The Multi-City Equity Summit was held on October 19th of 2019. The Summit was held at the Lake Oswego High School and featured notable keynote and closing speakers along with a series of 10 workshops throughout the day. The event was well attended with lots of positive feedback from the participants.
The West Linn Alliance for Inclusive Community (WLAIC) developed an interest in a Multi-City Summit in 2018 and adopted it as one of our 2019 goals. We were delighted when a group in Lake Oswego had a similar idea. We became part of the steering committee from the inception of the project. WLAIC members served on the program, logistics, and finance committees for the event, and we also took on the development and maintenance of the event website.
WLAIC focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion in West Linn, but we also recognize that neighboring municipalities share the same issues we face in our city. We believed that participation in the Equity Summit was a value proposition for the West Linn community. The Summit provided a forum to learn and share with our neighboring cities.
The steering committee for the Multi-City Equity Summit developed and implemented a robust program that provided opportunities for education and honest discussions. It paved the way for collaboration between community, government, and schools to examine common problems and seek solutions.
The Multi-City Equity Summit will have a positive future impact in several ways. The intra-city relationship building that occurred during the planning stage of the project provides a stronger “equity network” between West Linn, Tualatin, Tigard, Lake Oswego, and Wilsonville. Contacts made at the Summit will pave the way for more collaboration between cities to share best practices and find areas where joint efforts may be more effective than each city working alone.
Lessons learned and contacts made by individuals at the Summit will be carried back to their respective communities. These lessons will provide a solid foundation for transforming our local communities to places where all people are welcome, and individuals consider viewing their community through an equity lens.