Immigration and Refugee Resettlement in East Portland (REFUGEE YTH IN PDX)

Instructor Name: 
George Haley
Course Description: 

According to Communities of Color in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile, “In total, people of color in 2008 (by traditional Census Bureau counts) comprise 26.3% of the population of the county. When we add the Slavic community to these data, […] the size of the community totals over 200,000 residents." A large number of these residents are immigrants and refugees. The Coalition report finds that these communities face sharp disparities compared to whites in education, income, poverty, and other metrics. The report states that “our pathways to effective practice lead us to prioritize service delivery that stretches far beyond the framework of ‘cultural competency’ into ‘culturally-specific services.’”

Rapid demographic changes in East Portland due to migration, displacement, and population growth necessitate the adoption of “culturally-specific services” as a best practice identified by the Coalition and PSU. Providing“culturally-specific services” in East Portland requires close collaboration between community organizations such as IRCO and other agencies. The implementation of these services, and the coordination between culturally specific organizations and partnering agencies, warrants study.

Project Description: 

The current project entails working alongside Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), a non-profit that provides culturally specific social services. Students will address needs affecting the field of refugee and immigrant settlement in East Portland, such as researching best practices in overcoming linguistic and cultural gaps between communities and institutions, and/or meeting other needs as identified by the organization to further their success in one of Portland’s highest need communities.