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Oregon Food Bank is pleased to announce our annual Equity Institute for 2021. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Institute will be virtual again. However, this year we will be offering 5 sessions, 4.5 hours per session, from Monday, September 27th – Friday, October 1st, 2021 from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM Pacific Time via Zoom.


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Training Description

The Equity Institute is open to participants from all backgrounds and is most relevant to individuals working for, and interested in, the implementation of equity at individual and institutional levels, as well as in the context of food justice. 

Participants will explore foundational concepts of culture, identity and systemic inequities, they will contextualize them both historically and within current social and cultural norms; they will then explore the application of equity and inclusion practices and intersectional ally work in individual, social and organizational settings.

By the end of the sessions, participants will share common language on matters of equity, culture, race and racism, sex, gender, sexual orientation, sexism, heterosexism and cis-sexism, and intersectionality. Together we will explore and identify the cultural and personal impact of the social constructions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other core aspects of identity within historical and current contexts.

Participants will discuss, share and practice examples of ally and solidarity work including application and implementation of equity at the organizational/institutional level using Oregon Food Bank, food banking and food justice as case studies. The sessions will be held on the date and time slots listed below:


Training Dates and Topics:


Date Time Topic
Monday, September 27 9:00 am – 2:00 pm PDT Foundational Equity Concepts – Culture and Systems of Oppression
Tuesday, September 28 9:00 am – 2:00 pm PDT Foundational Equity Concepts – Racism and White Supremacy
Wednesday, September 29 9:00 am – 2:00 pm PDT Foundational Equity Concepts – Gender and Sexism
Thursday, September 30 9:00 am – 2:00 pm PDT Foundational Equity Concepts- Ableism and Classism
Friday, October 1 9:00 am – 2:00 pm PDT Exploration of application and implementation of equity at the organizational/institutional level



The Institute is limited to 50 participants. It’s encouraged that all participants attend all five sessions as each session builds off the other. Participants can participate from any location that has high speed internet access. Given that these sessions will be interactive, we ask that participants join individually by computer rather than telephone. 

Registration opens on Monday, June 14th, 2021 at 8am PDT. To register, please go to the following site: Once registered, the zoom information will be emailed.



  • Registration price: $1,500 (until 9/1)
  • Late registration price: $1,800



Oregon Food Bank recognizes the financial impacts structural inequities and discrimination have on members of our communities primarily based on race and gender, so we are offering 10 scholarships.

Scholarships will be awarded to individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • People and communities of color 
  • People and communities who are recent immigrants and refugees
  • People who are single mothers/caregivers 
    • Note on language:  understanding the infinite number of gender identities that exist – and pushing back on dominant binary constructions of gender, we lift the specific disproportional experience and impact of hunger faced by single mothers mothers/caregivers. We affirm that gender identity and expression are porous, and we also lift up the specific impacts of traditional binary gender roles within current patriarchal systems.  
  • People and communities who are TGNC (trans and gender non-conforming) 
  • If not a member of our equity constituencies listed above, currently active in and responsible for equity work 
  • Committed to championing equity efforts within their personal lives, workplace, and community. 
  • Will add representation of diverse perspectives during the training 

If not a member of our equity constituencies listed above, individuals must currently active in and responsible for equity work, committed to championing equity efforts within their personal lives, workplace, and community, and will add representation of diverse perspectives during the training.

Folx can apply for a scholarship by completing this application by Sunday, July 10th. The scholarship will be announced on Friday, July 23rd.



The primary facilitator for the Institute will be Rut Martinez-Alicea. 

For more than 20 years, Rut has worked to dismantle systems of oppression with a focus on the intersection of racism and sexism. The Institute curriculum has been developed over many years of Rut’s work implementing and promoting policy and practice for more equitable services to marginalized communities and individuals at multiple organizations including: Clackamas Women’s Services, Proyecto UNICA of El Programa Hispano, Uniting to Understand Racism, Call to Safety (formerly Portland Women’s Crisis Line), and Portland Community College. Rut is the Director of Equity, People and Culture at the Oregon Food Bank.

Through her journey, Rut is focused on dismantling systems of oppression that create environments where individuals and communities are at greater risk of violence, marginalization, and are denied access to basic resources such as health, housing and food.


What to expect: 

  • Folx have different levels of exposure to diversity, equity and inclusion topics. Folx with less exposure may feel uncomfortable throughout the Institute. It is okay, and even necessary, to feel discomfort. Discomfort is a part of the learning process, so we encourage folx to do their best to hold space for these feelings. 
  • The Institute will consist of a mixture of teaching from the facilitator, collective discussion where we encourage participants to answer questions in the chat or verbally, watch videos and engage in small group discussions. 
  • There will be folx with varied lived experiences or knowledge levels participating in the Institute. We expect participants to be mindful of Intent vs Impact and consider how their words may affect others in the space. 
  • DEI work is a process and we don’t have final answers. We lean into the uncertainty about the work and continue to share ideas, perspectives, and different ways of thinking about things. 
  • There will be a lot of laughter! Together, participants and facilitator will have many opportunities to enjoy and benefit from humor! Folx are bound to enjoy plenty of belly laughs throughout the Institute. 


What participants have said about the Institute:

“This institute was transformative […] I consider it a gift to have been able to participate. The learnings will impact my professional and personal lives in such a positive way from now on.”

“I am so grateful to OFB for doing this! I’d love to see this work continue and am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this training.”

“The Institute helped expand my decision-making framework to include lenses of equity and diversity as it pertains to my work in procurement, and to be more understanding and mindful of the cultural differences that exist between myself and others that may impact our behaviors, choices, thoughts, and feelings.”

“I commit to recognize my bias and privilege. To sit in my discomfort so I can grow from it. To change the language I use. To work to dismantle systemic laws, policies and practices through my professional work and parenting.”

“I now get the privilege of leading DEI efforts at our food bank and this training helped me to stay focused on my role (behind the scenes doing the busy work to help to alleviate the emotional labor of BIPOC, letting the right voices make the decisions, hiring the right professionals to teach). More than anything, I learned how immoral it is for me to not keep this work going, even when I am faced with barriers, which are bound to happen.”

For more information, please contact Joshua Thomas at, or 503-419-4178.


If you would like to learn how you or your organization could sponsor the Institute, please either email Yan Medice at or