Learn about poverty, Rockwood, and our work at an upcoming virtual Lunch and Learn Read More

Knocks, Speaks, Listens

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 and publish quantitative and qualitative data. 

We are attentive to and responsive to the voice of our community.  This voice is expressed through personal interaction, facilitated formal conversations, arts and cultural expressions, and data.  Everything that we have learned is available to you.


Just the act of asking the question oftentimes changes the narrative.  That change opens up new possibilities, and raises new leaders.

Engaging the rich diversity of our neighborhood means employing Community Health Workers from our Community Health Unit, who are members of the community who are able to reach deeply into culturally-specific pockets and engage their neighbors.

We also use interpreters and translators, offer free childcare, hold meetings and exhibitions at nights and on the weekends, and even pay people who are missing work to engage with public processes.

Today in Gresham from the City Council to neighborhood groups, our Rockwood Speaks process has helped leaders rise.

Look for a fresh round of Speaks facilitated conversations to begin in 2021. 

Would you like to host the next Speaks! session for your neighbors or group?

This is a free service to you.  Incentives are $10 gift cards to the first 15 individuals or family groups per meeting. We can provide an interpreter for most of the languages that are spoken in Rockwood. Simple finger foods and childcare are provided. If this sounds interesting to you, then contact us.

Rockwood Speaks is how we and our neighbors build our skills in civil discourse, community based dialogue, and working collaboratively on issues of concern for the wellbeing of the community.

The RCDC holds about 10 sessions each year. To date, more than 2,000 adults have participated in a Speaks! event.


Rockwood Knocks is our program for knocking on doors to gain direct statistical data from our neighbors. It also involves mining the databases out there to form a picture of our neighborhood.

Look for fresh data in 20201 as the Census is released.


Another way that we use the information is to act on issues that cut across broad cross-sections of our community.

Here is an example:

The #1 need that Level I conversations revealed is a new community center. When the opportunity to create the Sunrise Center came along, the RCDC knew that we should do it.

Every few years, we convene the leaders of our area to listen to all of this input from our community.

Below are some reports from past Rockwood Listens sessions.

Look for a new Rockwood Listens session in 2021.

Documents and Resources