Twenty-five years ago Multnomah County held a one day educational conference about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Its purpose was to address the needs of public employees and the communities they serve. Several years later the City of Portland joined Multnomah County for this annual event. More public employers have continued to join us in sponsoring and planning this annual diversity conference. In 2009, in acknowledgement and celebration of the conference’s regional growth, the planning committee renamed the conference from City/County Diversity Conference to the Northwest Public Employees Diversity Conference.

The conference’s collaboration presents a unique opportunity to cross diverse boundaries for a common purpose of promoting our diversity values of inclusiveness, respectful work environments, equal opportunity for all, and culturally responsive service.