Black History Month roundtable will address how lessons learned from past infrastructure projects are informing IBR program equity emphasis

Roundtable speakers will share their personal and family stories of displacement, answer audience questions, and discuss how the IBR program is establishing a framework to help ensure an equitable process and outcomes for the program


On Fri., Feb. 25, 5:30-7 p.m., the Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) program will host “Black Communities and their Relationships with Infrastructure,” a virtual roundtable discussion highlighting the importance of learning from the history of transportation infrastructure and the resulting displacement of Black communities. This Black History Month-inspired gathering will feature prominent local Black leaders discussing how lessons learned from past harms are elevating equity-focused practices into current-day infrastructure projects like the IBR program to bring communities together.

On Fri., Feb. 25, 5:30-7 p.m., the Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) program will host “Black Communities and their Relationships with Infrastructure,” a virtual roundtable discussion
File photo.

Greg Johnson, IBR program administrator, will be joined in the roundtable discussion by Portland City Commissioner and IBR Executive Steering Group member Jo Ann Hardesty, Vancouver NAACP President and IBR Community Advisory Group member Jasmine Tolbert, Director of Outreach & Community Engagement in Global Diversity & Inclusion for Portland State University and IBR program Community Advisory Group Co-Chair Ed Washington, IBR program Principal Equity Officer Johnell Bell, and Assistant Professor at Portland State University and IBR program Equity Advisory Group Facilitator Dr. Roberta Hunte. Millicent Williams, facilitator of the IBR program Executive Steering Group, will facilitate the event.

Roundtable speakers will share their personal and family stories of displacement, answer audience questions, and discuss how the IBR program is establishing a framework to help ensure an equitable process and outcomes for the program. A limited number of webinar participant seats will be reserved for BIPOC community members to provide them with the opportunity to interact directly with the roundtable speakers.

“Black Communities and their Relationships with Infrastructure” will be livestreamed and available for playback on the IBR program YouTube channel and the IBR program Facebook page. To learn more, visit this registration link or contact info@interstatebridge.org.

About the bi-state Interstate Bridge Replacement program

Replacing the aging Interstate Bridge across the Columbia River with a modern, seismically resilient, multimodal structure that provides improved mobility for people, goods and services is a high priority for Oregon and Washington. 

Governors and legislative leadership in both states directed the Oregon Department of Transportation and Washington State Department of Transportation to launch the bi-state Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) program to lead this work, recognizing that needed safety and transportation improvements to the existing Interstate Bridge remain unaddressed. Program development work is centered on equity and following a transparent, data-driven process that includes collaboration with local, state, federal, and tribal partners.

Comprehensive and equitable community engagement that minimizes barriers to involvement and proactively seeks to include equity priority communities is critical to successfully identifying a bridge replacement solution that reflects community values and can earn broad regional, bi-state, and national support. 

The Executive Steering Group, Community Advisory Group, Equity Advisory Group, and community outreach are key components of comprehensive community engagement efforts to ensure ongoing, extensive, and inclusive public dialogue. 

Visit the program website at www.interstatebridge.org, sign up to receive a monthly e-newsletter and program updates, or connect with the program on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and YouTube).

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