Non-profit

Western States Center

Website:

www.westernstatescenter.org/

Location:

PORTLAND, OR

Tax ID:

93-0952137

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $991,214
Expenses: $1,109,490
Assets: $1,063,917

Executive Director:

Eric K. Ward

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. [1]

Background

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. [2]

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. [3]

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. [4]

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. [5]

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. [6]

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. [7]

Ward and the Western States Center are frequently critical of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) and the Portland Police Department’s approach to managing far-right demonstrations. [8]

References

  1. “Home” Western States Center. Accessed April 10, 2020. https://www.westernstatescenter.org/ ^
  2. “Home” Western States Center. Accessed April 10, 2020. https://www.westernstatescenter.org/ ^
  3. “DISMANTLING RACISM: A RESOURCE BOOK” Western States Center. 2003. Accessed April 10, 2020. http://intergroupresources.com/rc/RESOURCE%20CENTER/OWEN’S%20CATEGORIZATION%20OF%20RC/2%20-%20Curricular%20Materials/2a%20-%20Publicly%20available/Dismantling%20Racism-%20A%20Resource%20Book%20for%20Social%20Change%20Groups%20–%20Western%20States%20Center.pdf ^
  4. Yousef, Odette. “CPS Teacher Develops Toolkit To Fight White Nationalism”. WBEZ Chicago. June 19, 2019. Accessed April 10, 2020. https://www.wbez.org/stories/cps-teacher-develops-toolkit-to-fight-white-nationalism/11ba8fdb-ef4b-4f40-866f-60fc30831b98 ^
  5. “Media” Western States Center. Accessed April 10, 2020.  https://www.westernstatescenter.org/media ^
  6. Read, Richard. “Portland tries to ‘keep weird’ as another far-right vs. anti-fascist faceoff unfolds”. Los Angeles Times. August 17, 2019. Accessed April 10, 2020.  https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-08-17/portland-far-right-rally-antifa ^
  7. Read, Richard. “Portland tries to ‘keep weird’ as another far-right vs. anti-fascist faceoff unfolds”. Los Angeles Times. August 17, 2019. Accessed April 10, 2020.  https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-08-17/portland-far-right-rally-antifa ^
  8. Mesh, Aaron. “An Uneasy Coalition of Civic Leaders Warns the Proud Boys to Stay Out of Portland” Willamette Week. August 14, 2019. Accessed April 10, 2020. https://www.wweek.com/news/courts/2019/08/14/an-uneasy-coalition-of-civic-leaders-warns-the-proud-boys-to-stay-out-of-portland/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 1992

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $991,214 $1,109,490 $1,063,917 $31,066 N $786,434 $193,484 $573 $88,341 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,056,544 $769,409 $1,159,794 $8,667 N $882,571 $173,395 $578 $64,200
    2015 Dec Form 990 $693,055 $811,957 $872,781 $8,790 N $419,499 $273,022 $534 $64,300 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $691,087 $840,756 $1,000,021 $17,128 N $515,652 $175,263 $172 $63,960 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,337,500 $1,481,148 $1,159,896 $27,334 N $1,234,037 $101,160 $2,303 $63,960 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,693,026 $1,971,970 $1,338,180 $61,966 N $1,532,927 $156,896 $3,203 $66,278 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $2,376,215 $2,837,609 $1,593,147 $37,989 N $2,155,322 $220,127 $766 $62,108 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $2,039,233 $2,222,682 $2,214,759 $198,206 N $1,925,989 $104,760 $8,484 $79,579 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Western States Center

    PO BOX 40305
    PORTLAND, OR 97240-0305