Brown Hope is a community solution that was conceived in March 2018. It was born from a deep sense of urgency to address how the long history of racism has assailed Black, Brown, and Indigenous people in Portland. These inequities manifest in various ways, including disparate health outcomes, extreme poverty, mass incarceration, and lack of political representation.
The history of racism in Oregon is long and troubling. Some of the most devastating violations of humanity include: the exclusion of “negros, mulattos, and chinamen,” during statehood in 1854, the destruction of land and natural resources stewarded by indigenous people, the heavy influence of the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1900’s, and mass housing displacement and discrimination targeting all black, brown, and indigenous people since statehood.
Over the past decade, the region has received an international reputation as a inclusive, progressive utopia, which has the attention and presence of thousands. Studies estimate that every year, about 33,549 individuals move from out-of-state to Multnomah County and 97,297 to the tri-county area. The racist history of Oregon is not well known and its continued impacts are not well acknowledged in common society. This only serves to perpetuate racial inequities.
Acknowledging how racism plays a significant factor in societal outcomes, Brown Hope has adopted a trauma-informed care approach to working with communities of color. Our organizing model is centered around democratic decisionmaking, intersectional education, interpersonal accountability, and community healing.
Black, Brown, and Indigenous Portlanders are hungry for spaces of engagement, empowerment, and self determination. We are determined to build resilient leadership and prosperous investment for the generations of people who have been excluded from the abundance of this world.
This an urgent call to action. In the face of centuries of injustice, our solution is Brown Hope.