At the Agora Journalism Center, we believe that better solutions can emerge when you include those most affected by a problem in the decision-making process. This past June, we invited an inspiring group of “Doers” to share their projects and visions for transforming our relationship with the land, our natural resources, and each other.
Representatives from civic, cultural and philanthropic entities also joined us as “Resource Contributors,” committed to listening, learning, and providing information, connections, and access to resources. The event offered the opportunity to explore promising community-centric approaches to funding and equitable resource distribution.
Hosted by the University of Oregon – School of Journalism and Communication’s Agora Journalism Center at the White Stag building in downtown Portland, the Doers Gathering was the culminating event of the 7th Vanport Mosaic Festival produced in collaboration with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon and Vanport Mosaic.
As noted in our Doers Gathering Toolkit, a Doers Gathering is a half-day event that showcases local doer-led projects, identifies opportunities for support and collaboration, and creates a network of doers in the community. We launched this initiative in 2019, centering on Doers that are contributing to community-driven solutions addressing Portland’s housing crisis.
Building on the collaborative organizing framework that made the first Doers Gathering a beneficial experience for all involved, we were fortunate to co-create this year’s event with a committee of experienced organizers, facilitators, and “community weavers” with deep ties to Portland’s vibrant local network of cultural workers and land tenders. We are grateful to ridhi d’cruz, Laura Lo Forti, Allan Lazo, and joemil r. santos for bringing together such a rich representation of voices and visions. Through their input, we re-designed the approach of the Doers Gathering by eliminating the “pitch sessions,” thus reducing the competitive nature of the event. Instead, every Doer was compensated for sharing their knowledge and experience. Listening, collaborating and implementing a community-centered approach to the gathering design made for an effective and relationship-building event.
We’re grateful for the Doers who attended the gathering and shared their stories and vision for building a better Portland. We welcome you to check out their organization’s work with the links below:
- André Middleton, Friends of Noise
- Barbie Weber, Trash for Peace
- Bruce Poinsette, The Blacktastic Adventure
- Celesté Macias, Nopalli Community Nourishment
- Cleo Davis, (re)Building Cornerstones
- daniela del mar, (self)
- Karim Hassanein & Sophia Xiao-fan Austrin, Colloqate Design
- Juliet Anne McGraw, (self)
- Laquida Landford, The AfroVillage
- lara pacheco wasiutynski, Seed and Thistle Apothecary
- Lillyanne Pham, (self)
- Lola Milholland, Lola’s Beef
- Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr., (self)
- Sandra Comstock, Hygiene4All
- Sharita Towne, A Black Art Ecology of Portland
- Midnight Seed, Kalimah Abioto, Ni Abioto, Yawa, Medina Abioto, & Intisar Abioto, Studio Abioto
- Thuy Pham, Mama Dút
- Yuri Baxter-Neal, Life Simpling & Portland Free Play
Deep appreciation also goes to Jessica Rojas, Regina Ingabire, and Chisao Hata for contributing to the vision of this gathering. And, finally, this year’s gathering is made possible by the generous support from The Jackson Foundation and City of Portland’s Office of Community & Civic Life.
Video by Ed Hanson