The Coalition of Communities of Color released their comprehensive report on racial inequities in Washington County on Monday.
“Leading With Race: Research Justice in Washington County” comes after two years of research, and explores the lived experiences of eight communities in Oregon’s most diverse county.
The report focuses on Native American, African-American, African, Asian and Asian-American, Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and Slavic communities in Washington County.
CCC presented the report to officials and community members at Beaverton Library. Attendees received a 31-page booklet of the study’s executive summary. The summary details the population sizes of the identified communities and addresses key issues that affect them.
The mayors of Hillsboro, Tigard and Beaverton community leaders spoke at the meeting. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon, also delivered remarks.
Bonanmici said Washington County is the “economic engine” of the state and the struggle for equity has been long and is far from over.
The findings of the report prove that to be true.
Researcher Shweta Moorthy found Latino applicants are 125 percent more likely to have their home loan application denied compared to high income whites.
When asked what surprised her the most about her research, Moorthy replied, “How willing people were to get uncomfortable.”
The study confirms many things members of communities of color already know; there are greater disparities when it comes to homeownership, education and interactions with law enforcement.
The report includes an eight-step call to action to improve racial equity in the county.
Moorthy said she hopes the report gets people to realize the expertise of people of color and the need to respect that expertise.
Sharing America: A Public Radio Collaboration
Erica Morrison is part of the public radio collaborative “Sharing America,” covering the intersection of race, identity and culture. This new initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, includes reporters in the Northwest and Hartford, Connecticut, St. Louis and Kansas City. You can find more “Sharing America” coverage here.