The Port of Portland, which oversees three airports, four marine terminals, and five business parks, adopted social equity as a strategy objective in 2013. The Port confronted racial inequity in its efforts to create more economically equitable communities surrounding the Port by successfully engaging the Port’s leadership to create equity plans and metrics. After several years of implementing the plans, the Port’s leadership and staff responsible for the social equity strategy decided to take a step back to reflect on its accomplishments and lessons learned to inform the strategy’s improvement.
The Port engaged Community Science to conduct a site visit and interview leaders of various departments about their progress of their equity plans. With data from almost 20 Port leaders and staff, we generated a list of the Port’s accomplishments and challenges, and developed recommendations for improving the implementation of their social equity strategy in the coming years. The project gave us new insights about the competencies, relationships, and other supports needed to create an organizational environment that appreciates everyone regardless of their racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; elevates racial equity; and at the same time, responds to other inequities (e.g., gender inequity) and related organizational issues that emerge (e.g., human resources). 00583