We must change how we listen to, engage with, respond to, and support Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and Tribal members in Oregon.
Leaders in the public sector, business community and non-profit sector must work with Black, Indigenous and People of Color to dismantle the structures of racism that have created grave disparities in virtually all of our social systems and structures, including: mass incarceration and criminal justice involvement, access to housing, health outcomes, economic opportunity and wealth creation, and educational attainment. The urgency could not be greater in this moment to channel and follow the voices of those people most impacted by historical and institutional racism in Oregon and create a system with them that fully supports us all.
Achieving this goal will require a new approach.
Establishing racial justice will take foundational reform and is why this Council will be inclusive of representatives from diverse backgrounds, while at the same time explicitly centering Black, Indigenous and People of Color. BIPOC communities have already been communicating the policies and investments that will have the most significant impact on their communities. The Racial Justice Council will ensure that prioritized recommendations are communicated to the Governor and the State Legislature to inform the next state budget and legislative agenda.
The Racial Justice Council’s charge is to:
- Direct the collection of data from across sectors of society to support smart, data-driven policy decisions
- Provide principles and recommendations that center racial justice to the Governor to inform the ‘21-23 Governor’s Recommended Budget and Tax Expenditures Report
- Creating a Racial Justice Action Plan for six specific areas: Criminal Justice Reform and Police Accountability, Housing and Homelessness, Economic Opportunity, Health Equity, Environmental Equity, Education Recovery
Council Members include:
- Akasha Lawrence Spence
- Alexandra Appleton
- Andrew Colas
- Annie Valtierra-Sanchez
- Bahia Overton
- Bennie Moses-Mesubed
- Brigette McConville
- Chi Nguyen
- Chuck Sams
- Cynthia Richardson
- Dr. Danny Jacobs
- Don Ivy
- Felicia Mayo
- Felisa Hagins
- Graham Trainor
- Jan Mason
- Jenny Pool Radway
- Jesse Beason
- Joth Ricci
- Kyshan Nichols-Smith
- Lamar Wise
- Lauren Nguyen
- Marcus Mundy
- Marin Arreola
- Dr. Marisa Zapata
- Michael Alexander
- Michelle DePass
- Miriam Vargas Corona
- Nkenge Harmon Johnson
- Reyna Lopez
- Robin Morris-Collin
- Serena Cruz
- Sharon Gary-Smith
- Tiffany Monroe
- Yosalin Arenas Alvarez
The Council will meet virtually twice monthly through December for 2 hours per meeting, then once monthly starting in January 2021. Meeting agendas and materials will be available and updated on the website as they become available. Committees will meet virtually 2-4 times per month.
- Council Chair: Governor Kate Brown
- All council members are appointed by Governor Kate Brown. Members must have:
- A demonstrated commitment to racial equity, social and economic justice, diversity and inclusion.
- Connections to, or experience working with, historically underserved communities, particularly tribal communities, immigrants, refugees, Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
- Have personal and/or professional experience and knowledge in public policy, criminal justice reform, police accountability, economic opportunity, housing, homelessness, health equity, behavioral health, education or research/data.
- Each Council member will serve on one committee.
- Target of 30-40 high profile community leaders.
- Council Membership Term: 1-year commitment to start.
Role of Council Members
- Recommend changes to state policies, practices, budgets and structures to align them within a racial justice and equity framework.
- Provide guidance to Racial Justice Council staff in creating Racial Justice Action plans for six specific areas, including reviewing plans created by each of the Committees.
- Develop long-term strategies designed to institutionalize racial justice into the way the State of Oregon conducts business.
- Directly communicate with other community leaders and bring feedback from them back to the Council.
- Identify areas of potential future collaboration with the state and outside stakeholders.
The Racial Justice Council will have six separate committees, each with co-leads. Racial Justice Council members will each sit on one committee. Additional committee members with relevant expertise will be appointed to each committee as well.
In addition to the education committee of this Council, existing education committees are charged with developing statewide education equity plans for the State of Oregon and will report regularly to the Racial Justice Council and receive feedback from the Council as well.
Similarly, the Governor established her Behavioral Health Advisory Council in October of 2019 to serve as an advisory body and develop recommendations aimed at addressing gaps in the state’s behavioral health system regardless of race, ethnicity, location or housing status. The existing and ongoing work of the Behavioral Health Advisory Council will be aligned with the Racial Justice Council in its charge to provide a racial equity-centered action plan for the State of Oregon’s behavioral health system including concrete actions, policies, and potential investments. The Racial Justice Council’s Health Equity Committee will work with the existing Behavioral Health Advisory Council to craft an integrated report for the full Racial Justice Council.
The Racial Justice Council recognizes that existing boards and commissions have been working to address racial inequities in state government. Depending on the policy and issue areas, there may be opportunities for crosspollination and engagement to advance racial justice collaboratively with the Racial Justice Council’s committees.
The Racial Justice Council and associated Committee will be led by two of the Governor’s policy advisors, Sophorn Cheang and Shannon Singleton. Additional Governor’s staff and state agency staff with domain expertise will staff the individual committees.
For individuals with disabilities, individuals who speak a language other than English or individuals without easy access to computers, RJC can provide documents in alternate formats such as other languages, large print, braille, printed materials or a format you prefer.