April 2017 :: The Power of Being Heard
Three women of diverse backgrounds delivered narratives drawn from their own lives, and engaged in a moderated group discussion. The participants included an African American millennial from Chicago, a Portland native of both African and Native American descent, and a survivor of the 1996 Rwandan genocide. The range of topics they delved into encompassed racism, oppression, genocide, peace, reconciliation, and action from local, historical and global perspectives.
May 2017 :: Together We Make a Village
focused on recent efforts to address homelessness in Portland through a design process that brought together a range of stakeholders, including architects, activists, city agencies, and houseless individuals. People with lived experience of homelessness, took the stage alongside representatives from PSU’s Center for Public Interest Design, the Pod Initiative, the Village Coalition, the City of Portland, and Catholic Charities to discuss The Kenton Women’s Village, in NE Portland, as a model for supporting community making, and strong social infrastructure among villages of houseless individuals.
June 2017 :: Everybody Comes From Somewhere,
drew on stories created through Portland Story Theater’s Urban Tellers® series, and featured organic, true stories of immigrants and refugees now living in Portland, Oregon. The stories told addressed the ‘othering’ that has escalated in our country by humanizing and building connection within our urban community. The participating storytellers came from Somalia, Indonesia, Venezuela, Mexico and Belgium. The Old Church was grateful for the support of The Portland Story Theater through this collaboration.
September 2017 :: Black Girl in Suburbia
presented Melissa Lowery’s feature documentary that looks into the experiences of black girls growing up in predominately white communities. As a film, Black Girl in Suburbia is intended to spark an open dialogue about race, identity and perspective among all people. After the screening, Melissa was joined on stage by two millennial women to discuss their life experiences that ran parallel to those shared in the film. A member of the audience who had been featured in the documentary was also invited to join the conversation.