Driven by the challenge of widening wealth disparity across Portland neighborhoods and between people of color and white Portlanders, as well as by the needs of the city and our desire to do better, we have embarked on an agency-wide journey to become a multicultural, anti-racist organization.
Advancing racial equity is essential work for each of us. Prosper Portland must continue to transform how we engage, how we partner, how we invest, and how we change our internal culture to ensure we are creating equitable opportunities and impacts through our efforts.
Those efforts are guided by our five-year strategic plan and the Equity Framework, an evolving, usable resource for the organization’s collective work to achieve its equity objectives.
We are focusing our efforts intentionally to ensure that all communities realize equitable benefits and so that gains from physical and economic growth address the growing gaps within our city.
The Framework prompts critical questions and important conversations. It provides a common foundation for Prosper Portland and the community to learn and grow together.
A key part of the city’s and Prosper Portland’s history from the 1950s to the 1980s were the discriminatory practices that destabilized communities of color and people who were not landowners. The consequences of this history include wide disparities in employment, income, and wealth between white communities and communities of color in Multnomah County and lack of affordability in close-in neighborhoods, resulting in gentrification, displacement, and concentrations of poverty in North, Northeast, and increasingly, East Portland.
That dichotomy is the context for our strategic plan, which envisions a Portland that is globally competitive, equitable and healthy. We’ve repositioned key programs and initiated new approaches specifically focused on meeting the needs of diverse Portlanders.
Prosper Portland’s Story and Equity Journey outlines the organization’s strategic priorities, our past and our equity journey.
Our Equity Statement
We acknowledge our past as we move forward to create economic opportunity and prosperity for all communities. We make racial equity the foundation of our community and economic development work. We hold ourselves accountable to Portland’s communities of color and others our work has negatively impacted. While racial equity is the primary lens to focus our efforts, we understand the connection between racism and other forms of bias that lead to oppression.
Within our workplace and working with our partners, we embrace values of authentic inclusion, transparency, and collaboration.
We work toward nothing less than an anti-racist Portland that welcomes and serves all communities and perspectives. We encourage our partners to do the same.
2007Business & Workforce Equity Policy Adopted
Business & Workforce Equity Policy Adopted
2011Neighborhood Economic Development (NED) Strategy Adopted
Neighborhood Economic Development Strategy
2013Equity Policy Adopted, Equity Council Created
20152015-20 Strategic Plan Adopted
2015-20 Strategic Plan
2017Council for Economic & Racial Equity Created, Equity Policy Updated
2018 - presentEquity & inclusion training, Cultural Agreements, Updated Equity Policy, Public Equity Statement, Equity & Inclusion Manager, Financial Stability Plan, Equity Priorities and Strategies, Equity Framework
- Intensive agency-wide equity & inclusion training
- Developed staff-driven Cultural Agreements
- Updated Equity Policy
- Created Public Equity Statement
- Hired full-time Equity & Inclusion Manager
- Created Financial Stability Plan
- Created Equity Priorities and Strategies
- Created Equity Framework
Learn more about how our equity policy impacts our programs and initiatives, including the Inclusive Startup Fund, the Techtown Diversity Pledge, the Affordable Commercial Tenanting Program, and our work in Northeast Portland.