About Community Powered change

Community Powered Change is a campaign for health equity in Multnomah County. It is about amplifying community voices to build the future we want to see. It is the work of defining health equity for ourselves and our own communities, transforming the ways in which communities engage with the Multnomah County institutions and organizations that create policies affecting our everyday lives.


Community Powered Change is supported through a partnership between the Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA) and the Multnomah County Health Department. This partnership between community and government is a shift in how the county engages with community and reflects increased support of equity work within the community. This work is rooted in a community health improvement plan, or CHIP. A CHIP describes the priorities, goals, solutions, and resources for health improvement. It does this using information from a community health assessment and input from community members. The Multnomah County Department of Health selected OHEA to lead this process. OHEA's leadership designed, developed, and facilitated a consensus-based, community-driven process. Community Powered Change is a project of OHEA’s Community Health Program. It is a vital part of OHEA’s vision and mission and greatly informs the coalition’s policy advocacy work.

About OHEA


The Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA) is a collective effort of regional and state partners who seek to make Oregon a more equitable place for all. Membership is open to organizations who serve constituents facing health inequities in the Tri-County region of Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties.  

OHEA aims to improve the health and wellbeing of all Oregonians through educating, organizing, and advocating for solutions led by our communities. We believe every Oregonian should have an equal chance to achieve their full health potential.

For more information about the Oregon Health Equity Alliance, please visit their website at www.oregonhealthequity.org.

Multnomah County Health Department

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The Multnomah County Health Department works to support the wellness of everyone living here by ensuring our safety from the spread of disease and environmental threats, promoting good health practices, and ensuring access to health services. The Health Department recognizes the effects of racism on the health of people of color and works with communities of color to provide culturally-specific programs and services. To learn more, please visit their website at multco.us/health.

Our People

Community Powered Change is supported primarily by OHEA staff. Additional support is provided through collaboration with the Multnomah County Health Department Health Equity Initiative and local consultants.

Marilou Carrera is the CHIP manager for Community Powered Change. She can be reached at hello@communitypoweredchange.com or (971) 340-4838.


Based in Portland, Oregon, Marilou Carrera is a health equity advocate and community health practitioner. Her experiences as a Filipina and Japanese woman who immigrated to the U.S. as a child, as well as her time practicing as a registered nurse, advocating for communities of color, and promoting public health have long persuaded her of the importance and imperative of sharing stories to influence policy.

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Katie Sawicki: Policy & Systems

Katie Sawicki helps projects cross the finish line. She provides individualized support to organizations, coalitions, community groups seeking to advance racial justice work. This includes policy, campaign, and/or program development; research and policy briefs; policy advocacy; building organizing capacity; and/or organizational development that centers on communities most impacted by economic and health inequities. She worked at Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services in New York City for ten years followed by eight years in the Advocacy and Civic Engagement Department of the Urban League of Portland.  While at the Urban League, she coordinated and edited the State of Black Oregon 2009 and 2015 reports, as well as Portland’s Racial Equity Strategy Guide. She currently provides support to Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA), MRG Foundation, Unite Oregon, NAACP - Springfield Eugene, Rogue Climate, and other inspiring movement building organizations. She also serves on Metro's Committee on Racial Equity team.

Leadership Team

The Community Powered Change Leadership Team provides broad oversight of Community Powered Change, offering counsel on planning processes, community engagement, and support in reporting back to communities of color. The Leadership Team includes several community-based organizational partners who represent and work with one or more culturally specific groups including African-American, African Immigrant and Refugee, Black, Asian American, Latino/a, urban Native American/Alaska Native, and Pacific Islander community groups. | View Full List



The Community Powered Change advisory committee was developed to guide the development of a community engagement process. This group included community members and staff from leadership team organizations. Community members applied to participate on the committee and received stipends for their participation.

Opportunity Teams

After identifying the priorities of Community Powered Change, the next steps included working with key stakeholders and community partners to develop recommendations for how to implement community-based strategies. These opportunity teams consisted of organizational partners and community members.


Community Powered Change has partnered with a number of organizations throughout our process. These organizations have participated through the Advisory Committee, by hosting community engagement events in the first year, writing different parts of the original community health improvement plan document, or were part of the Opportunity Teams. | View Full List

Become a Partner

There are a number of ways organizations or community members can become a partner in Community Powered Change. Some of these include contributing time, staffing, space and / or funding. Partnership looks different for each person or organization and would ultimately be determined based on a more thorough conversation with our staff. Please complete the form below if you are interested in becoming a partner.

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