March 18 Equity & Inclusion Corner

Posted by Abby Rotwein on 3/18/2022

Equity & Inclusion Corner

Holidays and Celebrations 

Happy Purim to our Jewish community.
We hope that all who celebrated had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day.
Happy Holi to our Hindu community.
We wish our Sikh community a lovely Hola Mohalla.
March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  

Respond to Racism LO

Respond to Racism is a local, community-led organization whose mission is: “To educate and empower Lake Oswego residents and institutions with the tools to combat racism in all its forms and make LO — and Oregon — a better place to live for residents of all races and ethnicities.”  
They hold monthly meetings and events. Information can be found at their website: Respond to Racism. Their next community meeting is taking place on April 11th and will feature Serena Yang, NYC Youth Poet Laureate and National Youth Poet Laureate finalist.  

Upcoming Middle School and High School Assemblies with Karen Gaffney

I am overjoyed to share that we have an incredible guest speaker coming to Riverdale Middle School on Friday, April 8th and Riverdale High School on Friday, April 15th. Her name is Karen Gaffney, and her bio is below:


Karen has been a life long advocate, role model and standard bearer that proclaims DOWN SYNDROME IS A LIFE MEANT TO BE LIVED! And, as she often says, DOWN SYNDROME IS A LIFE MEANT TO BE SAVED!
Karen graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Oregon and earned a two-year Associates of Science degree from Portland Community College. She successfully swam the English Channel as part of a six-person relay team. She also swam 9 miles, non stop straight across the width of Lake Tahoe, in 59-degree water to raise money for the National Down Syndrome Congress and to show the world that people with Down Syndrome are more alike, rather than different, from everyone else. She has countless open water swims on her athletic resume, including swimming 8 miles across Lake Champlain for the North County Down Syndrome Association and 5 miles from Molokini to Wailea Beach in Maui for Best Buddies of Hawai’i.
Karen travels the country speaking to a wide range of audiences about overcoming limitations and about what can be accomplished with positive expectations. Karen tackles any challenge she faces with determination and commitment, knowing she has limits, but not allowing them to limit her drive to succeed. 
You can learn more about Karen at her website, Karen Gaffney Foundation. I encourage you to check out her TEDxPortland talk and the video of her swimming across Lake Tahoe. The links are below:

A big thank you to the PTC for providing us with funds for this special event!!
-Abby Rotwein (she/her), Director of Equity & Inclusion