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The Road map

A Note:

Working on a project like this means taking the time to do the research on the community history, and the context in which all this takes place.


The Albina district is one that has seen extreme displacement, racist and prejudicial practices as the means of profit for those in power.


Please take the time to look though some of the articles and documents on the history of Albina we used to gain a better understanding of where we are in this moment, as we look towards the future of Albina.


Click here for the CIP archive


With this knowledge, a roadmap was developed, working through JOY! Initiatives, community focused workshops, and the work of determining site programming, layout, and scenario development. Below is a graphic showing the planned roadmap from August, 2020.


Community Connections

The community connections focused on creating a sense of joy, grounding, well-being, and inclusion, as well as education, while fostering growth of relationships between the team and Portland’s Black community.


As highlighted in the roadmap, three kinds of community connections continued throughout the plan development: JOY! Initiatives, Community Dialogs, and workshops. Dedication to listening and reflecting resulted in high community participation, as reflected in the statistics below, from just before the sixth workshop.

JOY! Initiative: Been Here, Still here

Oct 17th, 2020
Oral traditions are part of the vibrancy and survival of Black communities. Add music to these stories, and they spread further, faster and truer to the original. By combining these elements in a celebratory event, it signals that AVT is adding a new chapter to the story of Black Portland.

Orientation Workshop

Oct 21st, 24th, 27th, 2020

More than 80 Portlanders in total participated in the three-day Orientation Workshops. Participation in the workshops increased steady—nearly doubling with each workshop—as awareness in the community grew. The final workshop in the series, held on Tuesday, October 27th, was the largest with 43 participants.

JOY! Initiative: Hustle Highlights

Nov 14th-21, 2020
Timed just before the holiday season, this event highlighted micro black-owned businesses, showcasing the cultural impacts that so many of these businesses have made on the community. A business networking event was held, bringing these business owners into the economic development and growth conversation for which they may otherwise be overlooked.

Programming Workshop

Dec 17th, 19, 21st, 2020
In conjunction with AVT, the Design Team hosted a series of Programming Workshops with the community to invite participation in visualizing what aspects of home and community are important to them. The Workshops were the second in an extensive public engagement process that also includes virtual Joy! events and on-going Community Dialog surveys. As such, the team detailed to the participants the overall planning process; where we have been previously, we are in that process now, and what is to come in the near future.

Roadmap to the Future of Albina - Community Planning Review Workshop

Feb 4th, 6th, 8th, 2021

It’s time. Time to make decisions about the future of Albina as a home and place of joy for Portland’s Black communities. Time to determine what that means as we move forward with the design phase of this Community Investment Project. We’ve talked about joy, vitality, community, safety and legacy in our prior workshops, and now we – Albina Vision Trust and you, the community – are headed into establishing how we incorporate these details into a successful design.

Joining us for this conversation were Sharon Gary-Smith, President of Portland NAACP Chapter, and Emmanuel Williams, host of Sox and Sandals podcast.

Youth are invited and encouraged to participate.


Community Care

Recognizing how much has happened in the last 12 months – a global pandemic, quarantines, uprisings and continued harm – we wanted to pause and take some time to support our community. To do so, we partnered with Equitable giving Circle and provided 200+ journals as part of their Black Joy box, in turn supporting their work of providing healthy, fresh and culturally appropriate food to over 3k folks weekly in the Portland BIPOC community.

Also, realizing the need for k-12 students to have some cultually centered design education, we added a few design prompts to our social media to give them something to think about over spring break.

Towards the Future - From Conceptual to Physical

Carrying the spirit of what we’ve heard into the design of a physical space
About this event
For the past 6 months, the Albina Community investment Plan Design Team has been receiving some pretty amazing input form the community. Now it’s time to actualize these concepts into the design of physical spaces.

Join us as we look at three possible scenarios, each of which integrates these community defined themes: a sense of belonging, access to nature, wealth built within the Black community, a rich variety of public spaces, and shared social support.

Juneteenth Film Fest

Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, whichever you call it, we celebrated!

Juneteenth marks the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger read “General Order No. 3” in Galveston, Texas, declaring the liberation of those enslaved. A celebration of Black culture, freedom, and joy, Portland Juneteenth celebrations are credited to Clara Peoples, the “Mother of Juneteenth” who started larger celebrations in 1945 while working at the Kaiser shipyard. Juneteenth is a celebration of Black culture, freedom, and joy.

This year, Albina Vision Trust hosted an evening film festival highlighting local Black filmmakers.

The short films presented include: the premiere of Episode 1 of Black Bald Film/ Dru Holley’s Albina Mini Film Series, focusing on public safety; Elijah Hasan and Renee Mitchell’s “Black Nod; ” and episodes from the “Expressions in Black” series produced by Heart & Hustle Productions, led by Rashad Floyd.

Simultaneously, artist and visionary Sharita Towne  revealed a projection activation of the Portland Public Schools HQ building in a display that will honor Black elders who have long carried the torch for educational equity.

Cultivating Generational Roots

The roots of the Black community in Portland run beyond Oregon’s statehood. Over 160 years later, we’re still here and looking towards the future. There are big questions about what it might look like, how we get there, and who gets to participate. Let’s get into it.

In this workshop we’ll be discussing three things:

The physical site of lower Albina and how each zone will be addressed

How this plan cultivates generational roots and generational wealth

What it means to be a participant and citizen of Albina.

We’re future building, come through.


Sharon Gary-Smith, President, Portland NAACP

Emmanuel Williams, Sox n Sandals Podcast

Restoring Albina

Planning a future where Black Portland is thriving, healthy, growing – and rooted in Albina.

Been here, still here, will be here. These are so much more than just words: they are the setting of an intention, and speaking the future into existence. The future where Black Portland is thriving, healthy, growing – and rooted in Albina.

In this, our last round of workshops for the Community Investment Plan, we discussed scenario details like housing, commercial spaces, community places, investments and how one participates in each. Joining us again as hosts were Sharon Gary-Smith, President of Portland NAACP; and Emmanuel Williams, Founder of Youniversal Professional Development.

Albina Rising - Revealing the Community Investment Plan

Just 18 months ago, we asked you to join us to dream, discuss, strategize and plan for the creation of the Albina Community Investment Plan. And y’all – our beloved community – showed up big time! As we wrap up this chapter, please join us for the final presentation. Let’s get into the strategies for wealth building, community spaces, cultural celebration and the vision for re-rooting Black people and culture in lower Albina.