Multnomah County Health Department partnered with Lines for Life’s Equity Team to host our second annual Healing Summit on Saturday, February 11, 2023.

The 2023 Healing Summit: Coming Together – Community & Youth Empowerment was a successful event that set the foundation for change.

We are incredibly thankful to those who came out to support and connect at the 2023 Healing Summit. We want to thank our partners at Multnomah County Health Department, The Coalition of African and African American Pastors, Providence Health & Services, and Portland Community College for making this event possible.

Town Hall: “The Other Side of Healing”

Guest speakers at this year’s Town Hall featured prominent panelists from Portland’s Black and Brown communities to provide a safe space to share experiences, trauma, and grief. Topics focused on gun violence, racial trauma, and the lack of culturally specific resources for Black and Brown individuals and their families. Travis Gamble with Multnomah County shared, “Strengthening the families and the community are things we have to do at the same time.”

Audience members connected on the issues that communities of color are facing, as well as the actions that must follow to promote hope and healing. “We need to go through the grieving process to get to the other side of healing,” said Shawn Forde with Portland Community College. Thank you to our Town Hall panelists for sharing their lived experiences with the community.

Town Hall Panelists

Ebony Clarke
Behavioral Health Director
Oregon Health Authority

Anderson DuBoise 
Strategic Initiatives Manager

Shawn Forde 
Addictions Counseling Grant Coordinator and Outreach
PCC Cascade

Travis Gamble
Multnomah County Department of Community Justice Gang Supervision Unit for Probation Officers 

Workshops: Empowering Communities for Change

The Healing Summit hosted a variety of workshops on topics such as racial trauma, mental health support, conflict resolution, and community violence. Workshop hosts (Derric Thompson, Shon Neyland, Deshawn Williams, Jamaica Imani-Nelson, and the Multnomah County Behavioral Health Gun Violence Response Team) focused on community-oriented strategies that left attendees empowered to promote healing, and with the skills to do so.

NOW is the time.

This event had an immense impact in making community members feel safe, welcomed, and able to talk openly about the trauma experienced from gun violence and other issues communities of color face every day. The collaboration amongst community members and our partner organizations to address issues and connect with the Black community through new avenues to improve access to mental health services was invaluable and set us on the path for change.

Attendees left with the goal of increasing awareness for future events to keep the conversation going and to work together to support Portland’s Black and Brown communities. Lines for Life, Multnomah County, and our other community partners have committed to making this an annual event to continue our work in healing Portland’s community. Stay tuned for information for next year’s Healing Summit!

Thank you again to our partners, panelists, workshop hosts, and resource fair organizations who came out to support this important event.

“It’s a collective effort, and the time is now.” – Ebony Clarke, Oregon Health Authority