The report is the result of a two-year program of research that provides an updated look at how Black Oregonians are doing – in schools, jobs, and both urban and rural communities throughout the state. The first State of Black Oregon report was released six years ago.
At today’s launch event, new president and CEO of Urban League Portland, Nkenge Harmon Johnson spoke about the importance of not only supporting the work of the organization’s policy actions addressed in the 194-page book, but to also ‘look around the table and make sure the community is truly represented’.
Guest speakers included, Mayor Charlie Hales, Senator Avel Louise Gordly and Lisa K. Bates (Portland State University). Mayor Hales announced in his presentation that he has included in his budget a $2 million dollar line item to cover free recreation activities for kids at several community centers in Portland.
Michael Alexander, the outgoing president and CEO of Urban League of Portland, offered closing remarks and also stressed the level of urgency needed in changing the clear disparity in healthcare, education, employment opportunities and other quality of life issues for Black Oregonians.
State of Black Oregon Report 2015 is available to view through Urban League of Portland’s web site.