We cannot change the past, but we have the power to change the present and the future!
Pittock Mansion Society, a private non-profit organization, operates the Pittock Mansion as a historical house museum and educational organization. Our mission is to inspire the understanding and stewardship of Portland history and connect the past to help shape a better future. Our buildings—saved by the citizens of Portland—are owned and maintained by the City of Portland, Parks and Recreation.
We commend The Oregonian for the self-reflective series it recently released regarding the newspaper’s role in perpetuating racism under Henry Pittock, the publisher and Harvey Scott, the editor. Using primary source materials from The Oregonian’s archives, this series reveals how the newspaper contributed to the development of Oregon’s racist profile over decades under different publishers and editors. The letter of apology from the current editor, Therese Bottomly, acknowledges the newspaper’s past and reinforces the commitment to changing its future role.
Pittock Mansion Society’s goal is to be a relevant history museum that can help expand the understanding of the past so we can contextualize the present and shape a better future. We want to help our audiences continue on the path of discovery and learning, as there is so much more to unravel from the untold and undocumented stories that can help clarify our assumptions.
No one entity can bring the type of societal change to which we all aspire—one with no systemic inequities.
We—individually and collectively—must commit to being the drivers of change, which might take years to be realized.
We must stay focused and, most importantly, positively charged to reach our shared vision.
We have begun our institutional journey by recognizing that our world has changed dramatically in the last few years and will continue to change in the future. We are committed to Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) and are working towards reaching our goals of relevancy by focusing on four core areas:
1. Adapting to the Shifting Landscape with new Interpretation and Community Engagement Strategies
2. Reflecting Diversity in Pittock Mansion Staff, Leadership and Board
3. Providing a Public Forum for Conversations and Learning
4. Providing Greater Access to Underserved Communities
Click here to read the detailed version of Pittock Mansion Society’s Commitment to DEAI statement.
Pittock Mansion Society looks forward to collaborating with The Oregonian and other community stakeholders to continue the dialogue around race that this series has initiated. Much work remains to be done as we need to chart out a community-owned action plan with concrete steps of how we can make Oregon more diverse and inclusive.
As world leader Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
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