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"My Beautiful Black Family!"

Posted by Jamee Greer at Aug 12, 2015 08:35 PM |

Western States Center was approached by members of our organizing communities for help in fundraising to send Portland-area Black and African American folks to The Movement for Black Lives Convening in Cleveland, days after AMP (Activists Mobilizing for Power). Our pledge was to contribute 10% of our total raised during our leadership development conference to a local scholarship pool, raising over $1600. These funds were matched by PFLAG Portland Black Chapter. PFLAG Portland Black Chapter Design Editor and AMP photographer, Darion Demartez Jones, shared a few thoughts on his experiences as well as pictures.

"My Beautiful Black Family!"

"My Beautiful Black Family!"

Just over a year ago, news of the murder of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri reverberated across the country. Across the nation, a clear call to demand action for racial justice was heard that ignited demonstrations, direct actions, and movement building under the powerfully succinct and honest banner of #BlackLivesMatter. White supremacy continues to strike out in insidious ways – from acts of murderous violence and church burnings to the daily exclusions in language, culture, and policy.  From direct action campaigns to deep community organizing efforts to legal and communications strategies: it takes all of us working to tear-down the symbols and power structures of white supremacy and continue to shift culture from one of domination to one of liberation. No single piece of the movement does it alone and the work of the Center is to support the community organizing that connects these strategies across locations and identities, especially at the intersections.

Western States Center was approached by members of our organizing communities for help in fundraising to send Portland-area Black and African American folks to The Movement for Black Lives Convening in Cleveland, days after AMP (Activists Mobilizing for Power). Our pledge was to contribute 10% of our total raised during our leadership development conference to a local scholarship pool, raising over $1600. These funds were matched by PFLAG Portland Black Chapter.

PFLAG Portland Black Chapter Design Editor and AMP photographer, Darion Demartez Jones, shared a few thoughts on his experiences. 

I chose to attend the National Convening in The Movement for Black Lives due to the deep connection to the community, as well as my commitments to political advocacy, and social justice. I also chose this event particularly due to my identity(ies) as a Black Queer Male, in search of greater community outside of my region that is predominately white. I believe that my local communities (of color and ally alike) can support each other by continuing to advocate and speak truth to power when appropriate. Eloquently stated by our trans and gender-non conforming sibs: support is more than just praising one another when we’re in the same room. It’s standing up for them when we are at the absence of their presence. Attending the Movement for Black Lives was probably the most impactful event I’ve attended this year. I learned more about myself and the world around, as well as found the family and community I’d been lacking. And I’m looking forward to next reunion!  

 

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