CENTER FOR INTERCULTURAL ORGANIZING

Rating: 4.89 stars   70 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Race

Location: 700 N Killingsworth Street Portland OR 97217 USA

Mission: The Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) is a diverse, grassroots membership organization working to build a multi-racial, multicultural movement for immigrant and refugee rights.
Results: Over nearly a decade, CIO has engaged thousands of individuals from diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, trained new immigrant and refugee community leaders, produced hundreds of educational events and mobilized countless immigrant and refugee community members to participate in civic life, and continually responded to individual incidents of discrimination and harassment in our community as they arise.
Target demographics: immigrants and refugees from over 70 countries of origin.
Direct beneficiaries per year: hundreds of immigrants and refugees, who together advocate for just policies that will improve the lives of thousands
Geographic areas served: Oregon and Southwest Washington
Programs: Community Education: CIO educates immigrants, refugees and U.S.-born allies on pressing community issues and strengthens and supports existing efforts to bring visibility to immigrant and refugee struggles. Civic Engagement and Policy Advocacy: Our civic engagement program provides a pathway for immigrants and refugees to participate in democratic processes through training programs, hands-on projects and collective action that produce concrete improvements in their lives. Organizing and Mobilization: CIO assists immigrant and refugee community members in building the organizing skills necessary to impact policies that affect them and to work collaboratively, mobilizing diverse constituencies. Intergenerational Leadership Development: CIO develops new leaders through a signature yearlong leadership development program, through strategic trainings, and through on-the-ground leadership positions within our campaigns.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

The Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) is an important nonprofit program for the City of Portland. It supports our immigrant and refugee families and community members. Most importantly, CIO gives these communities tools to be a political voice and power in the City. It gives the tools for the voiceless to be heard and bring important issues that goes on within our community that at times our local, state, and federal government may not know. The staff is amazing and passionate about the community. And I cannot wait to see how CIO transforms the City of Portland in the future.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Going into the PILOT program, I did not quite know what to expect. However, I can confidently and enthusiastically say that I am extremely glad I was allowed to join. It was very eye-opening indeed, and I learned things that I had never known before. The program made me feel a lot more confident than I ever was before, it made me feel empowered with information I never knew before, which in turn further helped enhance my understanding of why things are the way they are, and gave me tools and advice on how I can actively participate and contribute in effecting the positive and needful changes in our social system that it advocates. If I had ever entertained the desire to be a human rights activist, a social justice advocate, or the desire to to follow and engage in the political discourse, but that such desire had become dormant and on the brink of lapsing into passivity due to inactivity, participation in the CIO PILOT program has certainly reawakened it. The staff was remarkable, with an infectious sense of enthusiasm and commitment to what matters to all of us the most. I came out of the program feeling invigorated, and I wish these programs would be conducted more often and made more accessible to larger audiences.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

CIO is one of the most important social justice organizations in Oregon, and the only one that serves the immigrant and refugee communities well beyond the city limits of Portland. Their commitment to creating an organization that empowers and develops the communties they serve plays a critical role in our state. Their PILOT program alone should be replicated across the country. CIO continues to be a leader in Oregon through their civic engagement, leadership development, public policy advocacy and grassroots organizing. Whether the issue is to end profiling, address health disparities, ensure fair housing, or the myriad of other great social justice advocacy work they do, CIO is advancing a platform that every day makes Oregon a more equitable and just state.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

CIO is committed to creating a more just and equitable communities in the Portland area. The staff is exceptionally smart, committed, and forward thinking. They are especially concerned about making sure those who are traditionally excluded from city/county policy making (i.e., immigrants, people of color) have a voice at the table.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

figure out a way to bring more resources, so that more staff could be hired.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been watching and witnessing the birth, growth and important anchoring leadership of Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO), not only in specific immigrant communities, but in the larger communities of Portland and Oregon. The organization's careful and deliberate work has ensured that the voices of immigrants were heard at all levels of government, within social services settings, and in the places that policy and procedures are developed. They bring a strong, unified and powerful voice for immigrant communities and, as a result, we are all better informed and able to understand the plight of immigrants from all countries. CIO does not stop with only raising the issues of inequality, lack of cultural competence among providers, or what's lacking, they bring trained and skilled constituents with skills, abilities, talents and dreams, as newly-arrived residents of our city, counties, and state, who have much to contribute to the larger community.

CIO has made its compelling presence known through the state, has been particularly adept at moving their leadership effectively in a number of circles, local government, at the city and county level, and in working collaboratively to achieve major successes in our Legislature. CIO has also ensure that its membership is diverse and representative of immigrant communities in ways that heretofore have not proven successful.

The organization's model encourages members to come together regularly, to develop their strengths, and cultivates diverse leadership that pushes other organizations to recognize the power and benefit of more diverse representation on issues that affect all of us - whether housing affordability and quality, school improvements and teacher humility and cultural competence. CIO doesn't preach, it shows the stories of individual lives before us, and allows communities within its organization to hold their uniqueness whiile working for collective benefit.

CIO is a strategic, well focused organization that has strong leadership connections and credible relationships throughout the larger community, starting with its constituentis. This is an effective and important point to ensure effective organizing and mobilizing among members and to engage supporters in solidarity ith them - on immigration reform, school reform and quality education for all, housing, health issues, economic opportunity and equity, among others.

It has been my pleasure to watch them grow while staying rooted to their original principles of equal access, justice, diversity and equity to the immigrant voices that emerge in their own organization as well as with those they interact with.

CIO is one of the best examples of a grassroots organization that has not forgotten its roots, but has built the core components needed for long-term success: bringing leadership up from within, setting a vision and mission and not wavering, having enviable results that bring real return on investment, and increasing the diversity of voices that speak in Oregon, and for all of us.

It has been and continues to be my pleasure, as a funder, a community resident and as a social justice leader to wholeheartedly support CIO; one of the best at doing what they do and delivering real change for their communities and mine.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help create numerous satellite CIO's to ensure their presence and work encompasses all of Oregon. I'm sure they've heard that repeatedly, but it worth considering, or supporting them in developing more sites, one by one, by one, by one....

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a new member of the Pan-immigrant Leadership and Organizing Training at CIO. Therefore, I have had the opportunity to witness the great work CIO does to support and empower multi-ethnic communities. CIO provides an space to meet people from all over the world to join efforts to fight against injustice and social change. I don't feel alone anymore!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am currently in the PILOT program through CIO. I have met many people from all over the world, and everyone is so inspiring. I truly appreciate the work the CIO does, and the PILOT program is a great way to train tomorrow's leaders. The staff, volunteers, and participants are all warm and welcoming. We may all have different stories and journeys, but in the end we all have the same vision.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I witnessed the development of the Center for Intercultural Organizing from seed to the thriving organization it is today. I myself am an immigrant and the challenges facing this population are close to my heart. The sense of loneliness, isolation and discouragement are real. There are very few venues for the immigrant and refugee to deal with the confusion and anxiety created by the clash with a foreign culture. CIO offers a space where multilingual and multicultural people are learning and engaging in their communal challenges. CIO believes that the people most affected by an issue should be the individuals and communities leading and advocating for solutions.
CIO is the catalyst of changes for these individuals from helplessness and confusion to integration and leadership in the struggle for social economic justice.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

CIO has discovered a unique mode of multicultural integration that could be useful for so many other organizations. I think these knowledge needs to be harnessed in a method that can be made available for others.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

CIO has shown me how a multicultural community can come together and for each others causes. They are a safe place for dialogue and education between communities

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have more funding available to expand the program

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I had the chance to participate in the PILOT training program conducted by the Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO). During the training I noticed how the CIO staff members were very professional, well trained, organized, and committed. Moreover, I was amazed how the CIO successfully represents the diverse community, were members from various backgrounds and ethnicities embraced to form a strong non-profit organization that advocate the rights of immigrants and refugees.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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