Center for Intercultural Organizing is a multi-ethnic, multicultural membership organization that leads grassroots efforts to increase access to opportunities for immigrants, refugees, and people of color through community education, policy advocacy, grassroots organizing, and intergenerational leadership development. Since 9/11, we have organized against the targeting and profiling of Muslims and other groups, while broadening our focus toward building power in immigrant and refugee communities. CIO has engaged thousands of individuals from diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, trained new immigrant and refugee community leaders, produced hundreds of educational events and mobilized countless immigrant and refugee community members who are directly impacted by these issues to advocate on their own behalf.
The Center for Intercultural Organizing is a founding member of The Fair Shot Coalition. For years, there was a perception that labor and community groups—particularly communities of color and immigrant and refugees—could not work together to achieve social justice, even as the attacks we faced came from the same groups. We came to recognize that in order to be effective on the ground, in our communities, and in the legislature, we needed to work together to build a strong and diverse alliance. We also recognized that the demographics in Oregon and across the country were shifting quickly and we simply could not afford to continue doing “business as usual.” We needed to collectively find a way to shift the paradigm. The Fair Shot Campaign gave us that opportunity: to create a new narrative that would go beyond the middle class and be led by looking at our campaigns through racial and gender justice lens.
Our years of organizing to end profiling in Oregon, and the coalition that was The Fair Shot Campaign, paid off with a tremendous victory in the 2015 legislature—the passage of HB 2002, a comprehensive anti-profiling bill that provides a clear definition of profiling and requires all law enforcement agencies in the state to ban it. The definition encompasses profiling based on race, ethnicity, skin color, national origin, language, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, homelessness, and disability – a comprehensive definition that can serve as a model for other states.