Equity Framework

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.

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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.

Concepts & Definitions defines key concepts and terms to ensure we are using common language.

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The Equity Model for Change articulates how our efforts and engagement position us to achieve our goals.

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Prosper Portland’s Cultural Agreements emerged through all-staff learning sessions centered in racial equity.These agreements are intended to disrupt dominant cultural norms and change how staff members approach each other as colleagues.

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Meeting Agreements provides a tool to put anti-racist norms into practice with a set of meeting ground rules and engagement protocols. The use of these tools is not to “call people out” but instead to “call people back in” to agreement.

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Our Journey


Business & Workforce Equity Policy Adopted

Business & Workforce Equity Policy Adopted

Read more about the program


Neighborhood Economic Development (NED) Strategy Adopted

Neighborhood Economic Development Strategy

Download the NED Strategy


Equity Policy Adopted, Equity Council Created


2015-20 Strategic Plan Adopted


Equity Policy Updated


Council for Economic & Racial Equity Created, Equity Policy Updated

2018 - present

Equity & inclusion training, Cultural Agreements, Updated Equity Policy, Public Equity Statement, Equity & Inclusion Manager, Financial Stability Plan, Equity Priorities and Strategies, Equity Framework

Equity Policy & Supporting Documents


What's next

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.