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About OCBA

Upcoming Commission Meeting: November 29, 2023 5:30pm to 7:30pm*

*Please note: the date and time for this meeting was changed to accomodate OCBA Commissioner schedules. 

The public is invited to attend in person or via Zoom. To register, follow this link: CLICK HERE

November 29, 2023 Agenda CLICK HERE

Our Vision:

We serve the people of Oregon to empower and support the African American and Black community through our special roles as policy advisors to Oregon state policy makers and leaders.   The OCBA is a catalyst that empowers partnerships between state government and our community in rural and urban areas to ensure success for all African American and Black Oregonians by addressing longstanding and emerging issues at the policy level.   

Our Mission: 

The mission of the OCBA is to work for the implementation and establishment of economic, social, legal and political equality for Oregon's African American and Black communities.

Our Principles and Values:

  • Equity for Oregon's African American and Black communities in jobs and the economy, education, health, safety, family stability, environment, and civic engagement.
  • Equal treatment and protection against discrimination.
  • Access to helpful information on services and available resources.
  • Working in partnership on research and policy analysis of longstanding issues and barriers to success within the African American and Black communities statewide.
  • Inclusion of viewpoints of the African American and Black communities in policy making at the state level.
  • Celebration of and education about the contributions and achievements of Oregon's African American and Black communities.
Our Statutory Goals and Strategic Priorities
  • Advocate for equitable policies assuring the success of Oregon's African American and Black communities at the state level.
  • Engage community and state partners to promote equity for African American and Black communities statewide.
  • Study and analyze issues affecting the African American and Black communities statewide and recommend policy remedies to state policy makers.
  • Grow and develop leaders in the African American and Black communities at the state level in all branches.
  • Increase the viability and visibility of the contributions and achievements of Oregon's African American and Black communities statewide.

OCBA is actively engaged in its statutory work focused on 7 Strategic Priorities each biennium:

  1. Education
  2. Jobs & the economy
  3. Healthcare
  4. Justice, safety & policing
  5. Stable families and housing
  6. Environmental Justice
  7. Civic engagement

View our Biennium Report: OCBA 2023 - 2023 Report

Meet the Commissioners


Jessica Price is Associate General Counsel for the University of Oregon. In that capacity her focus areas include research and innovation, research grant review, free speech, diversity, ethics, and supporting international employees. Jessica has been the recipient of the UO Senate’s Shared Governance, Transparency, and Trust Award. Jessica also teaches a class on criminal investigations to undergraduate students. She has delivered local and national presentations on disability rights, free speech, and university governance.

Jessica Price has previously served as interim Title IX Coordinator at UCLA, as the Special Assistant to UCLA’s Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and as the Chair of Student Sexual Misconduct Appeals. Before that, she served as a Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Southern California, and litigated the rights of English learner students, accommodations for inmates with disabilities, religious rights for inmates, unlawful stops by police departments, and the right to privacy. During her time at the ACLU she was recognized as the California Lawyer Attorney of the Year and with the California Legislature N Action Award for her work on behalf of women and children.

Jessica graduated from Yale College with Honors and from Harvard Law School. Upon graduating, she served in two federal clerkships, one with the Eastern District of Louisiana, and the other with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She has been a Violence Prevention Specialist with Peace Over Violence. She is the president of her local Rotary club, and is a board member on the Oregon Women Lawyers.​

Lagos, Nigeria
Mitchell "Buchi" Asemota is the Cofounder and Executive Director of Our Streets, a Portland-based nonprofit focused on providing resources for the underserved. Buchi and his Cofounder started Our Streets in 2020 during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic in an effort to fill gaps found within local communities.
Buchi was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. He moved to the United States from Nigeria when he was 11, settling in Indiana and going on to study business administration and accounting at Indiana State University.

He worked as a special education teacher post college. Six years ago, he moved to Oregon where he continued as an educator.

In the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, he joined the Portland protests and became inspired to do more. Our Streets began as a community effort with a group of friends and within months evolved into a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Since then, Our Streets has become the primary meal provider for several houseless shelters in the Portland area.

In January 2022, Buchi was named the Hometown Hero by the Portland Trail Blazers for his work with Our Streets and the community. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Board for Indiana nonprofit Listen to Our Future, as well as the Chairperson of the Board for Portland nonprofit Local Grown.

​Djimet Dogo is the Associate Director of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) and Director IRCO/Africa House.  His work to effect true community engagement includes a demonstrated history of over 23 years' experience facilitating collaborative coalition building for refugee and immigrant communities. His many educational qualifications include a Master of Public Administration from PSU and several degrees in Human Rights, Conflict Resolution, Peace building and Leadership from France, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Libya and South Africa.   

Mr. Dogo was pivotal in the creation of the culturally specific community focal point Africa House in 2006—the only culturally and linguistically specific one-stop service center targeting the increasingly diverse and rapidly growing number of African immigrants and refugees living in Oregon.  
Mr. Dogo is a member of the Oregon Commission of Black Affairs, member of City of Portland New Portlanders Policy Council (NPPC), Secretary General of the Coalition of Community of Color (CCC) and the Secretary General for the Nationwide African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS).

Ben Duncan is the Chief Diversity and Equity Officer for Multnomah County. He has been with the county since 2004 when he began his career in Environmental Health as a community health worker. He has since worked as a health educator, policy analyst and manager of the Health Equity Initiative. In each of these roles, his work has always focused on the relationships between our social, economic, and environmental conditions and racial and ethnic disparities.

Ben Duncan was a founding board member of OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, an organization that organizes people with low incomes and people of color to build power for environmental justice and civil rights in the community.He also serves on the Oregon Commission for Black Affairs, the Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force, and is Chair of Oregon Public Health Institute's Board.

Ben Duncan lives with his better half, Dr. Katherine Rodela and their son Rudolfo, in Southeast Portland.​


​Liz Fouther-Branch, is a retired educator turned Storyteller, archivist, and Equity Facilitator that has spent more than 40 years working and volunteering for arts and youth development organizations. She has 20 years of experience as a consultant on arts education programming and development, social justice, capacity building, and advocacy. 

She has volunteered or served on several local boards and committees for City Club, Social Venture Partners, Regional Arts, Culture Council, Seeding Justice, Multnomah County, and Oregon Health Authority. She is currently serving as a commissioner on Oregon Commission on Black Affairs (OCBA).

Liz believes that throughout her professional life and lived experiences, she has used her research to center the voices of the displaced, unheard, and erased. In addition, she has been able to share what she's learned with her intergenerational network. 


​Meet Commissioner Erica Bailey from, MS, RN, NC-BC, from Portland! Erica is a registered nurse, educator, board-certified nurse coach, facilitator, and advocate. She is currently serving as the Clinical Relations Specialist at the University of Portland, School of Nursing and Health Innovations where she has been teaching since 2016in both classroom and clinical environments. She loves sharing her passion for racial and social justice, health equity, and leadership with the next generation of nurses. Erica also serves in a clinical role for the Portland VA Medical Center, where she started her nursing career back in 2011. 

In 2020, Erica founded the Nurses of Color Collective, to create a community of support and collective care for nurses who identify as Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). 

Erica Bailey lives with her teenage daughter, Dylan, two dogs, and a cat in North Portland.

LaNicia Duke is the founder and CEO Humble Beginnings, a nonprofit dedicated to serving rural communities in Oregon. Her latest program, Black Rural Network, provides outreach, networking and civic engagement opportunities for Black residents of rural communities while advocating for issues that affect rural communities.
LaNicia’s work has been featured in various news outlets including The Oregonian, Tillamook Headlight Herald, and The Astorian. She has also written editorial pieces published for Hipfish Monthly, The Upper Left Edge and on her own blog, I am Changed Living.
Drawing from her personal experiences in being a Black person in a mostly White and rural county where the Black population is less than 1% of the total county population, she offers a unique perspective from the national narrative and conversations in many urban and metropolitan areas around diversity, equity and inclusion. Her past clients include Presence Collective, Warrenton (OR) Public Library, Timberland Regional Library, R.A.R.E. (Resource Assistance for Rural Environments) and Enterprise Community Partners. She also hosted a radio show, “Rural Race Talks” on Coast Community Radio.
LaNicia sits on the Racial Justice Council (RJC) Environmental Equity Committee by Governor Kate Brown.  She is also received the 2023 Professional Achievement award from the Oregon Commission for Women.


​Travis Nelson was appointed to the House of Representatives on January 27, 2022 representing House District 44. He was sworn in on the first day of the 2022 Legislative Session. He is proud to join the legislature as the first ever Black LGBTQIA+ member.
The grandson of Louisiana sharecroppers, his parents moved his family to the Pacific Northwest before he entered grade school. He put himself through community college and then Washington State University School of Nursing by working food service, landscaping, and janitorial positions. It is this strong work ethic that has carried him to where he is today.
Throughout his career as a Registered Nurse he saved lives by practicing constant attentiveness along with being a strong advocate. He specialized in Emergency Nursing, Critical Care Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing and Rehabilitation Nursing. Serving as a union representative honed his advocacy skills and allowed him to begin tackling the many problems inherent in our healthcare system. He is a member of the Sierra Club, American Nurses Association, Oregon Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the NAACP and a former Vice President of the Oregon Nurses Association. He knows healthcare is intersectional and is entwined with our environment, housing policy, racial justice, and so many other social determinants of health. It is this intersectionality that initially drove him to run for office. ​


​James began his professional and community service as a state corrections officer, and later a police officer, railroad special agent and private investigator prior to enlisting into the United States Army 1 April 1983. During his military career a few of his distinguished assignments included Military Diplomat to the Australian and New Zealand Defense Forces, U.S. Army Assistant Inspector General, Garrison Community NCO,  and Chief Administrator Supervisor United States Army Southern Command.

Other distinguished military leadership positions included assignments as Battalion Training Officer/Detachment Sergeant Major for a deployed unit, Postal Supervisor (Military Post Office), and U.S. Army Drill Sergeant (basic combat training). James honorably retired from the United States Army after over 24 years active service. 

Since retiring from the U.S. Army in 2007 James and wife Lawanda (married 38 years) moved to Eugene where he continues to volunteer his time and unique talents serving his community on a number of nonprofits, local, and state boards and commissions.

In the nonprofit area, James served as a Board of Director for Pearl Buck Center Inc., and volunteered as a Loaned Executive for United Way of Lane County (2011 campaign).  Currently, he is appointed to the Bethel School District Budget Committee (Committee Chair 2015) and the Bethel School District Long-Term Facility Planning Committee. He is a Co-founder of a community supported nonprofit foundation that provides scholarships to underrepresented and low income area students.

James was appointed by two Oregon governors to the Oregon Commission on Black Affairs, serving three consecutive terms as Chair. He served six years as a member of the City of Eugene Police Commission chairing the Police Commission Outreach Resources Committee, co-chaired the Gang Awareness Planning Committee, and has been a member of the policy screening committee. He mediated over 300 sessions as a volunteer mediator for Lane County Circuit Courts Small Claims Department and in 2012, James was elected to the Eugene Water and Electric Board.

James was appointed to the Oregon State Senate for Senate District 7 December 12, 2016.  A few of his top priorities are quality education, living wage jobs, and safer neighborhoods and communities for all Oregonians. Veteran's issues are among his top legislative priorities.


Associate of Arts Law Enforcement, Baccalaureate of Arts Criminal Justice Administration, Master of Arts Organizational Leadership, and is now in the dissertation development phase for his Education Doctorate Organizational Leadership with emphasis on Organizational Development. He holds various advanced and professional certificates.

OCBA Bylaws

Read the OCBA Bylaws

Public Records Requests (PRR)

The Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office (OACO) responds to requests for public records in the general way described in the Oregon Department of Administrative Services' (DAS) Public Records Requests policy (pdf).

The DAS Public Records Requests Fees and Charges policy outlines the fees the department charges for records, and the process the agency uses to fulfill requests.

Please choose one of the following methods to request public records from OACO:
1. Email your request to Albert Lee, Executive Director of the OACO, with "PRR" included in the subject line.


2. Mail a written request to this address:

Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office
421 SW Oak St., Suite 770
Portland, OR 97204

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