One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: Three Valleys Project: A Project of the Common Enterprise, Portland, OR
Contact(s): Sharif Abdullah, Site Director: (503) 281-1667
Purpose: To build community through collaborative, inclusive dialogue among people of different cultures and ideologies

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The Three Valleys Project (3VP) is a two-year project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. (The Three Valleys Project refers to the target areas of the Mid-Willamette Valley, the Hood River Valley and the Tualatin Valley in Portland.) The program is designed to build bridges of understanding, community and civic engagement among people of different cultures. The project's primary objective is to assist small towns at easing racial tension by facilitating roundtable discussions among various racial and ethnic groups.

Program Operations

The Three Valleys Project holds a series of roundtables on the changing cultural diversity of the area. Acting as negotiation and communication facilitators, the organization meets with various sectors in the community, including: government, police, schools, social services, Latino and white youth, farm workers, businesses and religious groups. The roundtables focus on building consensus and respect for cultural differences. The most effective tool used by 3VP is a simultaneous translator. The translators helped to overcome language barriers by enhancing communication among focus group participants. Due to the successful use of the equipment, school boards, government agencies and other groups in the area have purchased their own simultaneous translators and requested further guidance on facilitating dialogue within their communities.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

The Three Valleys Project recently established the Common Way Institute, which will focus on teaching the philosophy of inclusivity and promoting methodologies of interracial and intercultural community dialogues. 3VP also publishes a bilingual community newsletter that highlights local efforts that work to improve race relations.

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