July 7th, 2014 11:25 am | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: City Hall, Activism

Mayor Charlie Hales Goes on Diversity Retreat for White Men

news2_4032ILLUSTRATION: Colin Andersen

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales will be away from City Hall for the next three days, attending a diversity seminar for white men only.

WW first reported last month that Hales decided to spend $56,000 on a 3 1/2-day training seminar run by a Portland company, White Men as Full Diversity Partners.

That decision followed a series of high-profile setbacks for City Hall's equity efforts—including the city’s former financial chief, Jack D. Graham, describing a pervasive atmosphere of racism throughout Portland’s bureaucracy.

“This just in: Much of the big leadership in this city is white guys,” Hales spokesman Dana Haynes told WW then. “And the change needs to start at the top.”

Hales and three staffers will attend the “innovative white male-only” sessions today through Thursday. The mayor's absence is one reason the City Council meeting this Wednesday has been cancelled.

But the seminar isn't likely to have much affect on how much work the mayor's office gets done this week. All eight staff hires Hales has made since his inauguration have been women.

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