A Sign of Hope in Greater Portland
The International Federation of L'Arche Communities and L'Arche Portland have been honored for showing that it is possible to break down the distinctions between people with and without intellectual disabilities. We are humbled that our community is seen by individuals, faith communities, not-for-profit organizations, and governments as a living example that compassionate care and loving community can be brought together in service of those who are on the outside of society. In 2014, L’Arche International and Jean Vanier won the Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity. The Center for Faith and Service and FAITH3 honored L'Arche USA in 2014 as a "Service Program that Changes the World.”
Locally, L’Arche Portland was recognized by the City of Portland with the 2012 “Making A Difference in Disability” Award for “outstanding contributions that have helped improve the livability of Portland for all people with disabilities.” L’Arche Portland is committed to being a sign of hope in the broader Portland community and actively expanding our impact in the community by serving more people with and without intellectual disabilities. In 2014 and 2015, for example, we partnered with the University of Portland on "Becoming Human," an interactive discussion on vulnerability with faculty, students and community members, based on concepts presented in Jean Vanier’s book Becoming Human. We’ve partnered with La Salle Catholic High School, Central Catholic High School and others as they learn how to include students with intellectual disabilities and how to invite students to say “Come sit by me.” Our Speakers’ Bureau offers opportunities for L’Arche community members to visit your school, workplace, house of worship or other community venue to lead dialogues on topics like Welcoming the Stranger, The Power of Vulnerability, and Cooperation in Community. Our community members volunteer regularly to make our larger Portland community a place of peace and justice.