Three words define Write Around Portland’s values, guide our programs and sustain our organization: respect, writing, community. Our past is built on their stable foundation. We use them to engage in our present work in vibrant and meaningful ways. We call upon them as we look to the future. These values matter, and they are the heart of our culture.
We name respect first because it is primary, essential and without it, our model of writing and community are not possible. We are a people-centered, relationship-based organization. We believe in the dignity of all people, and we treat everyone with consideration, kindness and a reverence for their individual humanity. We recognize and honor our common humanity.
We are also a writing organization. We believe in words. We facilitate and celebrate the process of writing those words for communication, expression, creativity and connection. We know that everyone has a story and a voice—and that writing is a powerful, transformative tool to develop and share them. We believe that everyone can write, and writing can and should be accessible and inclusive.
Writing can be a solitary act, and in the wider culture it is often thought of as something done in isolation. We believe writing can be particularly powerful when it is done in community, as a shared experience. When people write together, share their writing and encourage one another in the process, they connect, build trust and engender respect.
Our Commitment to Equity
Write Around Portland is committed to understanding and changing historical legacies of inequity and patterns of oppression, especially as applied to communities of color. We recognize that working towards equity requires active investments in changing structures and practices to be more culturally responsive. We are committed to advancing racial equity as a foundational element of all aspects of our work, which we believe will also inform our work addressing other inequities in our organization and our community.
Read our Racial Equity Assessment Report and our Racial Equity Framework that staff and board use in decision-making as we strive to embed anti-racist practices within our organization, the nonprofit sector and the places where we operate.
Our Diversity Statement
- Diversity is a fundamental part of Write Around Portland’s value system and is essential to our ability to develop and deliver programming that is consistent with and supports our mission to change lives through the power of writing.
- We believe that diversity is a strength that makes our workshops, anthologies and readings rich and reflective of our greater community.
- We are intentional in our recruitment, support and inclusion of diverse people throughout our organization, including board members, staff, volunteers, participants and agency partners.
- We value diversity in all its forms and work to create meaningful and respectful connections among people of different socioeconomic levels, races, ages, ethnicities, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, health statuses, physical and mental abilities, education levels, religions and backgrounds.
- We continually work to cultivate an environment and organizational culture in which all who are involved in our organization feel respected, included and valued. Our commitment to inclusiveness will be evident in our organizational policies and procedures, as part of our strategic plan, within our organizational goals and throughout our programs.