Advancing Equity through Engaging People with Lived Experience (Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center and Rosemary High School)

Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center and Rosemary High School (POIC + RAHS) serves more than 3,000 students, work trainees, and families annually. Their programs include Rosemary Anderson Schools, Work Opportunities Training, Community Healing Initiative, Youth Services, and Community Safety. For over 50 years, they have worked with youth and families impacted by community violence by addressing root causes and working with partners to deliver essential programs.

With seed grant funding from the Safe States Alliance, POIC + RAHS launched its Ambassador Program for Credible Messengers. Credible Messengers are individuals with relevant lived experiences and knowledge of how to serve vulnerable youth via trauma-informed care, violence intervention practices, and conflict resolution. The pilot program provided professional development training and mentorship opportunities to three Ambassadors and provided financial stipends for completing the program. Not only does the Ambassador Program give people who have experienced the criminal justice system a second chance, but it also engages those with lived experience in the process of changing the criminal justice system and their communities for the better.

Safe States Resources Hub