During the spring and summer of 2016 Meyer Memorial Trust (Meyer), the largest private foundation in Oregon, partnered with Oregon’s Kitchen Table to conduct an online consultation and a series of regional listening sessions to engage Oregonians from across the state to assist Meyer in developing investment strategies for increasing educational equity in Oregon.
Meyer’s new Equitable Education portfolio is aiming to focus its investments in order to maximize outcomes for students facing historic challenges: students of color, low income students and first-generation students. In early 2017, Meyer will begin inviting organizations to submit proposals on educational equity, and the input from the consultation through Oregon’s Kitchen Table is being used to inform Meyer’s strategy for future investments.
Over 1,000 Oregonians participated in the online consultation, which asked participants a series of questions about emerging priorities, key developmental measures that help protect youth’s academic and social success, and goal setting for how Meyer should measure its success in this area. In addition, OKT conducted a series of listening sessions with over 100 Oregonians in different regions of the state for community members to gather in person and discuss the issues raised in the online consultation and provide their input to Meyer. These listening sessions were focused primarily on communities of color in those different regions.