COMMUNITY BUILDING CONNECTION + RESILIENCE
The Black community thrives when it is connected and recognizes its interconnectedness. Even as the Black community in Portland has been dispersed across the region from historical neighborhoods in Northeast Portland, folks have come together to celebrate, worship, protest, grieve, and simply to be whole. Black Portlanders want and need to be reflected in our city and to have the sacredness of our history and culture recognized.
We can make Black Portland visible in the fabric of the city by recognizing Black communities as valuable and meaningful, and asserting the right of Black people to be in place and to be reflected in place, and to shape community and neighborhoods.
Public social spaces need to be safe for Black community gathering and for everyday social life in the city. A Black ‘right to the city’ includes the ability to walk, bike, shop, and socialize in our neighborhoods free from suspicion, police profiling, and violence.
In all parts of the City, Black-centered organizations in historical neighborhoods need support to continue to address persistent issues and to hold space for Black presence and organizing. Black community needs should also be addressed in their new neighborhoods with relevant and culturally appropriate programs.
COMMUNITY ORGANIZING = BUILDING POWER
Political empowerment requires political education and mobilization. The political empowerment of our all our community members is necessary to hold public officials accountable for their decisions. It demands a Black voice in decision-making, recognizing the particular mechanisms of anti-Blackness that are part of structural and institutional racism, while working with other communities of color for collective action strategies. The community wants to see itself reflected in elected leaders, with Black candidates for political office who give confidence that they are working with integrity and with the interests of the Black community as a priority.
The Portland African American Leadership Forum, and in turn the People’s Plan, has the mission to politically empower Portland’s Black community by:
Facilitating strategic interaction and cooperation among Black organizations and individuals towards a unified action agenda.
Advocating for and proposing effective public policy solutions to the challenges facing the Black Community.
Promoting civic engagement and political participation and leadership by Black people.
Developing transformative leadership skills and capacity amongst the Black Community.