Portland Peace Initiative

Building bridges of understanding and healing in Portland.

Giving Portlanders a voice in reimagining what kind of community we want to have.

About the Peace Initiative

The Portland Peace Initiative is a community revitalization program providing a framework to address dissatisfaction with public safety, save lives, and uplift vulnerable populations.   It is doing this in two ways:  Community Listening Sessions and ‘The Table’ program. 

The community-wide listening sessions are small, safe, virtual, facilitated conversations where community members can express how they feel about public safety and how they want to be served by the police.  When all the sessions are complete, the statements, views and data will be anonymized and compiled into a blueprint for the Police Bureau and the City to help shape policies going forward

‘The Table’ program is building capacity to reach small, emerging, local, grassroots organizations doing excellent nonprofit work to address gun violence.  It does this by holding large, public events which highlight these organizations and then help them get the resources they need to survive and thrive. 

Purpose and Mission

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to develop a practical, lasting framework for inclusive community engagement that reimagines public safety in Portland, paying particular attention to communities of color and other historically underrepresented groups. 

Our Misson

Our mission is to tap into the wisdom in the community to find out what kind of community we want to have, to discover what the community wants in terms of public safety and to elevate the response to reducing gun violence. The results of these sessions will be delivered as a report into the hands of the City and Police Bureau to help shape policies going forward.  Outcomes will be measured on an ongoing basis with the hope of measurable improvements in the community feeling seen, heard and valued, and feeling that the City is responsive and interested in community members’ needs. 

'The Table' Program

The mission of ‘The Table’ is to help build capacity to reach small, emerging, local, grassroots organizations doing excellent nonprofit work in addressing gun violence in Portland.  These non-profit organizations are typically founded and operated by community members of color with lived experience who are related to the communities they serve, yet they are often so small as to be overlooked by municipalities, grant funders, and foundations.  The Portland Peace Initiative (“PPI”) works to identify these non-profits by holding large, public events to which these organizations’ founders are invited to present.  

How It Works: Community Conversations

A Community Conversation is an online video conversation to tap into the wisdom in the community to find out what kind of community we want to have.  Those who join will be asked about their experiences, ideas, beliefs and frustrations about community safety and policing in your neighborhood.  These Conversations are moderated by professional moderators with lived experience who guide the group from beginning to end.    Online, the Conversation is a safe space where candor and truth is sought and valued. The identities of those who choose to participate will be honored, respected and not revealed outside of the group.  Afterwards, participants are further asked for opinions and ideas which are anonymized and then included in a report to be given to the City to help shape policies going forward

How it Works: 'The Table'

‘The Table’ program begins with large, public events which highlight the small, grassroots organizations doing good work to address gun violence.  At these events, the organizations’ founders are invited to present.  Once an event is held, an Interim Report is issued which features the organizations which presented or were otherwise identified as a result of the event.  After each Interim Report, a team of Consulting Coaches of local, vetted business people with expertise reaches out to the organizations to begin the process of further assessing each organization to discover their needs in priority order. 

The purpose of this support is to help the organizations develop strong grant applications, build their organizations in a sustainable way, manage growth and funds, and provide oversight for future growth and success.  Further, volunteer board members vetted by PPI are introduced to the organizations so that the founders can build additional capacity by developing strong long-term Boards of Directors and Advisors.   Fundamental to this process is casting the widest net possible in order to identify as many small organizations as feasible and then provide them the technical support they need to become strong, sustainable organizations serving the Portland community for the future.

Who Are We?

The Portland Peace Initiative is the creation of recognized problem-solvers from all backgrounds who seek to unite and elevate as many local efforts of individuals, groups, and organizations that want to participate in building bridges of understanding and healing in Portland.  Leading the initiative are Pastor Matt Hennessee, Robert King, Kevin Modica, Deniel Banks, Jan Elfers, and Lisa Broderick of Police2Peace.

The information on this website is being presented for transparency, so that data collected and findings which result are available for anyone who’s interested.

Check back here how we’re doing, what’s our progress, how you can be part of the change and make a difference for you and your church, your school, your community and your neighborhood.


Want a conversation for your community?

Just reach here to schedule a conversation for your community, group, church or club.   Virtual sessions are being convened now, which can be scheduled in as quickly as one week.   Up to 15 people is a good upper limit for participants, as we want to keep the conversations small, intimate and allow everyone time to speak.  Just click here to send an email with your desired date and time, and we will take it from there and reach out within 24 hours.  Once we schedule the session, we will generate an online link which you will be able to share which is unique for your session, which allows people to easily sign up online.  

Click here to reach out and begin a conversation for your community.