Why we are here

Portland is an increasingly diverse community.

In Oregon, with the fourth worst graduation rate in the nation and a national ranking of 40th out of fifty states for having the largest achievement gaps, innovation is needed. We cannot as a community continue to have over 50% of Black, Hispanic and Native American students dropping out of high school. The achievement and opportunity gap for kids of color and children in poverty matters; especially to a city that is becoming increasingly diverse. Currently, 44% percent of Kindergartners in PPS are students of color and it is estimated by 2020 it will be majority minority. Consider the following according to the 2009 census:

  • The population of Multnomah County has grown .7% over the past year continuing a trajectory of growth over the last decade
  • The population of every race, except Caucasians, has grown since 2000
  • 121,000 youth (people under the age of 18) reside in the City of Portland
  • 20,246 live in poverty
  • 11,081 Speak English as a second language

This is not the Portland that makes us proud. We can do better. That is why Kairos exists and why we believe others are supporting us in these efforts.

2 Responsesso far.

  1. Carol Pinegar says:

    I think your message is off. You give bullet points that are facts. All of the bullet points but one are facts that are pretty neutral, facts about population growth and diversity. No problem. AND you give the fact that 20,246 children in Mult. Co. live in poverty. Then you go on to say, “This is not the Portland that makes us proud.” Well, I agree that the poverty statistic is nothing to be proud of. BUT what’s wrong with having a county where lots of kids speak English as a Second Language? What’s WRONG with the numbers of youth in the County, or the fact that white population hasn’t grown, while the populations of people of color have?
    So, I suggest you craft the bullet points and the paragraph that follows differently. Because right now, it looks like you aren’t proud of Multnomah County’s diversity, or growth in people of color, etc. I understand you aren’t proud of the stats in the FIRST paragraph. But that’s not the way this message reads. 🙂

  2. adminKp says:

    Thanks Carol. That is not our intention at all! We appreciate your feedback.

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