“Making the Invisible Visible: Research and Advocacy on Behalf of Urban Communities”

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Nichole Maher

Although commonly described as one of the whitest cities in America, the Portland metro area is actually home to a wide array of diverse people of color, including communities of African Americans, African immigrants and refugees, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Latinos, Native Americans, and Slavic communities. Faced with a history of relocation, institutional racism, and complex relationships to citizenship, members of those communities in 2001 formed the Coalition of Communities of Color to increase political power and obtain self-determination by bringing to the public the data necessary to understand inequality and advance equity. Maher will discuss the communities’ complicated relationships to citizenship and how they have responded with research and advocacy.

Nichole Maher, a member of the Tlingit Tribe of Southeastern Alaska, is currently president and CEO of Northwest Health Foundation; she served as the executive director of the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) in Portland, Oregon, for over 11 years. She holds a Master’s in Public Health from the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University and two Bachelors of Science.