Theory of Change


Respond to Racism envisions a Lake Oswego and Oregon where racial equity is achieved, and all residents feel valued, respected, and empowered regardless of their race or ethnicity.

Problem Statement

Despite progress in many areas, racism persists in Lake Oswego and Oregon, manifesting in various forms such as systemic discrimination, implicit bias, and racial disparities in opportunities and outcomes. This perpetuates a cycle of inequality, marginalization, and injustice that undermines the well-being and cohesion of the community.

Theory of Change

Respond to Racism believes that addressing racism requires a multi-faceted approach that encompasses education, advocacy, community engagement, and institutional change. Our theory of change is based on the following principles:

  1. Education and Awareness:
    • By providing educational programs, workshops, and resources, individuals in Lake Oswego will gain a deeper understanding of the historical context of racism, its impact on communities of color, and their role in combating it.
    • Increased awareness and knowledge will empower residents to recognize and challenge racist attitudes, behaviors, and systems in their personal lives, workplaces, and institutions.
  2. Community Empowerment:
    • Through community organizing, dialogue sessions, and partnerships with local organizations and stakeholders, Respond to Racism fosters a sense of collective responsibility and solidarity in addressing racism.
    • By amplifying the voices of marginalized communities and creating inclusive spaces for dialogue and collaboration, we empower residents to actively participate in anti-racist efforts and advocate for equitable policies and practices.
  3. Institutional Change:
    • Respond to Racism advocates for systemic changes within institutions such as schools, businesses, government agencies, and law enforcement to dismantle racist policies, practices, and structures.
    • By engaging in policy advocacy, conducting equity audits, and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, we strive to create environments where all individuals have equal opportunities and are treated fairly regardless of their race or ethnicity.
  4. Evaluation and Adaptation:
    • Respond to Racism continuously evaluates the effectiveness of its programs, initiatives, and advocacy efforts through data collection, feedback mechanisms, and community assessments.
    • Based on evaluation findings, we adapt and refine our strategies to ensure they are responsive to the evolving needs and challenges of the community in the fight against racism.


Through our theory of change, Respond to Racism aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Increased racial equity and inclusivity in Lake Oswego and Oregon.
  • Reduction in racist attitudes, behaviors, and disparities.
  • Strengthened community resilience and social cohesion.
  • Empowered individuals and institutions committed to anti-racism.
  • Creation of a more just and equitable society for residents of all races and ethnicities.
  • Passage of public policies that specifically address racial disparities and serve the specific needs of communities of color.
  • Increased presence of leaders of color and groups led by communities of color with a commitment to anti-racism.

Ultimately, Respond to Racism believes that by educating, empowering, and mobilizing residents and institutions, we can collectively create tangible and sustainable change to combat racism and build a more inclusive and equitable community for all.