reflection is helping me understand what I need to anchor into if I am going to sustain in this work, and what we are going to need to hold on to, if we are going to dismantle what has been constructed to oppress us.    

Over the last month I worked with 45 educators into the evening who were committed to understanding how to better partner, include, and empower the diverse families who have entrusted them and our education system with their children’s academic growth as well as their physical and social/emotional well being. Through the whole session these educators engaged in real conversations that surfaced the ways in which our education system has underserved and excluded families, and more importantly these educators began to reflect upon new ways of being, new ways of educating, new ways of collectively coming together to create a more inclusive school experiences for children and their families.  One small group of educators chipping away.

Over the last month a small work group working within a prominent local business continued what has been a year long engagement, focused on building a new organizational identity. An identity that is rebuttal of the exclusion, oppression, and exploitation that sits at the foundation of all of our institutions. They are pushing each other and the rest of their organization to name and live into a new more inclusive and equitable organization identity, to create an organization in which everyone is included, everyone is valued, where everyone has what they need to thrive. One small group in our business sector chipping away.

Over the last month I presented with a brilliant judge and passionate and driven lawyer to a group of 70 lawyers on the concept of structural racism and the central role it has played in our legal system. Together hitting at the core of injustice and the oppression this country was founded upon.  One group at a time, one space at a time. Chipping away.

Over the last month I have seen individuals unpacking their racial identity, unpacking privilege and unpacking the way in which they have internalized racial oppression. Over the last month I have heard stories of parents having more conscious conversations with their children, I have heard stories of individuals having the tough and authentic conversation about race, intersectionality, and social justice that are essential for progress to be made. I have witnessed individuals from communities of color representing their community with dignity, grace, integrity. I have witnessed people stepping out their box and into their potential. Individuals courageously exercising their voice, doing everything they can to gain valuable ground back in the spaces that they occupy. Every single day, individuals chipping away.

I could go on and on about what I have seen, been a part of or been inspired by just in the last month. So many people, so many groups, so much conviction, such a commitment to waking up from what Ta-Nehisi Coates so aptly named the “dream”, and what is experienced by so many as a nightmare. People in so many spaces, in so many ways waking up and working tirelessly to put consciousness into action. Chipping away.

These small steps forward are not nearly as inspiring to me as the commitment, strength and courage that have fueled those steps. The commitment held to every space, to every person, to each moment being our best, filled with our highest selves. It is the strength to do what is needed to ensure every space is rethinking the foundation it sits on, the strength to recreate something new within ourselves, as well as within the spaces we occupy. It is the courage to act differently, the courage to prioritize truth over comfort. Chipping away, chipping away, chipping away. And moving forward.

Now I want to be clear. The aforementioned is not an endorsement of, nor is it intended to perpetuate that favorite white American past time: The celebration, centering, and overall idealization of incrementalism. Rather it is a reality check, an acknowledgement of what we need to hold onto while living in institutions, a society, a country, a world, in which racism and its intersectional web is permanent. It is resisting the paralysis, hopelessness, and feelings of resignation that white supremacy tempts us to sit in, live in, and eventually die of. It is digging deep into faith, holding that “hope” is more than a word, it is a belief in Dr. King’s words, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice” and an understanding that nothing bends on its own. That we must collectively take responsibility for bending that arc. It is the understanding that we can only dismantle our oppressive foundation collectively, and that collective action starts with you, with me, with us, moment to moment through our every-day interactions and actions. It is staying engaged, listening well, speaking our truth; it is finding balance and taking care of ourselves, it is building and rebuilding community, it is acknowledging that there is work to do within the spaces we operate in, it is exercising our individual and collective agency-in the name of justice- in those spaces.  It is holding on to the idea that these actions can not be measured as big or small rather we must simply acknowledge that individually and in sum, they matter, that they really matter.

I am not fooled by any grandiose imagery my ego can present to me about our work; Nor am I waiting for our government to decide to abstain from the racial diet upon which it has sustained and gorged itself. I have always believed that real change happens not because of an amazing speech or some significant event where an individual gets to shine, nor will it be found in some big government action. I have been reminded again and again, that change happens because people, like yourselves, are willing to fight and push, and challenge, and resist, and walk a very long walk. More than ever, I am anchored in the step by step, the unseen actions, the grind, the chipping away, the moments of transformation. I think it is our willingness to grind that positions us to make lasting change.  Our willingness to step by step do what it takes to fill each moment with passion, commitment, healing, hope, listening and validation. It has been in these “small” moments with you all where I have found inspiration, the only place where I have found hope, the only place where I have found progress. It is in these moments of being in solidarity in which I am recognizing the path forward and more importantly the path out.  It is in these moments with you that I have felt white supremacy losing its grip and possibility taking hold.  

We are engaged in the most important work in the most critical time of our generation.  Given this reality, it is important I think to anchor into the idea that our individual and collective contributions matter. That the work must be located in large part, in our spaces of influence whether that is our family spaces, our work spaces, our friend spaces, our community spaces; we must take whatever steps necessary to restructure those spaces, build a new foundation upon which those spaces reside. Step by step we must chip away and recreate our spaces. It is important to not underestimate the impact of each step, the power of chipping away, that our individual efforts add up, in fact they actually multiply. It is important to remember that you are part of a movement-one that is picking up force. That you, your grit, your heart, your commitment, your strength, your actions,- everything that you are- that we are, truly matters; and given the task at hand, is needed more than ever. 

Chip away, chip away, chip away. Keep chipping away.


Author: Hanif Fazal, CEO and co-founder of the Center for Equity and Inclusion

Twitter: @HanifFazalPDX


Database Administrator, Portland Art Museum

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Commitment to Equity

The Portland Art Museum is committed to advancing equity and inclusion by creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. We will continue learning as we work to evolve as an Institution, recognizing that this journey has no end and our commitment must remain. The Museum has an active equity team currently engaged in a year-long journey to examine our internal culture and the work we do through an equity lens. We look forward to having all colleagues join and contribute to this important work.

The Position

The Portland Art Museum invites applications for the position of Database Administrator. Data is an important asset that helps inform Institutional decisions. The Database Administrator is responsible for accurately and efficiently maintaining the integrity of the organization’s Altru database, along with managing all aspects of the database and assisting with related projects. This role is one of the key players that assists in capturing institutional knowledge to drive business needs and solve problems.

View the attachment for a complete job posting and application instructions.

Database Administrator – August 2017

A Response to Charlottesville

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In response to Charlottesville


We, at the Center for Equity and Inclusion extend our support and stand in solidarity with the Charlottesville community and all communities impacted by this weekend’s actions. Our hearts are heavy, witnessing the never-ending manner in which white supremacy continues to oppress communities of color (as well as other marginalized communities), dislodge white people from a collective sense of humanity and stain the consciousness and integrity of our country.

We unequivocally condemn the President’s response to the blatant racism and terrorism that the Charlottesville community, and by extension our country, experienced this weekend. The President’s response is reflective of a longstanding pattern of endorsing, participating and profiting from white supremacy. While having a racist white male president who promotes and profits from white supremacy is anything but new, our response to what we expect from the presidency and our country must not lose steam, not now. Now more than ever we must collectively work together to not just powerfully resist but also commit to creating something new; a new foundation for this country, one that has space for all of us to stand.

We believe that our collective voice matters and we must exercise that voice; whether that is voicing outrage at the constant wave of oppression that Charlottesville is representative of, or voicing our solidarity with individuals, communities, and organizations that are resisting, fighting back, and courageously making a stand.  Our voice matters.

We also believe that while voicing our solidarity matters, we must also act in solidarity.

For us at CEI that means supporting everyone we work with to look within themselves, the spaces they occupy, and their spheres of influence. To engage in an honest appraisal of themselves and unpack exactly where and how white supremacy is in operation and then to channel all of the rage, depression, frustration and hopelessness into more committed and focused actions that both deconstruct and reconstruct these spaces. So in an act of solidarity with the Charlottesville community, we are doubling down on our commitment to build more equitable and inclusive thinking, actions, and spaces. In solidarity, we are committing to looking within ourselves and intensifying our own personal development. In solidarity we are committing to pushing and challenging our partner organizations to act as urgently as ever.

AND in solidarity we are committed to breathing – as breath is life giving – and to holding and being with one another as we move collectively through our generation’s long walk.

In solidarity,

CEI Staff/Community

Portland High School Mentor, Caldera

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Commitment to Equity

Equity Caldera recently participated in a year-long equity training project. At Caldera we recognize a historic and persistent opportunity/achievement-gap between white youth and youth of color. Closing that gap while increasing opportunities for all young people is a top priority of our organization. Race must cease to be a reliable predictor of a person’s achievement and success. In order to achieve this goal we are committed to creating and fostering racial diversity at every level of the organization including but not limited to staff, youth, and leadership. With our hiring, our goal is a pool of highly qualified candidates who reflect the diversity of the youth community we serve.

About the Position

At Caldera, we believe in the power of creativity. Caldera is a catalyst for the transformation of underserved youth through innovative, year round art and environmental programs. Our Youth Program provides students from Portland and Central Oregon with long-term mentoring that nurtures individual creativity, beginning in sixth grade and continuing into young adulthood. Caldera weaves the arts, nature, and personal expression into powerful work that ignites self-expression and allows young people to be creative changes agents in their lives and communities.

This position provides direct support to high school students served by Caldera during the school day, after school, and on weekends. The ideal candidate for this position will be a skilled youth-worker with a background and passion for the arts and/or the environment. This person must have the ability to engage diverse groups and represent Caldera in our communities.

To learn more about this position, please view the document below.


Part-Time Arts Center Maintenance Associate, Caldera

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Commitment to Equity

Equity Caldera recently participated in a year-long equity training project. At Caldera we recognize a historic and persistent opportunity/achievement-gap between white youth and youth of color. Closing that gap while increasing opportunities for all young people is a top priority of our organization. Race must cease to be a reliable predictor of a person’s achievement and success. In order to achieve this goal we are committed to creating and fostering racial diversity at every level of the organization including but not limited to staff, youth, and leadership. With our hiring, our goal is a pool of highly qualified candidates who reflect the diversity of the youth community we serve.

The Position

Caldera, a creative youth development organization serving Oregon youth from both urban and rural communities, is seeking a part-time Arts Center Maintenance Associate to support maintenance of our Arts Center based in Central Oregon near Sisters. Our Arts Center includes 20 buildings and is located in the Cascade Mountain Range on the shore of Blue Lake on 116 acres surrounded by the Deschutes National Forest. The Arts Center Maintenance Associate will complete regular facility maintenance and repair; work with Caldera staff to plan for and track/document for building and landscape needs and processes; work with the Arts Center Programs Manager and other leaders to identify, potentially plan and manage larger facilities-and landscape-related projects (major repairs, remodels, new construction, etc.); and attend/participate in monthly staff meetings and occasional organizational events and meetings.

To learn more about this position, please view the document below.


Resident Assets Coordinator, Rose Community Development

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Commitment to Equity

ROSE Community Development was created by and for the people of outer southeast Portland when neighborhood leaders took action after decades of indifference and disinvestment. Our mission is to connect our community to build good homes, healthy families and neighborhood opportunities.

ROSE believes that social change always begins with the people most affected. Our community’s people, places and institutions have innumerable assets; ROSE’s work begins by identifying and building upon these assets. In our work, relationships have value, real change takes time and neighborhoods are the place where relationships, community values and vision turn ideas into action.

About the Position

ROSE, an affordable housing organization based in outer SE Portland, is hiring a Resident Assets Coordinator to join our team! The purpose of the Resident Assets program is to promote healthy families, successful children, resident leaders, and communities of opportunity for ROSE residents. The Resident Assets Coordinators use an asset-based community development approach to support residents of ROSE affordable housing, with an emphasis on equity and inclusion. This position is full-time (30-40 hours per week), permanent and non-exempt.

To learn more about this position, please view the document below.

RA coordinator 2017-07

Consultant, Solid Ground Consulting

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Solid Ground’s Commitment to Equity

Solid Ground Consulting wants our firm to mirror the communities we live in and serve. We are committed to creating a multicultural workplace grounded in equity and inclusion, and we are committed to continuously learning and evolving as individuals and as a firm. We are currently engaged in a year-long, transformative process to examine our internal culture and the work we do through an equity lens. We look forward to having our new colleagues join and contribute to this important work.

About Us

The team at Solid Ground Consulting – six great people here in Portland, one in Vermont and other partners around the country – is connected by a common bond:  We want to make a difference.  It’s a desire we share with people in every corner of every community.  As organizational, strategy, and leadership consultants, we’re on this planet to partner with others make a greater impact – to build greater confidence, by expand their capability, and  partnering to discover a clear pathway to achieve their goals.  Within organizations, these are not small things: They often represent transformational changes that can make all the difference in the world.

The Opportunity

Solid Ground Consulting approaches organizational development consulting through an integrated approach that organizes our work around four dimensions of organizational impact –leadership, strategy, brand and culture. We are looking to build our expertise in the Culture Practice – guiding organizations as they seek to build an intentional culture including equity and inclusion.

Solid Ground works with nonprofits and public-sector organizations with missions focused on healthy environment, thriving economy and / or vibrant community. Our clients in Oregon and SW Washington are quite varied and we have a national practice in land and water conservation. Our projects range from small planning engagements to complex large scale mergers and strategy initiatives.

To learn more about this opportunity, click HERE.

Executive Assistant, Solid Ground Consulting

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Commitment to Equity and Inclusion

Solid Ground Consulting wants our firm to mirror the communities we live in and serve. We are committed to creating a multicultural workplace grounded in equity and inclusion, and we are committed to continuously learning and evolving as individuals and as a firm. We are currently engaged in a year-long, transformative process to examine our internal culture and the work we do through an equity lens. We look forward to having our new colleagues join and contribute to this important work.

About the Job

We are seeking a highly capable Executive Assistant to support the Owner / Principal of the firm. The Executive Assistant is an integral part of an energetic, growing team working on projects that make a difference in the community. This is a great opportunity for a serious – but not too serious – administrative pro! We demand a lot and have a lot of fun along the way.


  • Support Principal needs through a broad variety of administrative duties, including complex travel coordination; calendar and task management; and office organization
  • Work closely and effectively with Principal to help him manage upcoming commitments and responsibilities
  • Anticipates and shares Principal’s project management responsibilities
  • Organize and maintain office files and client/project binders for Principal
  • Assist with material preparation and notes following meetings, facilitations, and retreats facilitated by the Principal, including participation at retreats
  • Communicate on behalf of Principal with clients and colleagues
  • Provide some personal support to the Principal
  • Oversee the work of the Office Assistant

To learn more about this position please click HERE.

Senior Director of Programs, “I Have a Dream” Oregon

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Equity Statement

We believe that cultural, institutional, and individual racism creates disparities and barriers that are neither fair nor equitable. We are committed to advancing racial equity as a foundational element of all aspects of our work and with all of our stakeholders. In addition to racism, we recognize that ALL other forms of bias must also be addressed in order to create a more just and equitable society. We remain steadfast in our commitment to comprehensive community partnerships to help close the racialized achievement gap in our schools and colleges. We strive to create a truly equitable organization: one where students, families, and communities are welcomed and supported, where their faces, voices, and experiences are reflected and valued. We listen and respond with great care and intentionality to the students and families with whom we partner. We consistently analyze our organizational commitment to equity and inclusion as expressed through our policies and practices, our workforce and board composition, and engagement of students and families as central guiders of our work. We are committed to collaborating with other organizations towards advancing equity for all.

Overview of Organization and the Dreamer School

“I Have a Dream” Oregon is seeking applicants for the full-time position of Senior Director of Program. This is an opportunity to join a mission-driven team unified around educational equity and a vision to break the cycle of poverty and change the game at a systemic level for children and families in poverty-impacted communities. Beginning in 1990, “I Have a Dream” (IHD) partnered with schools in poverty-impacted areas to select their 3rd grade class to be a Dreamer Class. IHD has selected 10 such classes; five are still active—one just graduating high school with the remainder in college. “Dreamers” receive three core services: mentoring, academic and social services, and exposure to a “culture of college and career” through post-secondary education. Building on this success, in 2010 IHD moved to a “Dreamer School” model, expanding our reach to annually serve over 800 Dreamer students and their families in the Reynolds School District through a highly collaborative shared-cost model with more than 70 nonprofit and higher education partners. 84% of these students are children of color and many are bi-lingual, with over 25 languages represented. In addition to continuing the three core services cited above, the Dreamer School model includes expanded emphasis on early childhood education, college completion and career transition, and unprecedented community collaboration. The Dreamer School model follows students who begin their pre-K-12 journey at Alder Elementary – one of Oregon’s most poverty-impacted schools – through middle school, Reynolds High School and eventually, post-secondary education/certification and family-wage careers. For more information, please visit

Goals and Beliefs

Our ultimate Dreamer School goal is to help students and families break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, including 100% of Dreamer students completing high school and at least 80% completing a post-secondary degree or certificate. We also spur systemic change in poverty-impacted communities by creating innovative, systemic approaches to remove barriers and create opportunities for educational success and by leveraging our Dreamer School model as a demonstration project from which others can learn. We believe that all children start out curious, creative and full of potential. We believe that families wake up every day and do their very best to support their children.

Senior Director of Program Responsibilities

The Senior Director of Program (SDP) is highly a motivated, entrepreneurial leader. The SDP will serve as a member of the leadership team of IHD, sit on the Reynolds School District’s Reynolds Transformational Team (RTT) and direct program staff. They are responsible for setting the vision of the program, leading the collaboration with school/district leaders, major educational and nonprofit partners, families, and community residents to transform a poverty-impacted school and create more neighborhood stability. The SDP will provide central leadership to ensure the continued success of all Dreamer programming, including but not limited to:

  • Setting the vision for the Pre-K to career program continuum.
  • Ensuring culturally responsive programming, communication and evaluation is occurring.
  • Leading a dynamic professional Program Team including five program managers. Working with staff to develop annual work plans and measurements for accountability and program efficiencies. Facilitating and monitoring program budgets.
  • Actively participating with the leadership team on organizational, board, budgetary and HR issues while representing the Program Team.
  • Establishing and executing a comprehensive program assessment and reporting system using in-house database (Effortsto-Outcomes) to track and monitor Dreamers’ progress against goals from early childhood programming through college and career. Implementing programmatic adjustments based on data.
  • Cultivating highly productive relationships with “I Have a Dream” leaders, Dreamer program principals and other building leaders, Dreamer families, district leaders, and members of the community.
  • Maintaining highly effective partnerships with a wide range of best-in-class partner organizations (e.g. leading educational and nonprofit organizations, local associations and businesses). The SDP will be expected to initiate collaborations with college and career partners.
  •   Enhancing the organization’s culture by reinforcing core values and promoting a positive work environment.  Actively assisting in fund raising, public relations, and media relations for IHD.

To review the full job description please click HERE.


Strategic Initiatives Director – New Avenues for Youth

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Our Commitment to Equity: 

New Avenues for Youth imagines a community where all young people thrive and experience health, well-being, and a self-determined home. Historical inequities and intersecting forms of oppression such as racism, poverty, adultism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism, among others contribute to marginalization and exploitation of youth. We believe, to redress youth homelessness and housing instability we must challenge and dismantle racism and other forms of oppression and build relationships within our communities that advance equity.

At New Avenues, advancing equity is an ongoing commitment without closure. We remain open-minded and presume best intentions, knowing that discomfort and conflict are inevitable. We take risks and make and learn from our mistakes. We seek multiple perspectives, strive for transparency, remain humble, and resist the urge to silence hard truths.

About New Avenues for Youth:  

New Avenues for Youth imagines a community where all young people thrive and experience health, well-being, and a self-determined home.  New Avenues works in partnership with the Portland area community to provide homeless, foster-care, and at-risk youth of all backgrounds with the resources and skills needed to lead healthy, productive lives.  We are a diverse non-profit organization in our 20th year serving youth.

The Position:

As a member of the New Avenues Executive Leadership Team, the Strategic Initiatives Director will report to the Executive Director and drive a number of youth service expansion projects.  This includes multiple capital projects in addition to the implementation of, and providing ongoing leadership for, a large youth shelter care pilot.  This position will be responsible for all facets of successful execution of these projects, includes strategic planning, tactical planning, budget development, supervision, monitoring, delegation, oversight, resource brokering, evaluation, and an ongoing focus on the continuous improvement process.

Required for Consideration:  

  • Minimum of three years of project management experience
  • Demonstrated financial literacy – Ability to read a P&L, perform financial analysis, make decisions guided by financial data
  • Prior experience with Compliance/Quality Assurance and the Continuous Improvement Process
  • Minimum of two years of experience supervising staff
  • Established experience with strategic writing (public/private grant writing, persuasive written communications etc.)
  • As member of the Executive Leadership Team, a strong desire to lead agency’s equity work (equity planning & implementation, applying an equity lens to communication and decision making)
  • Behavioral/mental health facility oversight experience a plus

Skills & Knowledge:

  • Detail oriented; ability to track and organize large amount of data
  • Proven inclusive leadership style and commitment to advancing equity
  • Background with identification and vetting of business opportunities
  • Expressed interest in developing and managing teams to support a positive team culture
  • Adept at public speaking and presenting to diverse audiences
  • Ability to identify ideal candidates for employment opportunities with New Avenues
  • Knowhow to secure proper training and onboarding for new members of the New Avenues team

New Avenues for Youth offers a very generous benefits package.  To apply, send your cover letter and resume to  Please be sure to include where you came across this opportunity in your response.  You can learn more about New Avenues by visiting our website at  New Avenues for Youth is an Equal Opportunity Employer.