Board adopts charter for Advisory Council on Racial Equity

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Sponsored by: Board of County Commissioners Department

Adoption of charter for Advisory Council on Racial Equity and Council Member Recruitment

In a historic vote on Tuesday, April 5, the Board of County Commissioners established the Advisory Council on Racial Equity (ACRE), a new advisory Council to the Board and department directors. The formation of the Council, as called for in the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) resolution of February 2020, is intended to support the advancement of equity, diversity and inclusion best practices and outcomes.

In four planning meetings held in partnership with the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (OEICE), the ACRE Charter was co-created by diverse Washington County community leaders with deep equity expertise. These partners include representatives from the following organizations:

  • Adelante Mujeres
  • APANO Communities United Fund
  • Asian Health & Service Center
  • Bienestar
  • Centro Cultural
  • Coalition of Communities of Color
  • Fair Housing Council of Oregon
  • Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce
  • Latino Network
  • Muslim Educational Trust
  • National Association of Minority Contractors
  • Native American Rehabilitation Association
  • Oregon Child Development Coalition
  • Oregon Metro
  • Professional Business Development Group
  • SAGE Metro Portland and Friendly House Inc.
  • SOAR Immigration Legal Services
  • Unite Oregon

As stated in the charter, the purpose of ACRE is threefold:

  • Advance equity, diversity and inclusion outcomes by way of advising on the County’s planning, policies, legislative work, budgeting and programming.
  • Empower Washington County equity leaders, especially those from communities most impacted by racial inequities, to provide advisement to the Washington County Board of Commissioners.
  • Ensure that needs and priorities of communities most impacted by racial inequities are centered in County policies and operations.

Maria Caballero Rubio, Executive Director of Centro Cultural, shared her optimism for continued advancement of equity and inclusion by the County and ACRE. “Having participated in the Leading with Race research project by the Coalition of Communities of Color in 2016-2018, and conducted forums to get community input for the Equity Resolution, I am very excited that the County is moving forward to address disparities that have existed for decades and specifically impacted communities of color. Thank you to Chair Harrington for moving this along.”

Another community partner, Wajdi Said representing Muslim Educational Trust, emphasized the importance of the Council’s work. “The Advisory Council on Racial Equity will help to lift up the needs and challenges of those who have been marginalized in the past and ensure that going forward, all people—regardless of their race, ethnicity, language or religious beliefs—have equitable access to services and positive outcomes from the services they receive from Washington County. We support this work that goes towards healing and unifying our beloved communities.” 

Next steps include recruitment of members for the Advisory Council on Racial Equity and then Board approval of the membership roster in June, prior to the first ACRE meeting scheduled for July. Members will include a mix of representatives of community-based organizations and at-large community members, representing racial equity expertise, as well as geographic and demographic diversity. The County has launched its recruitment for this advisory Council and encourages all who are interested to apply. Applications can be located on the Boards and Commissions web page. For more information please contact the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement at equity@co.washington.or.us.

Media Contact:

Julie McCloud, Public Affairs & Communications Coordinator
503-846-8685
Julie_McCloud@co.washington.or.us