Director’s Note: September 2017

By Janet Byrd

Happy Fall! The kids are headed back to school, work is kicking into high gear for everyone (did it ever slow down?), and all of us at Neighborhood Partnerships are looking ahead to RE:Conference and another busy year of working to create a better Oregon, in partnership with all of you.

The NP crew began our month well. We spent the day after Labor Day in a Board and Staff retreat with a training team from Race Forward, who shared their framework for understanding and working to overcome racial inequity. I personally really value the framework they use, as it looks both at personal and interpersonal forms of racism, as well as the many ways that our everyday decisions can perpetuate differences in outcomes, access, and stability between people of different races and ethnicities.

It’s obvious that we need to do more, and on a big scale. Wealth inequality is rising across the board, and when race, ethnicity, gender, and presence of a disability are also considered the inequality is staggering. The same is true when we dig into data about housing stability, retirement savings, student debt. And, all the while, some of our neighbors, friends and co-workers are waking up each day ever more worried about their ability to continue to live here in Oregon and build their futures because of changes in federal immigration policy.

Oregon can be a state where all of us can reach our potential and work together to build community. We’ll be continuing this work at NP to look hard at where we can act differently in ways both large and small to make real change. We’re excited by the lineup of speakers and presenters that will be joining us at RE:Conference to help us build our knowledge, understanding, and tool box for this work.

We’re also working hard to make sure that there will be something in our plenary sessions and break outs for everyone. So whether you’re a policy advocate, financial education provider, resident of Oregon, housing developer, banker, legislator, student, IDA account holder or Executive Director – please check out the agenda and register. We still have one round of scholarship opportunities too – so please don’t let cost be a barrier!

I look forward to connecting with all of you soon.