Salem, Oregon. – Bridges Oregon wants to take a moment to reflect over the past year. The BIPOC and Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing communities have experienced challenging times and great trauma. Everyone wants to be safe in their community – no matter where they live, no matter the color of their skin. This trial has captured the attention of our nation and became a symbol of systemic racism. Yesterday’s verdict reminds us that no one should be above the law, even if they are the law.

As a new emerging leader, Bridges Oregon has become the only dedicated Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing nonprofit organization in Oregon that provides advocacy and accompaniment services. With the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant the Oregon Department of Justice recently awarded Bridges Oregon, we will employ a full-time VOCA Client Advocate to provide services to Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing victims. A press release on the new hiring decision is forthcoming within the next couple of weeks.

With the arrival of our new hired VOCA Client Advocate, Bridges Oregon is committed to work toward inclusivity, anti-racism, bias reduction and equity, including training. Bridges Oregon will receive multiple trainings on anti-racism, social justice, restorative justice, and transformative justice throughout the life of this grant.

Bridges Oregon continues to provide police training on Effective Interaction between Law Enforcement and Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) and several other law enforcement agencies. Bridges Oregon is in the early stage of conversation to explore an option to reevaluate the existing training curriculum to integrate some contents pertaining to multiple identities within the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing communities. We do not want another Andrea “Dre” Hollingsworth incident where the North Las Vegas Police Department told her 11 years-old-twins to interpret while detaining their mother, a Black, Deaf, Lesbian, Woman on April 7, 2021 who struggled to understand masked law enforcement officers.

Bridges Oregon remains strongly committed to addressing issues of police brutality, social injustice, and racism and continues to demand real change and accountability for African Americans and all marginalized members in our community.

Say his name, George Floyd and many more.
Say her name, Breonna Taylor and many more.
Say Black Lives Matter!

About Bridges Oregon:
Bridges Oregon is a nonprofit for Oregonians who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing or face other communication barriers. It is in our mission to facilitate equity, inclusiveness and provide a bridge to opportunities through advocacy, education and communication.
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