a project of Commonway Institute, Portland, OR
The Need for 3VP
The 3VP Stakeholders
Where is Three Valleys? 
3VP Funding and Administration 
The Goals of 3VP 
3VP Publications 
Commonway Website
Sharif M. Abdullah Website

The Three Valleys Project (3VP) was a two-year project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, designed to build bridges of understanding, community and civic engagement between people of different cultures. The Three Valleys Project assisted small towns in easing cultural tensions created by rapidly shifting demographics, by facilitating roundtable discussions among potential adversaries.  Components of 3VP continue on in the work of the local Steering Committees.

Where is 
“Three Valleys”? 
“Three Valleys” is not a place; it refers to the three target areas of our work.  The “three valleys” are rural agricultural areas which surround the city of Portland, OR.  These areas include: 
  • Hood River Valley (Hood River, White Salmon, Cascade Locks, etc.) 
  • Mid-Willamette Valley (Woodburn, Hubbard, Gervais, etc.) 
  • Tualatin Valley (Forest Grove, Cornelius, etc.) 
“Three Valleys” is also a state of mind: Three Valleys exists anywhere people are trying to come to grips with changes in their communities. 
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The Goals of 3VP  We have three principal goals for the project: 
#1:  Moving Beyond Fear:  Embracing A Multi-Cultural Reality  
reducing racism, cultural antagonism and social isolation.  
building cultural diversity and sensitivity. 
#2:   Generating A Civic Dialog  
facilitating the creation and expansion of a larger civic community.  
helping all of the people who live in a given area become full participate citizens of that area. 
  #3:   Encouraging Systemic Change  
addressing systemic and institutional problems challenging true multi-cultural citizenship in the Valleys. 
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The 3VP Stakeholders  We worked with representatives of all  of the stakeholder groups in each area.  3VP  philosophy: we cannot have a meaningful dialog unless all significant points of view are participating.  Primary stakeholder groups include:  civic/government; law enforcement; social service providers; growers and other employers of Latinos; schools; Latino and Anglo youth; farmworker advocates; businesses; legal/courts; cultural services; religion. 
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The Need For 3VP  The United States is in the beginning stages of the most dramatic demographic shift since millions of African-Americans left the South following Reconstruction.  The Latinization of America is being felt everywhere, including the small towns and rural areas of  the Pacific Northwest. 
In both large and small towns, there is little interaction between Anglo and Latino populations unless there is a crisis, like a shooting or a critical need for social services.  There is little context for the Anglo and Latino populations to interact.  This isolation, denial and alienation feeds into the general malaise and pulling apart of the social fabric that America is experiencing as a nation. In the face of rapidly shifting ethnicity, there are no built up networks, shared norms, collaborative problem-solving and trust -- the elements of social capital. 
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3VP started as a project of the Common Enterprise, a Rockefeller Foundation initiative designed to help actual or potential adversaries recognize and work on a common activity -- a common enterprise.  3VP is one of four projects around the country dealing with bringing people from all walks of life into conversation with each other.   
Eventually, 3VP became a direct grantee of the Rockefeller Foundation, through an institutional partnership with Portland State University, and an institutional partnership with Tualatin Valley Community Access. Project Designer and Site Director for 3VP is Sharif Abdullah.    
There are lots of projects that try to make things better for special interest groups; 
How Is 3VP  Different?
Our work is not to benefit any particular group; our work is to benefit all.  We are not an Hispanic advocacy group, nor an Anglo advocacy group, nor a businesspersons’ advocacy group.  We are “Advocates of the Whole”; instead of working to benefit a special interest group, our work is not over until all stakeholders in a conversation reach consensus.  Our goal is to create an inclusive process, leading to an inclusive community. 
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3VP Publications: 
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For more information on the philosophy, mission and activities of the Three Valleys Project, please contact:
Commonway Institute
P.O. Box 12541
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 281-1813 (voice)
[e-mail address:


©Copyright 1998 Commonway Institute
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