The Lack of Diversity in the Portland Area

This past month many high school students in the Portland Metro area attended the Diversity Conference, hosted by Catlin Gabel. It educated students on what it means to be of color in the Portland area, the LGBTQ+ community, and many other subjects that our society is facing today.

African Americans represent 6.9% of the Portland area, while whites represent 77.2%. These statistics caused a variety of reactions in Portland and beyond those borders. Among those reactions was the short documentary “Black Girl in Suburbia” which showed how black girls grew up in the predominantly white community of West Linn. This short documentary was played to Portland High School student at the Diversity conference. This video brought to light how many young white people are unfamiliar with others of a different skin color and how other treat young black girls.

The Diversity and Inclusion Conference gave the opportunity for minorities to come to a safe space to be heard. Every year students come together to discuss controversial topics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and much more. Marley Lopez, a Catlin Gabel senior, stated, “The Diversity establishes a community with the vocabulary and insights to create and inclusive environment.”

Several students from Central Catholic attended the event along with David Blue, Sandy Dickerson, April Robinson, and Kari Rittenour. This is Central Catholic’s second year in participating in this event. Central Catholic junior, Sammy Longo stated “I enjoyed attending the Catlin Gabel diversity conference because it gave me the opportunity to learn more about topics such as institutionalized racism and identity”.

Questions on the event? See Mr. Blue in the diversity office.