Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Think Proud: Create a Nationally Renowned Culture for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

PCC takes intentional action that creates a climate of learning where people from all backgrounds and abilities enjoy equal access to the opportunity to teach, learn, work, and serve the community and the world. PCC promotes the success, dignity, and worth of each individual by providing a safe environment where the examination of divergent ideas, experiences and systems of inequality adds depth to the learning experience.

Overview

Portland’s population – like that of the U.S. as a whole – is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, gender identity, socio-economic status and age, and is increasingly connected internationally. This diversity of perspectives and experiences enriches the educational and community living experience, while presenting challenges to methods of educational and service delivery designed primarily to serve a less diverse populace. In order to succeed as a college and to enable student success, PCC must proactively address institutional inequities and provide a high level of welcome and support to students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds, both locally and globally.

Woman in firefighting gear in front of fire truck

Strategic Intentions

  • 5-1 PCC gathers and uses empirical evidence to analyze and improve access, advancement, climate, education, training, recruitment, contracting, hiring and retention of historically under-served populations of students, faculty and staff.
  • 5-2 PCC applies racially conscious systems of analysis, including Critical Race Theory, to examine and dismantle systems of inequality at the college.
  • 5-3 PCC’s approach to internationalizing its curriculum expands opportunities to create globally aware and culturally intelligent students, staff and faculty.
  • 5-4 PCC strives to provide opportunity to all students and the appropriate level of support services to ensure the highest level of success.
  • Two diverse students in class

A Living Example

Manny Romero and Kelly Love
Manny Romero and Kelly Love

It was a breakthrough moment for PCC Future Connect student Manny Romero. Learning alongside other first-generation and low- income college students, he began to find strength in his own story.

"Learning to believe in myself, I realized I had become a different person – I had become a person with a future," Romero said. "My classmates are all different from me. They tell me their stories, and I tell them mine, and it makes me believe that we can do this."

Faced with considerable obstacles, many first-generation students such as Romero have difficulty finding their voice. By offering a supportive learning environment, one-on-one mentoring, and academic advising and financial support, PCC’s Future Connect program is helping to change that. "I really feel like she has my back," said Romero of his Future Connect coach Kelly Love.

Future Connect alums are three times likelier to complete their educational goals than college students from similar backgrounds who don’t receive similar services. They have gone on to pursue degrees at PCC, Portland State University, Oregon State University and Lewis & Clark.

"Going to college is something I’m doing to make a better life for myself. But I am also doing it for my sister, my family and my neighbors," Romero said. "I am helping my whole community succeed."

What We're Doing

Here's a few recent examples of how we're putting our strategic intentions to work!

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