Tuesday, May 20, 2014

There's a DOPE new project here at CIO

           The Center for Intercultural Organizing recently hired Oscar Guerra-Vera as Equity and Inclusion Program Coordinator. Even from my lowly position as an intern, it is obvious that Oscar brings a lot to the programs at CIO.

           When Oscar speaks about his goals for his position at CIO, he underlines that  LGBTQ folks have throughout the history of community activism always been a part of social movements for many groups and causes. CIO is taking a bold step by bringing in Oscar; solidifying their commitment to engaging with and learning more about the LGBTQ immigrant and refugee community in our city.

          One of Oscar's first projects in this position has been creating a space where queer immigrants can get together and discuss their lives. This project is called...


           Resilient Connections aspires to discuss discriminatory policy practices, access to health care, harmful urban land-use policies, gentrification and development as they effect their minoritized communities. The seek to expand individual liberties and social tolerance on matters of gender, race, preferences, etc.

          Oscar reports that over the first few meetings, the conversations have been really engaging and more and more people seem to be trickling in. They talked about how they bear some unsettling and largely unanticipated consequences of the US's foreign wars, practices, and policies during their immigration; about how their identity and status have been interpreted in unexpected ways.
          I am really looking forward to collaborating with Oscar and Resilient Connections to incorporate the perspectives of queer immigrants of color in to the Urban League's State of Black Oregon report.
I also can't wait to see how this group expands in attendance and influence.
Good luck on your new position, Oscar!

Promise to post more often!