Community Engagement

Design Labs

Clackamas County

The Athena Group worked with Clackamas County, Oregon, to support the Clackamas Community Prosperity Collaborative pilot project (2019-2021), a community-driven approach to reducing poverty and increasing prosperity for people most in need. Utilizing an inclusive Community Design Lab, ideas from people who are closest to the problem developed impactful solutions for persistent community challenges.  

Local partners from Canby, Milwaukie, and Estacada were recruited to foster collaboration and help identify innovative solutions. The Athena team recruited a racially and socially diverse group of participants from different sectors who identified how poverty is being experienced in their communities, and then developed solution concepts that were tested with the broader community and developed into small, experimental projects. 

This work was grounded in equity and inclusion and shared community leadership. As such, design lab participants determined what’s important to focus on and what solutions will work the best.  Paid community lab leaders both facilitate the process and share tools with participants for in-process learning as a way of preparing them to step into similar leadership roles in the future.  Part of the process incorporated two-way simultaneous interpretation in meetings and sharing all tools in both English and Spanish. 

This results from this work will be used by Clackamas County for strengthening community participation in development of public policies, programs, and projects generally.

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The Athena Group partners with organizations, agencies, cities, and leaders to bring their goals to life.