PORTLAND NAACP Pulls out of Portland Women’s March
PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release
Contact: Jo Ann Hardesty, President, NAACP Portland Branch
NAACP Portland Branch Pulls out of Portland Women’s March
The NAACP Portland Branch leadership voted unanimously last evening to pull our endorsement of the Portland Women’s March scheduled for Jan 21st in downtown Portland.
“We do not take this action lightly” says Jo Ann Hardesty, President of the Branch. The NAACP Portland Branch has a 103-year history of standing up for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination for all people in Oregon and was excited to be asked to co-sponsor and support the March. However last month in conversations with the organizers it became clear that the organizers and the NAACP Portland Branch did not have a shared set of values regarding what the March represented.
We expected the March to create a space where the most marginalized women; Muslim, immigrant, refugee and black women would be welcomed, embraced and be intimately involved at every stage of this event. The organizers didn’t share this goal therefore I asked my executive committee to take this action.
The NAACP Portland Branch believes this is a teachable moment and hope that the volunteers who stepped up to organize this March reflect on their resistance to addressing the critical issues that many women especially Muslim, immigrants, refugees and black women are facing with the incoming administration. Their desire to not engage with these communities is not acceptable. As women and people of good will we must speak loudly and clearly against racism, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination. Our goal is not to demonize the organizers but to let them know we will never stand with people who discriminate.
The NAACP Portland Branch will now support the Advancing Justice & Equality for All through the Strength of Love, being organized by the AMA Coalition for Justice & Police Reform and many other community organizations who share our values. This March is schedule for Saturday January 28th 2017 starting at 10:00am at the DR. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr Statue at the Oregon Convention Center. The March will conclude at Maranatha Church located at 4222 NE 12th Ave. where we will share a hot meal and short program.
The NAACP Portland Branch will have our general meeting at Maranatha starting at 1:00PM for this month only so our members will be able to participate in this community March.
Monday I learned that the original organizers have all resigned and now several Portland women have stepped up to continue this effort. We applaud this recent development and wish the new organizers much success.
HELP US REACH OUR FUNDRAISING GOALS!
NAACP Portland Branch 1120B has received such an outpouring of love and support; we have almost doubled our fundraising goals for the winter quarter! Help us make that a reality!
Since Christmas, you've helped us raise $2,380! WE HEAR YOU! Help us reach $5,000 by the end of Black History Month! NAACP is entirely volunteer run, so these costs are vital to sustain the work of the branch.
Donate today and let your voices be heard!
For more on what our branch has been up to, visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PDXNAACP/
The Portland NAACP General Session meetings are held every 4th Saturday of each month from 12-2pm at the American Red Cross office, 3131 N. Vancouver, Portland. After a short business meeting from noon to 12:30pm, the member social will commence. Current and prospective members are welcome to join. RSVP through our Facebook event page, and invite your friends. We look forward to seeing you!
NAACP Portland Branch 1120
Our leadership team:
Jo Ann Hardesty, President
James Posey, 1st Vice President
Cynthia Harris, 2nd Vice President
Melissa Lang, Secretary
Cities in the Portland Metro area, as well as across the nation, are experiencing similar concerns, including economic equity, police accountability, and developing our up and coming leaders. This has been our work for decades, and we continue to push forward. The Portland NAACP strives to maintain visibility and participation in activities of vital importance to all people.
We thank all of you who have taken the time to give of yourself and resources to represent the organization and the people of this community. The protest marches, rallies, community meetings, advisory council committees, social events, political involvement, program development, youth participation, media productions, community, organizational support, and grass-roots activism have served to revitalize and re-energize our members, partners, and allies.