Western States Center is a left-of-center community organizing group based in Portland, Oregon. The organization promotes far-left social policies in the Pacific Northwest and intermountain states. The organization is best known for its work on racial policy which it defines as combatting groups that it claims support white nationalism and racism. 
The Western States Center was founded in 1987 in Portland, Oregon as a think tank and advocacy group to engage in racial-interest politics. The organization publishes several toolkits on issues around racial politics, specifically concerning combating racism, promoting LGBT interests, combatting alleged white nationalism in schools, and other issues. 
In 1998, the center founded its “Dismantling Racism” project, which distributes grants to other local organizations working on racial-interest politics and publishes a toolkit of the same name. the toolkit eschews racial diversity programs offered by many corporate trainers and instead promotes radical programs that call for drastic systemic changes. 
Another notable publication offered by the Western States Center is a toolkit titled “Confronting White Nationalism in Schools.” The toolkit alleges that white supremacist groups looking to recruit school children. As of 2019, the center had reportedly distributed 1,400 copies of the toolkit. 
Much of the mentions in media promoted by the Western States Center revolve around the center’s opposition to local right-leaning groups and quotes from the center’s executive director on various local issues concerning alleged racism. The center is often critical of local right-leaning groups, the Republican Party, and various state and local Republican elected officials. 
Portland Extremist Demonstrations
The Western States Center is often in the news around clashes between violent radical-left groups aligned with Antifa and extremist far-right groups. The center’s executive director, Eric Ward is often quoted as an expert on extremist far-right groups such as the Proud Boys. 
Ward was prominently featured in many reports surrounding large clashes that took place in Portland during the summer of 2019. Announced rallies involving the far-right groups Proud Boys and the Three Percenters who rallied in Portland allegedly in an attempt to provoke Antifa protesters to attack them. Ward praised non-violent protests by several left-wing groups opposing the far-right groups.