Understanding Racial Gaps in Wealth

Thursday, July 18, 2019
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Please note: the time for this workshop is from 10-11:30 am.

Philanthropy and government each have unique roles in addressing community issues and we believe that collaboration between these two sectors has the potential to create innovative partnerships regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion–particularly when a racial justice focus is applied. As an example, the partnership between Multnomah Idea Lab (MIL), Prosper Portland, METRO and Meyer Memorial Trust resulted in an opportunity to examine strategies that advance a racial wealth agenda. It is a known fact that racial inequality can impede efforts to build wealth, leading to cycles of poverty, particularly for racial minorities. Research also shows that these communities experience poverty at higher rates nationwide, which makes collaborative efforts between government and philanthropy even more important in addressing the root causes of poverty.  This critical conversation between locally-based government and philanthropy has generated a public/private partnership that strengthens our collective ability to address significant community change, particularly in the face of wealth disparity.
The Understanding Racial Gaps in Wealth Learning Session will highlight concepts that show when government and philanthropy work together, they can:
  • develop a shared set of racial justice tools for their work in bridging the wealth gap
  • gain a greater understanding of the causes of poverty in our communities
  • collectively work toward common goals and agendas. 
The panel will engage participants in reflecting on how government and philanthropy engages in work related to ending the racial wealth gap and will generate ideas for cross-sector collaboration.

Speaker Information:

Mary Li, Director, Multnomah Idea Lab (MIL). Mary has worked for Multnomah County since 1990, and describes herself as a proud bureaucrat!  She believes that it’s an absolute responsibility for government to address the role that policies, practices, and investments have played in creating the inequities experienced by our communities today.  By intentionally centering race in our work, we can take action that makes a difference in the journey towards justice.

Steve Van Eck, Research Evaluation Analyst, Multnomah Idea Lab (MIL). Steve van Eck was a co-founder of the Multnomah Idea Lab, a center for innovation located inside the Department for County Human Services. He is the former Deputy Director of the contemporary art center, Yale Union, and a researcher at the Meyer Memorial Trust and the Oregon Community Foundation. He holds a Bachelor’s in Community Development and a Master’s degree in Urban Economics from Portland State University.

About MIL: The MIL specifically focuses on the human experience at the intersection of poverty and race to develop work that influences local, regional, and state government. The cornerstones to the MIL’s approach are a Human Centered Design (HCD) practice; Critical Thinking, engaging with others using a dynamic, systemic lens; and then using Applied Research to test ideas in the community. The MIL has employed HCD in numerous projects, including the County’s Trans and Gender Diverse Workgroup, the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), and the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) CityStart grant.

Date Thursday, July 18, 2019
Time 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place United Way Conference Room: 611 SW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97205
Cost $25/members;$40/nonmembers

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Our programs are open to anyone who meets our membership criteria. If you are not currently a member but you qualify and would like to attend, please contact us at info@gosw.org for registration assistance.

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