Portland Action Agenda: Ways to Make a Difference, Feb 20–Mar 5

From concerts benefiting the ACLU to happy-hour chats about democracy to an evening of stories about Planned Parenthood, here's how to get engaged right now.

By Portland Monthly Staff February 20, 2017

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I Am Not Your Negro, Raoul Peck's astounding documentary about James Baldwin, screens at the Hollywood Theatre as part of the Portland Black Film Festival.

We The People: Marching United in Resistance

12–4 p.m. Mon, Feb 20, Director Park
Spend your President’s Day marching against injustice with Basic Rights Oregon, the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, Unite Oregon, and other advocacy organizations. 

RISE UP: Portland Sings for Justice

7 p.m. Mon, Feb 20, Artists Repertory Theatre, $25
A seriously long slate of talented local singers, including Mont Chris Hubbard, Susannah Mars, Merideth Kaye Clark, and Vin Shambry, puts on “an evening celebrating our constitutional rights through song and story,” from folk songs to show tunes. All proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

UnPresidented Acts

7 p.m.–midnight Mon, Feb 20, Performance Works NorthWest, $5–50
As part of the nationwide Bad and Nasty coalition, this marathon evening of performance—come and go as you wish—features “acts of protest, resistance, resilience, and community building” from more than two dozen artists. Donations benefit Don’t Shoot Portland, the Q Center, and El Programa Hispano. Pepper Pepper hosts.

Not My President’s Day Water Avenue Block Party

8:30–11:30 p.m. Mon, Feb 20, Water Avenue Commerce Center, $40
The Portland food scene’s #deliciousresistance group (spearheaded by Mae’s Maya Lovelace and local food event planner Natalia Toral) kicks off with a gluttonous fundraiser for Planned Parenthood Columbia/Willamette. Your donation nabs you bites from 10 excellent chefs including Greg and Gabi Denton (Ox, SuperBite), Tommy Habetz (Pizza Jerk/Bunk), Sam Smith (Tusk), Doug Adams (Bullard), Earl Ninsom (Langbaan) and Lovelace herself. Plus, you can ante up for drinks from Bit House Saloon and Ataula.

Portland Black Film Festival

Thru Feb 22, Hollywood Theatre, $9 general
With a goal “to offer diverse perspectives and stories in an art form all too often dominated by white filmmakers,” the Portland Black Film Festival this year features Prince concert film Sign o’ the Times, digital restorations of two decades-old films, and a doc about gay rights within the African American community. And don’t miss I Am Not Your Negro, Raoul Peck’s astounding new documentary about James Baldwin—its shattering present-day relevance makes it required viewing (it continues past the festival's end at the Hollywood, and is also playing at Cinema 21).

Pints for IRCO

5–9 p.m. Wed, Feb 22, Occidental Brewing Company
Beer just tastes better when you're drinking for a good cause. Today, Occidental donates $1 for every pint sold to Portland's Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization.

PUGS Happy Hour with Healthy Democracy

6–8 p.m. Wed, Feb 22, Slide Inn
Portland Underground Graduate School hosts a discussion led by Robin Teater, executive director of Healthy Democracy, about the “tensions inherent in a democratic society” and how individual citizens can help build civic community.

Hidden History of Albina Tour

Noon Sat, Feb 24; 4 p.m. Sun, Feb 25, $15
As part of Black History Month, Know Your City offers this tour of North Portland’s Boise and Eliot neighborhoods, giving a glimpse into what was historically the heart of the city’s African American community.

Nasty Women Art Exhibition

Thru Feb 24, Eutectic Gallery, FREE
This multi-media exhibition, featuring work from self-identified nasty women, has been touring the world since its debut in NYC last month, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.

Loving Your Body as an Act of Political Resistance

10:30 a.m–noon Sat, Feb 25, The Perlene, FREE
This modern-day ladies social club invites women to fall in love with their bodies through movement, activity, and discussion.

Multnomah County Town Hall - Senator Ron Wyden

12–3 p.m. Sat, Feb 25, David Douglas High School, FREE
Here’s your chance to speak face-to-face with Oregon Senator Ron Wyden! Don’t miss it.

So You Say You Want a Revolution: Can Protest Drive Policy? - Issue Forum

3–4:30 p.m. Sat, Feb 25, Lucky Labrador NW, FREE
Can public protests really lead to policy changes and other long-term benefits? Discuss this controversial question with the City Club of Portland’s Government and Public Policy Committee and a panel of activists, journalists, and community leaders.

Maslenitsa Brunch

10 a.m.–noon Sun, Feb 26, Kachka, $45
In wishing away Portland’s unseasonably stormy winter (and perhaps the nation’s political climate), Russian zakuski spot Kachka throws a Maslenitsa brunch. The pagan holiday, or “butter week,” celebrates the coming of spring, sunshine, and everything else that is good with large, round blini served with a bounty of accompaniment, cured fish to Belorussian gravy. Proceeds will be donated to the ACLU of Oregon. $45 includes coffee, tea, and a horseradish vodka "vitamin shot." To book a spot, email [email protected] or visit the website.

Interrupting Oppressive Language

2–4 p.m. Sun, Feb 26, UNA Gallery, FREE
Learn how to address offensive behaviors in a way that facilitates communication and learning at this workshop led by PSU Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies professor Sally Eck.

“Hell No!” Music Show

6 p.m. Sun, Feb 26, Crystal Ballroom, SOLD OUT
A veritable who’s who of Portland’s music scene—Sleater-Kinney, Colin Meloy, Chanti Darling, Summer Cannibals, and more—come together for a show to benefit ACLU and Unite Oregon.

August Wilson Monologue Competition

7 p.m. Mon, Feb 27, Newmark Theatre, FREE (reservations required)
Twelve local high school students perform monologues by landmark playwright August Wilson, whose 10-play Century Cycle chronicled black life in Pittsburgh's working-class Hill District, vying for the chance to advance to the national competition in New York City. Plus, expect two monologues from the Red Door Project's Hands Up project about policing and race, and plenty of music throughout the evening.

Latinx Rally - Defend DACA

5­–7:30 p.m. Tues, Feb 28, Terry D. Schrunk Plaza
Join and Voz Hispana Cambio Comunitario as they call on elected city, state, and national officials to protect DACA, stop deportations, protect immigrants, and welcome refugees.

Ride for Resistance

6–9 p.m. Tues, Feb 28, Parkway North, Portland State University, FREE
Listen to the stories of indigenous activists from more than twelve different nations as they share their knowledge of colonial violence and #NoDAPL resistance.

Thank You Planned Parenthood

7 p.m. Tue, Feb 28, EastBurn, $20
Seven women—including providers, volunteers, and former patients—share stories about the role Planned Parenthood has played in their lives.

Count Her In Celebration

5:30–8 p.m. Thu, Mar 2, Castaway Portland, SOLD OUT
Commemorate the groundbreaking results of the Women’s Foundation of Oregon’s landmark statewide “Count Her In” survey with dinner, drinks, a live auction, and a celebrity quiz show. 

ACLU Benefit Show at Holocene

8 p.m.–12:30 a.m. Thu, Mar 2, Holocene, $10
This 21+ musical performance features acts by Lenore, Lindsay Clark, Catherine Feeny, Anna Tivel, and Robin Bacior.


Thurs–Sun, Mar 2–5, Hollywood Theatre, $9 general, $60 festival pass
The annual showcase of women in cinema celebrates its 10th anniversary with its first guest of honor of color: Cheryl Dunye, whose 1996 film The Watermelon Woman was a trailblazing LGBTQ work. Other highlights include The View from Tall, a feature film exploring teen sexuality and consent, and Out of Order, a doc following queer faith leaders.

Cascade Festival of African Films

Various times thru Mar 4, Portland Community College's Cascade Campus, FREE
Back in 1991, this fest launched as a humble four-film affair. This year, it’s up to 17 feature-length films (plus six shorts) from across the continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Tunisia.

Putting the T in Equality

6:30–9 p.m. Sun, Mar 5, Portland First Christian Church, FREE
Learn how to support and advocate on behalf of transgender Oregonians at this workshop for cisgender allies.

My Life Through My Lens

Thru Mar 5, Union Knott, FREE
Local photographer Renée Lopez’s first solo exhibit features her striking images of Portlanders of color, largely women and those in activist and music communities.

NXNE: The Skanner Photography of Julie Keefe, 1991–2008

Thru Mar 17, Emerson House, FREE
Julie Keefe started working as a photographer for the Skanner, Portland's African-American newspaper, in 1991. This exhibit gathers nearly two decades' worth of her work of North and Northeast Portland.

We the People

Thru Mar, Wieden & Kennedy, FREE
This gallery show features demonstration signs from recent social justice marches. The evolving exhibit—community members are welcome to donate their signs—will run through March before traveling around the world to Wieden & Kennedy’s international offices. For each item received, Wieden & Kennedy has pledged to give $10 to Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, promising a minimum contribution of $10,000. Read more about it here.

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