Board declares Multnomah a "Welcoming" county

March 17, 2017

Charlene McGee, the state's refugee health coordinator

Following to provide $100,000 to nonprofits offering legal aid to immigrant residents, the board adopted a resolution declaring Multnomah County as a Welcoming County and supporting membership in Welcoming America, a national network of local governments and nonprofits that shares best practices on serving immigrant and refugee residents.

“There is no simple fix to institutional racism, oppression, and the politically driven hate and fear being forced on communities. It takes time, resistance, and education,” said Chair Deborah Kafoury, who brought forward the resolution. “That means investing in community and equipping ourselves and our staff with the right information and tools to move the dial. It’s also important for us to continue our work to increase access to training and best practices for county staff - especially those working with families every day.”

Charlene McGee, the state’s refugee health coordinator said the resources county teams can access through a membership with Welcoming America align with efforts to serve immigrants and refugees in culturally-appropriate ways.

“It also demonstrates to our staff, some of whom are immigrants and refugees themselves, that they are welcomed and valued,” she said. “Joining this network is another deliberate action to connect us to a national network.”