OIT leaders have since gone on to professional organizing roles, and appointments alongside high-level political leaders. The 2015 OIT class was a specially-selected cohort of youth aged 15-19, and that cohort would go on to found OPAL’s Youth Environmental Justice Alliance (YEJA), and take up the important fight for transportation justice for East Portland schools who faced disproportionate access to free transit services.
In 2017, OPAL launched the Oregon Just Transition Alliance (OJTA) as a founding member of the OJTA Steering Committee. OJTA, an alliance of frontline community base-building organizations from across Oregon, aims to propagate a new narrative about climate justice in our state, rooted in the principles of a just transition and other frameworks from our national and international community of base-building movement organizers.
While OPAL’s initial work focused on disproportionate indoor and outdoor air quality and asthma concerns in communities along the I-205 freeway corridor, it has since expanded into the intersections of transportation, housing, land use, public health, and climate policy. Leadership in the Board and staff has rotated as the movement has shifted and grown, and OPAL Family members have gone on to found the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Momentum Alliance, and Groundwork Portland (organized with PCUN, CAT, local government and school districts, and Zenger Farms) and engage in countless other movement and base-building spaces around the globe.