CIO’s 2009-2013 Strategic Plan
Between May and August 2008, the Center for Intercultural Organizing began a strategic planning process to identify 4-year goals and priorities so the CIO membership, staff and the Board of Directors can work together to sharpen the impact of the organization.
We collected surveys from immigrant and refugee members and community stakeholders to inform the strategic plan, which illuminated the need for focused work on a variety of critical issues impacting immigrants and refugees. Findings discovered through our strategic planning process were echoed by a previous CIO publication, Uniting Cultures in Portland: Bridging the Gap in City Policy (2006), which represented data collected from 1,000 immigrant and refugee community members.
Board and staff members supplemented this information by conducting research on the local and national issues that currently impact immigrants and refugees, as well as cutting edge, best practices for immigrant and refugee co-integration. CIO Board and staff also analyzed available sources of Tri-County population data to better understand the makeup of our constituency, which revealed significant obstacles faced by immigrant and refugee communities:
- 61% of our local foreign-born populations have an annual income of less than $25,000;
- 26% of the foreign-born populations hold a bachelor’s degree (compared to 41% of the total U.S. population);
- Immigrant and refugee communities often settle together in neighborhoods, making it possible to deliver culturally specific services, but posing special challenges to integrate these groups into the larger community or to advance a common policy agenda; and
- There is great language diversity in immigrant and refugee communities and a high level of linguistic and cultural isolation.
After conducting this research, the Board and staff synthesized and developed our findings into five core organizational goals with a subset of priorities, as well as a series of performance indicators and measures.