The Steel Bridge in Portland stretching across the city's river, with urban skyline in the background.
equity council

Committed to equity and supporting our community

Equity is a core value of the Portland Business Alliance, which includes all three affiliate organizations: the Portland Metro Chamber, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe, and Partners in Diversity under the Charitable Institute.

Our Equity Council ensures that each organization and department is represented and commits in their work to equity reflected throughout the organization’s culture, policies, and operational practices. The council will guide the operationalizing of equity and ensure that each department is held accountable to their equity goals. The council will foster and emphasize empathy, care, and recognition of the whole self among all staff members.

Equity and equality are not the same thing. Equality means treating everyone the same, while equity ensures everyone has what they need to be successful. While equality aims to promote fairness, it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and has the same needs and goals.

We support access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, and we recognize unfair bias and historic discrimination and actively work to eliminate barriers.

Council Objectives

  • Lead the internal culture development process in areas related to racial equity.
  • Provide advice and/or feedback to the leadership team at the Chamber, DPC&S, and the Charitable Institute Directors.
  • Establish best practices and provide leadership in the development of annual equity goals.
  • Review of department and affiliate equity plans and provide progress reports that identify gains and challenges.
  • Provide specific recommendations for leadership team to improve equity integration into their roles.
  • Coordinate access to equity and inclusion training for the entire staff, through affiliate Partners in Diversity.
  • Review and oversee applications for community sponsorship that align with mission, vision, and values centered around equity.
  • Administer a culture survey to staff every 2-3 years.
  • Be a resource to departments and affiliates on equity-related issues as needed.
  • Address equity issues that emerge and identify how to resolve them, discerning who to involve and what action should be taken.
Four members of the Equity Council standing next to bagged trash at a SOLVE clean-up event.

Participating Members

  • Chelsie Kinney, Co-Chair
  • Katie Mongue, Co-Chair
  • Amy Vaught
  • Andy Laurila
  • Andrew Hoan
  • Ariana Alejandres
  • Katie Golab
  • Katie Yates
  • Makaylaa Clancy
  • Meikelo Cabbage
  • Rebecca McCulloch
  • Steve Wytcherley