OCJ Launches First Community Cohort

Sep 12, 2022

In June, we began recruitment of Oregonians who have experienced consumer injustice firsthand to participate in our first Community Cohort, serving as engaged and vital members of our organization’s planning work this fall. As a new organization committed to power sharing, participants are compensated for their involvement, and have the opportunity to learn, provide feedback, and have full voting power —on par with board members — during OCJ’s upcoming organizational planning process. 

Today, we are elated to announce six community members who will comprise OCJ’s first Community Cohort! This inaugural multigenerational group consists of members from across the state. Members represent a range of identities, perspectives, genders, and ages, from a student in their final year of high school and cohort members in their mid-60s. Geographically, participants hail from central, eastern, and southern Oregon and the Portland metro area. They have either previously experienced consumer injustices or are actively navigating issues, providing an invaluable lens in our collaboration on a shared vision for OCJ.

“The cohort is one way we are genuinely embedding community into our work,” said Joséluis Jiménez Maldonado, OCJ’s community mobilization manager. “We are committed to creating pathways to engage people in our shared vision and ensure our programs are accessible and responsive to the communities we serve.”

As we orient the cohort members, we are immersing them in committee meetings and information sharing to equip them with the context and scope of our work necessary to deeply engage in our organizational planning this October. Additionally, the cohort will convene regularly as a group and through individual meetings with OCJ staff to foster conversation and build trust and community. 

The cohort provides accountability to OCJ’s work. Their engagement ensures we take the time to be thoughtful and clear in our agenda-building and how our meetings operate. In doing so, we can cultivate accessible and safe spaces for all attendees to understand and grapple with complex topics so they genuinely engage in conversation and decision-making.  

It’s an exciting opportunity to work alongside these Community Cohort members to collectively envision OCJ’s future. We will take care to create pathways for them to fully participate, have their voices heard, and to share their insights as we collaboratively shape an equitable and justice-oriented vision for Oregon consumers.