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Historically rejected by both Portland and Gresham, Rockwood is a community that has never been fully embraced. Decades of neglect and underinvestment have led Rockwood to be Oregon's largest, under-resourced, and challenged community.
Still, we take great pride in Rockwood! Ours are diverse and talented neighborhoods brimming with under-realized potential. We are heartened by recent infrastructure investments (e.g. Rockwood Courthouse, Rockwood Market Hall, Rockwood Police Station, and the restored Historic Rockwood School Campus) that have planted fragile seeds of optimism about the future of our community.
The RPA/KNOVA Board of Directors has mandated that the organization establish and maintain a collaborative and impactful profile in the Rockwood community. To this end, the RPA Executive Director actively works with other community leaders to make Rockwood neighborhoods safer, healthier, and richer with educational and economic opportunities.
We want to acknowledge these Rockwood "Hero" organizations for the important work they do to make Rockwood a better place for all of us.
No organization is more committed to serving Rockwood than As Is Church. Their action-oriented approach to addressing the practical needs of Rockwood families and youth has saved lives. From food, clothing, and shelter to health, education, and community building, AS IS Church has taken a leadership role in Rockwood.
The goals of RNA are to bring together our diverse residents, give them opportunities to become involved in their community, and foster a sense of neighborhood pride. If you are a homeowner, business, or tenant in this area, please join us in promoting, preserving, and enhancing our quality of life. Longtime RPA board member Catherine Nicewood (President) and Executive Director John Nelsen (Vice President) both provide leadership to this group.
ARPNI brings together six community-based organizations; IRCO, Latino Network, NAYA, MFS, United Way, and SEI as the lead agency. Along with Portland Public School District and Reynolds School District, in the two diverse neighborhoods, Albina and Rockwood. These neighborhoods are 22 miles apart and were chosen due to the rapidly changing demographics as a result of gentrification.
A Pet Project of RPA Executive Director John Nelsen, I Heart Rockwood is a non-profit organization that raises funds and coordinates volunteers to produce cost-free community-wide events and celebrations. Key to our mission is the provision of high-interest events where community families can fully participate without concern for costs.
The library works to create an environment that serves and supports those who have not had access or been welcomed. The library acknowledges its own legacy of oppression and racism and is committed to a path of evolution and improvement to deconstruct those systems. Multnomah County Library will focus resources on people and groups who have been left out.
The Rockwood Center emerged from a 2016 vision to impact the Rockwood community in meaningful ways. In the winter of 2017, a team of people, largely from Gresham United Methodist Church, began to transform Rockwood United Methodist Church into the Rockwood Center. The Rockwood Center built on the relationship established by the Rockwood United Methodist Church and continue the mission to reach into the community with love.
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