Rockwood Speaks

We facilitate community conversations following the models of civic engagement.


Places like Rockwood are overlooked by the big systems because they are at the edge of big cities like Portland. In order to put the spotlight on this place, we gather our community together for generative conversations that move the community forward.

What is Rockwood Speaks!

Rockwood Speaks! is a community-centered and community-led program initiative that engages in community-based dialogue while working collaboratively on issues of concern for the well-being of the community.

Small stipends are available to neighborhood leaders and community members. We are attentive to and responsive to the voice of our community. Through personal interactions, facilitated formal group conversations, cultural expressions, and data information sharing, we continue to build community and relationships.  

Guiding Principles  

Rockwood CDC developed a set of principles to guide the program. These guiding principles describe the values by which the Rockwood Speaks Program is administered. The guiding principles complement the core values of Rockwood CDC, which are “Build Bridges, Not Armies”, “It’s Personal”, “Reconciliation”, “Never Leave the Table” and help ensure that all decisions and solutions are being made in a way that honors the vision and values of the community.

The guiding principles are:

Social and Racial Justice Driven.

Create advanced system changes that uplift cultural values and experiences while addressing historic and current discrimination. Center all disadvantaged and marginalized communities, especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Community Empowerment.

Trust and value community wisdom, knowledge, experience, creativity, and leadership. Honor and build on existing work and partnerships with community members and CBOs. Provide space for communities, including emerging community groups and diverse coalitions, to be civic leaders. Engage with and invest in community-inspired approaches that cultivate community power to generate meaningful local changes.

Effective and Meaningful Participation.

We respect community members, leaders, and community-minded organizations as shared partners in all aspects of RCDC's mission and vision. Make community conversations a bi-directional learning process. Ensure comments, feedback, and community wisdom are integrated in program and service planning processes.


Implement engagement plans with transparency and genuineness – No "hidden agenda" to promote trust and partnership. Create opportunities for community members to provide feedback, including complaints and criticism, to improve the program.

Technology Driven.

Provide appropriate tools and resources for disadvantaged communities to access and utilize technological advancement to increase capacity for civic engagement.

Our Work

We work intentionally with community members to solve systems-level issues with systems-level solutions.