October 2017 Newsletter

Monthly Newsletter | October 2017
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Photo credit: Fairchild Air Force Base (labeled for re-use).

A Note From Emily

Happy autumn, all!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness (DVA) month. If you've been following the Foundation's communications for a while, you probably already know that Oregon has some of the highest rates of violence against women in the nation. More than 1 million women and girls in Oregon have endured sexual assault, and 700,000 have survived violence by an intimate partner. 

That truth alone is unacceptable. What's also unacceptable is the dangerous misconception that domestic violence is a "private" issue. The epidemic of domestic and sexual violence in Oregon not only affects every facet of the lives of survivors, it also has a dramatic, negative impact on our state as a whole.

Here are just a few ways domestic violence intersects with other pressing issues in our state:
  • Systemic Racism: Abusers attack and abuse women of color, and particularly Native women, at the highest rates (Oregon Health Authority)
  • Housing/Houselessness: Almost 20% of Oregon's houseless women report domestic violence as the primary reason for their houselessness. Lack of stable or affordable housing can also trap women in abusive relationships. (Oregon Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence)
  • Economic Security: Domestic violence in Oregon each year results in $50 million in medical costs and lost days of work. (Oregon Department of Human Services)
  • Education: The aftermath of domestic violence often pushes girls and young women (as well as boys and young men) behind in, or out of, school (Education Next)
  • Fatal Violence: 1 in 5 Oregon homicides is related to intimate partner violence. In a majority of these killings, children witness the death of their mother (Oregon Health Authority)
Violence against women cuts across income, race, geography, sexual orientation and education level. It can happen to anybody. It is never the survivor's fault.

Vanessa Timmons, Executive Director of the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, explains: "Domestic violence isn't anger. Domestic violence isn't a loss of control. It's not about addiction. It's not about mental illness or stress. Domestic violence is a deliberate act of violence to gather power and control in your intimate partner's life. It's about power and control."

You can help dismantle misconceptions about domestic violence by understanding and sharing the many ways that it intersects with other issues, and how it harms all our communities. Check out the recap of our "Eight That Can't Wait" discussion on Violence Against Women and our related policy briefto learn more about what you can do as an individual, and what Oregon can do as a state, to stop the violence. 


Stat of the Month

In 2015 alone, over 10,000 requests for shelter from domestic violence went unanswered in Oregon due to a lack of resources. 

Foundation Updates

Investment Update

Over the next eight months, the Foundation will be piloting our brand new Immediate Impact Fund. Thanks to the generosity of our 800+ members, our Immediate Impact Fund pilot will award at least $35,000 this year, in addition to having one of the quickest response times in the state.

Recipient organizations can receive up to $5,000. Do you know of an Oregon nonprofit serving girls and women that might qualify? Find out more now. Please spread the word!

Member Spotlight

American Name: Desireé Coyote
Indian Name: Qepsqéps Tim̓íne Tiy̓et̓ípec 
Age: 57
Occupation: Family Violence Services Program Manager for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Member of the Women's Foundation since: 2016
What’s your favorite spot in Oregon? One of my favorite spots is anywhere that my children are! The other spot is the beautiful Wallowa Lake area - the original homeland of our people, Nimiipuu (Nez Perce Tribe), since long before non-indigenous arrival.
What quality do you most admire in others? The quality I admire in others include the quiet, respectful, honorable, and strong pure energy with every breath, not with title nor self-proclaimed.  
Which talent would you most like to have? The talent I would like to have is to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and not gain a pound or without negative consequences!  
What was your first volunteer experience? I was continually on the move to escape the eyes of my abusive husband (at the time) and one of the moves was to Lakeview, Oregon. This frontier town was small and jobs were few so I volunteered with the local domestic violence agency. Like other volunteer jobs, the work varied from typing, filing, creating brochures, and creating posters or flyers for placement in the community.  

Odd that this was the first time I learned the language of domestic violence and acknowledged that I was a survivor of intimate partner violence three years after I left Oregon and my divorce. The volunteer work led me to being full time staff at the Women’s and Children’s Resource Center.
What’s the best place to eat in our great state? Too many to list! I travel quite a bit throughout the state but find my routes often take me through Portland so my travel food is Popeye’s in Troutdale. At home, my favorite spot is Roosters for breakfast and Mitori Teriyaki or Golden Fountain for lunch or dinner.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Getting and keeping my kids safe from my abusive ex-husband.  We moved quite a bit for better part of 10 years and were always looking over our shoulders. I worked with the Forest Service the first few years after the divorce and when we moved back to Oregon I left the Forest Service as that was how he tracked me.

Obtaining a job and housing was difficult with five children and a Hispanic last name, so money was always short. Somehow, we all made it though. Four of my children attended college, and one son and my only daughter completed 10 years in the U.S. Army, both with two tours in Iraq. All my children are respectful, honorable and strong. They are raising their own children. I have learned a lot from them such as math, being inquisitive, respect, perseverance, love and laughter. As a team, a family, we are our greatest achievement. I love them very much!
Which woman (living or dead) do you most admire? Two women that walked on that I most admire are Cecelia Bearchum and Lonnie Alexander (both tribal elders strong in ceremony, tradition, and culture). They both publicly, at different times, protected me from a man in the community while he was next to me with a verbal “do not trust this man.”  
What’s your most treasured possession? My beaded buckskin dress with cuffs and leggings! While my dad raised us “it’s a white man’s world, you’ve got to learn the white man’s way,” understanding and being active with my identity as a tribal-enrolled member was my mom’s doing. I am a traditional dancer and the buckskin dress I wear is one my mom commissioned Pat Miltenberger to make and bead. My friend Nijone Lockhart created my cuffs and leggings, which are just as beautiful as my buckskin dress!

What is your personal motto? Honor and respect with every breath.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness? I’m not sure how to describe my idea of perfect happiness but I can say that when I know it and feel it I always find myself saying out loud, I love my children, I love my life, thank you grandmother, grandfather and creator!
What makes you laugh uncontrollably? My jokester kids, coworkers, and friends!  Get me laughing and sometimes it’s hard to quit!!

Why are you a member of the Women’s Foundation? I was not aware of this organization until they contacted me about the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation being one of the stops for the Listen to Her Town Hall April 26, 2016. I was hesitant at first and had a change of heart and mind after visits with Emily, Rachel, and reviewing the website. I was glad to learn the materials and report was actually coming back to our community.

The event was casual and light even though the discussions were heavy, emotional and very real based on the community members that attended. Listening to those in attendance after the event, I was glad to hear they felt included, heard, and validated. They were thankful for the opportunity to provide their voice, their experience. I personally did not feel tokenized nor out of place and I believed our input was of value. After attending a couple of meetings in Portland, reviewing newsletters, taking part in other Foundation events, and seeing a large variety of women-focused entities involved, it was an easy decision to be a member of the Women’s Foundation!

Thanks so much, Desireé!

Make a Difference

Over 170,000 acres in northern California have burned, resulting in over 50,000 evacuations. Wondering how you can help? Join Airbnb’s Open Home Program and donate a stay in your property, or spare room, to evacuees in need. The American Red Cross is also encouraging blood donations as a preventative measure.

Have a volunteer opportunity you'd like us to share? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Community Events

Oct. 26: A Community Dialogue Race and Domestic Violence will center the conversation around domestic violence in communities of color. Join this multifaceted event with keynote speaker Representative Tawna Sanchez and a panel of culturally specific domestic violence (DV) service providers. (East Portland) 

Oct. 28: AGE Advanced Conversations on the River will be a guided conversation about being a woman in her second half of life. Register now. (Portland metro)

Oct. 28: Drawers Artist Talk with O'Hara Shipe and Nolan Streitberger
This discussion at Blue Sky will feature two artists whose work disrupts stereotypes of women and girls and tells important stories that are often eclipsed by dominant cultural narratives. The event is free and open to the public. (Portland)

Oct. 29: Rise Up artistic event and luncheon for women survivors of domestic violence. Feel inspired, find encouragement, and enjoy free admission. A catered lunch, performances by A-WOL Dance Collective and Mixd Dance Company, raffle drawings and more. Register at riseupevent2017.eventbrite.com with the password RISEUPEVENT2017. (Sherwood)

Nov. 10: Wordstock is right around the corner, but the biggest literary festival in Portland has a little sister. Lit Crawl is a series of literary readings and events that happen throughout Wordstock weekend and all events are totally free. Featured writers include Stephanie Adams-Santos, Bealleka, and Bonnie Arning among many more. Keep up with the latest pop-up events on their Facebook page. (Portland)

Nov. 11: Dance Like a Mother with The Mother PAC at their fourth annual party at Holocene. Support the election of candidates who fight for the needs of women and families and get your tickets in advance. (Portland)

Nov. 15: A special screening of A Voices in Action documentary is being hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon and Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health. Benefiting the Safe Travels Fund, this exclusive screening of "Jackson" takes place at Whitsell Auditorium. Purchase tickets today and find out more about the film! (Portland)

If you would like your event added to our calendar, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

News to Know

Eugene Weekly: Discussing Domestic and Sexual Violence
The University of Oregon Law School's Domestic Violence Clinic addresses a need in Lane County and expands their services.  

Washington Post: M, F or X: Oregon becomes first state to offer ‘not specified’ gender option on ID cards
Earlier this summer, Oregon became the first state to legally recognize “non-binary” individuals on ID cards.

Oregonian: New Police Chief Danielle Outlaw: Portland offers 'ability to be bold'
Danielle Outlaw, the first African American woman to lead Portland's Police Department, envisions her approach to the new role as 'a time of change and opportunity.'  

Forbes: Why We Need Gender Equity Now
If gender equality is the end, gender equity is the means. Explore how gender equity is different than gender equality.

The Guardian: Silence and powerlessness go hand in hand – women’s voices must be heard
The right to speak is a form of wealth that is being redistributed.

Business Wire: PGE Announces CEO Succession Plan
Earlier this month Maria Pope succeeded Jim Piro as company president of Portland General Electric, and will assume the role of CEO and member of the board of directors in January.

Membership Matters

As a Women’s Foundation of Oregon member, you’re joining a community of over 800 individuals who donate their time, efforts, and/or funds to improve the lives of women and girls in Oregon.

Whether you are a member or not, one way you can further support our work is to share your feedback through this annual survey, which will inform our upcoming strategic plan.


Thanks to the generosity of our friends at Rose City Rollers, if you complete the survey by Friday, November 10th, you will be entered into a drawing for four VIP admissions (early entry, reserved seating, and drink tickets) to a bout of your choice! The Rose City Rollers mission is to serve women and girls who want to play the team sport of roller derby, connect with an inclusive community, and realize their power both on skates and off. For those outside the Portland area, we are happy to offer you a $75.00 gift card to Amazon in lieu of tickets.  
We can't wait to hear from you! 

If you're not yet a member, join us by clicking here. For details about our Give What You Can program, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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