by Maria Scanelli Having tough conversations to advance racial and social justice is part of our mission. In fact, it is our mission. Conversations about perspective and understanding impacts are hard. They are hard even when two people are in the same room experiencing the 'same' conversation. That hard increases exponentially when we debate issues with false or faulty information. Portland, for example, is at center of a nation discussion amongst people who are nowhere near here! But this isn’t just a Portland phenomena. Disinformation campaigns are alive and well. Take the time to fact check and source articles and headlines. Learn some ways to do so here https://getpocket.com/explore/item/u-s-election-2020-how-to-spot-and-fight-misinformation.
by Gabi Ross The upcoming presidential elections further fuel a climate of hate that also impacts children. As we cope with unprecedented circumstances, we tend to normalize ways of being that aren’t normal. While this is a survival mechanism, it may lead us to overlook or minimize the effects on children and youth. Both, the Covid pandemic and the fires along the West Coast, have escalated the housing crisis for many. Children whose families are homeless (defined as living in a shelter, sharing housing with others or staying in cars, motels, trailer parks, camp grounds or other inadequate arrangements due to lack of stable housing) have educational rights as specified by the McKinney-Vento Act. Those include staying at their school of origin or being able to immediately enroll in a school where they are currently staying without having to produce documents such as certificates of residency, guardianship papers (unaccompanied homeless youth [...]
By Carrie Fuentes and Teri Pierson So….2020, am I right? Our Training and Consultation team has been pretty busy lately, as you can imagine. We have successfully been able to transition our in-person training to a virtual training space with just a few instances of technical awkwardness. In July, we launched the training “Am I Karen?” complete with video clips of different folks asking and wondering if “Am I Karen? I am Karen. Do better Karen.” We defined a “Karen” as a white woman who weaponizes her status in society to falsely accuse Black folks of a crime or infraction. We’ve seen multiple videos of white women who are seen crying, screaming, claiming attacks, feigning assault and so many other atrocious behaviors simply because Black and Brown folks were living their lives. The response to this workshop offering was tremendous! We had over 150 white folks try to sign up [...]
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Equity Informed Mediation A confidential, compassionate, and structured process to effectively resolve community, workplace, family or organizational conflicts. Equity-informed mediation is a form of mediation where the mediator applies an equity framework to offer support to ALL parties at the table. As conflict is a part of larger social and institutional influences, we approach it ready to engage in discussions of race and social justice. Mediators of Color Network RNW is establishing a statewide network of Mediators of Color to give underserved, marginalized, and targeted communities increased access to mediation services. The network will provide equity, human rights & trauma informed frameworks to Oregon's historically white mediation standards, practices and institutions. This network is organized by RNW's Mediation Coordinator Nyanga Uuka. Register for our mediation training updates here!
This past year, as part of our strategic planning process, outside consultants conducted an assessment that engaged staff, board, volunteers, contractors, and past clients. There were a series of recommendations aimed at gaining deeper clarity around how we carry out our mission, both organizationally and programmatically. Some key themes we took away from the assessment included: There was a disconnect between what we say and what we do; Staff of color felt unheard, unseen, and insecure in their jobs; There were gaps in relationship and trust; and The voice of one person of color had weight at the expense of the collective voice of staff of color. Our staff and board made a commitment to undertake the recommendations. We created a joint board/staff Change Team to shepherd the process, which was primarily comprised of Black staff and board members. We found ourselves in the all too familiar traps we coach [...]
Antifa Means Antifascist Many of us are slowly becoming numb to the mass shootings committed by white supremacists. Hate crimes have dramatically increased, further feeding the climate of fear. Portland has become a major target for members of a variety of white nationalists groups threatening violence to “Antifa.” There is a national debate categorizing “Antifa” as terrorist. With the sensationalist media reporting and fear mongering by official institutions, it is easy to forget what “Antifa” actually stands for. Antifa means antifascist, no more and no less. As an organization with a mission to “advance racial and social justice” we believe that silence is no longer an option. None of us are safe until all of us are. There is a difference between “freedom of speech” and inciting violence and advocating for the elimination of entire groups of people. We hope that the attached articles can further the public discourse to [...]
Hello Staff, Clients, and Community, I am honored to hold the role as Chair for RNW's board of directors. I accepted the opportunity to be on the board a year and a half ago because I was familiar with RNW's work in the community. I supported students at Madison High School and Parkrose High School where RNW's Restorative Justice work was building connections between students and students and staff. It was my service in the past year and a half that has opened my eyes at the skills, abilities and impact this organization can, will and does have on the communities it serves. When I accepted this role I wanted to contribute my skills to our mission of facilitating honest dialogue to resolve conflict and advance racial and social justice. I look forward to applying my skills in leadership development and positive inquiry in a compassionate and inclusive manner that [...]
Thank you Northwest Health Foundation! For capturing our Restorative Justice impact at Rigler with support from PPS, KPCF, and Multnomah County Department Of Community Justice. "African American and Latino students’ relative rate of major disciplinary referrals declined." [Download PDF]
We're grateful one of our fierce and triumphant training participants, Venus Barnes, is able to share her story with our community, and the impact RNW training has had on her life and the intersections of her work and purpose. She's alchemized her knowledge and experience into a leadership position, mentoring youth in food justice. Thank you Venus for all that you do! In truth, YOU rise. My story begins with Resolutions Northwest when ... [Read on]