NEWS & UPDATES

We met up with one of our Greater Than high school students to learn more about her experience through the Alder Track. Click here to learn more.

In Support of Families

June 22, 2018: In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed inhumane treatment of immigrants spiral quickly from words to appalling actions. This includes swift establishment of mass tent cities, separation of families, and creation of “tender age” shelters created for migrant toddlers torn away from their parents and other relatives.  Without a doubt, the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy proves a cruel, unacceptable attack on those seeking asylum and opportunity in the United States

 

At Greater Than, we recognize that the United States has an atrocious history, rooted in systemic oppression and institutional racism, of separating children from parents. Although an executive order was signed to keep families together at the southern border, this crisis is far from over.

 

Public outrage and collective voice was the catalyst for the executive order, but the “zero-tolerance” policy remains. Civic engagement is a vital way to shape our communities. We ask that you join us as we stand with migrants who remain torn from their families and detained indefinitely.

 

On a national level, you can donate to ActBlue Civics, a registered charitable organization that will distribute funds across eight reputable organizations listed at this website:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/families-border

 

You can also sign the National Immigration Law Center petition to end family separation here:

https://action.nilc.org/page/s/end-family-separation

 

Locally, over 100 individuals have been detained and transferred to Oregon’s Sheridan federal prison in Yamhill County, with many citing religious persecution as their reason for fleeing their native countries. You can take action in Oregon in the following ways:

 

Volunteer with Causa, Oregon’s immigrant rights organization:

http://causaoregon.org/get-involved

 

Make a contribution to Unidos Bridging Community, a frontline community led nonprofit that serves Yamhill County and advocates for immigrant families:

http://www.unidosyamhillcounty.org/donate

Donate or volunteer with Innovation Law Lab, an Oregon-based nonprofit dedicated to upholding the right of immigrants and refugees:

https://innovationlawlab.org

Make a donation to Immigration Counseling Service, the oldest independent nonprofit law firm dedicated to improving the lives of immigrants in Oregon and Southwest Washington:

http://ics-law.org

Words cannot fully express the devastation felt all around the world right now, but we know that silence is a passive acceptance of the unjust policies enforced.

We Stand With Students

April 12, 2018: We are inspired by the recent activism spearheaded by multitudes of students from around the globe and in Oregon advocating for safer schools.

 

Much like the complexity of our work to eliminate socioeconomic and racist barriers to educational success, eliminating school shootings is a complex challenge that requires long-term, multi-faceted, and highly collaborative solutions.

 

We want to raise our collective voice to encourage immediate action from policymakers and community leaders to address pressing concerns surrounding gun control, glorification of violence, and assumptions about mental health issues that converge to create the conditions for repeated school shootings.

 

We believe that all students deserve and are entitled to a safe, encouraging, and supportive learning environment; a necessity for all students to thrive. We believe that addressing school shootings requires bold and decisive action on a broad range of issues at a policy level and at a greater community level. We urge community members, business leaders, and our elected officials most of all to take proactive steps to institute measures which will prevent future gun-related acts of violence in schools. 

 

If you would like to learn more, get involved, and make a difference for student safety in schools, please visit one or more of the websites below and take action:

 

EveryTown for Gun Safetyeverytown.org

Nonpartisan movement of Americans demanding common sense reforms to reduce gun violence.  Merged with grassroots momsdemandaction.org in 2017, and most recently created a “Students Demand Action” branch of the organization, in response to massive student demand for a way to get more engaged in the EveryTown movement.

 

Ceasefire Oregonceasefireoregon.org and Oregon for Gun Safety Allianceoregonallianceforgunsafety.org

Oregon-based advocacy groups pushing for reasonable, effective gun laws that reduce gun violence.

 

For a glimpse of how local Oregon students taking initiative, please read this article in the Salem Statesman Journal about students speaking out for more action on the part of policy-makers and about Measure 43, a proposed ballot measure asking for a ban on assault weapons.

We Stand with DACA Dreamers

 

2/9/18: This week, in the wake of racist and degrading statements made about individuals eligible for DACA by White House chief of staff John Kelly – and in the wake of House Minority Leader Pelosi’s 8 hours of standing and speaking on behalf of DACA Dreamers – we want to once again stand and speak out for DACA Dreamers.  We urge Congress to move forward immediately to extend DACA status for Dreamers and to create a path for citizenship for 800,000 Dreamers, who are already contributing tremendously to society and will continue to do so in the future.  We also urge everyone to press Congress to take action. Here are a few quick ways to do just that:

 

http://refugees.org/act/tell-congress-support-daca-immigrant-youth/

https://unitedwedream.org/

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December 14, 2017:  Winter Carnival at Alder Elementary School was a huge success last week. Over 250 students and families attended. Middle and High School student volunteers and Alder parents added to the power of the YLC to make a fun night with carnival games, tons of food and of course, clothing and coats donated from Catlin Gabel SchoolAinsworth Elementary SchoolThe ClymbDwell Realty PDX + WAInhabit Real EstateElevated Coffee Co.Holla MentorsEvan Turner and Portland Trail Blazers.

 

Special thank you to the YLC and our sponsors: Umpqua BankNoho's Hawaiian CafeHoda's Middle Eastern Cuisine, Moe Faroud, StarbucksSivalai Thai Restaurant and Evan Hayashi.

December 9, 2017: Thanks to all the efforts of teacher, Mykle Rojas, assistant coach Paul Inman, Alder Elementary School, FIRST Lego League and SUN MFS - Alder students built a village and a robot with Legos, while learning about developing missions, working together, computer programming, task management, and project development - all while having a great time! Congratulations to all the students who contributed and participated!

See our December 2017 E-Newsletter here.

October 29, 2017: One of our Class 10 College Dreamers, Diana, was awarded a scholarship to help pay for her DACA renewal. They were so impressed with her story, that they asked her if they could share it. Representative Kurt Shrader posted her story on Twitter with his plea for passing a clean Dream Act.  See it here.

October 13, 2017:  We celebrated our first ever Fall Forecast on October 13th at Alder Elementary School, Highlighting Emerging Trends in Transforming Education Outcomes. Our keynote speaker, David Sawyer, made a compelling case for the need for complex collaboration between schools and communities. 

Click here to view David Sawyer's presentation.

Click here to see the full length program including students Elena and Luis, and Alder Parent, Mayra.

 

September 10, 2017:  We are heartbroken by the Trump Administration's decision to rescind DACA earlier this week, but the fight is not over.  Greater Than stands in full support of DACA Dreamer students and neighbors who have been protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), signed into law by President Obama in 2012.  Many Greater Than students are also DACA Dreamers, and we stand in solidarity with them and their families.

 

Join us in staying informed and taking action NOW to support 800,000 DACA students and young adults nationally and 11,000 DACA students in Oregon by clicking one or more of the following links:

 

Causa Oregon

National Immigration Law Center

We Are Here to Stay 

 

Contacting Congressional Representatives re Dream Act - if you are in Representative Walden's district, please consider sending daily or weekly messages to his office .

 

Greater Than is deeply committed to address ALL forms of unjust bias.

Read our Equity Statement here.

See our September, 2017 E-Newsletter here.

August 12, 2017 - Response to Charlottesville: The events of the past week compel us to speak out forcefully against any form of white supremacy - both blatant and more subtle. We see every day in our work how blatant white supremacy and how more subtle forms of institutional and cultural racism profoundly and negatively affect people of color. We stand unequivocally in solidarity with communities of color to dismantle all forms of white supremacy.

 

Greater Than is deeply committed to address ALL forms of unjust bias. Read our Equity Statement here.

See our June 2017 E-Newsletter here.

May 12, 2017 - This fall 44 students will be heading off to colleges across the country. Congratulations to all of our students who are graduating from high school!

March 24, 2017 - Portland Trail Blazers star Evan Turner teamed up with program partner Blessings in a Backpack to feed children at Alder on Friday, March 24th. 

February 9, 2017 - Local volunteers from 30 career fields participated in the fourth annual Career Day on February 9th which helps inspire Alder students to turn their passions into professions.

2916 NE Alberta St. Suite  D

Portland, OR  97211

phone: 503-287-7203

fax: 503-926-6383 

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