RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Unable to chime in during the live show, but I do have two principal comments.
1) When I relocated to the Portland area about twenty years ago I was struck not only by the lack of cultural diversit--color, language, socio-economic, sexual preference, etc.--(except in small, largely segregated pockets), but even more so by this fact: When I took a look at the leading institutions--at government, the mainstream cultural institutions, as well as in philanthropy and the large charitable organizations, in higher ed., in health and hospitals, and finally in business, whether it be the technology sector, in professions such as law or finance, everyone looked, thought and sounded the same. 99% Caucasion, 75% men, and lacking diversity in just about every category one could imagine. Additionally it seemed quite literally, when one examed surnames and family relationships, it seemed that about the same twenty-five or so families managed and controlled every instution in every sector of society here in Oregon. Particularly when one examined boards of directors and appointed commissions and advisory boards, etc. That is only a slight exaggeration. In some respects, the gestalt here seemed more late 19th Century than late 20th Century. [Despite the vaunted environmentalism, planning-oriented ethos, and ostensible liberal political regime.] How extraordinarily predictable and boring!
Having arrived here from a fairly major cosmopolitan city, this was nothing less than shocking. In the past twenty years as I have seen that gradually change in some quarters, more quickly in other quarters, as I have seen a greater degree of cultural diversity in many neighborhoods, entire communities, in the streets, in the shops, and at the civil society leadership level, I can only imagine that it has been all to the good. Including of course, all the youthful, entrepreneurial, creative, optimism of many arrivals during the last decade, college educated or not. Sure there are certain challenges presented by greater diversity. But what as far as I am concerned, what a net benefit to Portland and to the state of Oregon.
Welcome to the 21st Century, Oregon. Welcome to 21st Century America and the modern diverse, cosmopolitan world!
posted 2 years, 4 months ago
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