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The History of Hate in Oregon Speaker Series

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Racism -- Oregon -- History, African Americans -- Crimes against -- Oregon, Oregon -- Race relations -- History, African Americans -- Civil rights -- Oregon -- History


This talk was sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. Panelists include Bob Horenstein, Director of Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Pastor E.D. Mondaine, former President of the NAACP, Pastor and Poet Emmett Wheatfall, and Walidha Imarisha, Director for the Center for Black Studies at Portland State University.

In this time of national and local reckoning with our country and city’s grim legacy of discrimination and hate, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland (JFGP) has partnered with friends and allies to create a series of public programs to confront hate.

We have been reminded almost daily that our communities of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ persons, as well as many of our neighbors of various religious faiths, are frequent targets of vicious hatred. Nevertheless, we have also seen seeds of hope. We have witnessed an upsurge of people ready to stand in solidarity with those who are targets of discrimination and hate—people who are eager to listen, to learn, and to take action to make Portland a place that truly protects the lives, well-being, and dignity of all who live here.

Through our own bitter experiences of antisemitic hatred, we in the Jewish community have learned the inestimable importance of solidarity with others who are willing to make common cause in the fight against hate and prejudice in all its forms.

These webinars will begin in October 2020 and continue through March/April 2021 and will feature speakers who will educate on The History of Hate in Oregon. In partnership with organizations in the greater community representing people who have historically—and continually—been the targets of discrimination and hatred in Oregon.

The webinars will culminate with a community-wide Summit on Confronting Hate in Spring 2021. This event will be a collaborative effort by all the organizations that previously presented the webinars on the history of hate in Oregon. What will differentiate the Summit from the earlier programs is that it will focus on the present and the future. Keynote speakers and breakout session leaders will share their expertise, skills, resources, and tools to help people translate their commitments to social justice and equity into effective social action.


Permission to archive this talk was received from Jewish Federation of Greater Portland.


Walidah Imarisha co-edited two anthologies including Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements. Imarisha’s nonfiction book Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption won a 2017 Oregon Book Award. She is also the author of the poetry collection Scars/Stars.

For six years, she presented statewide as a public scholar with Oregon Humanities' Conversation Project on topics such as Oregon Black history, alternatives to incarceration, and the history of hip hop. Imarisha has taught in Stanford University’s Program of Writing and Rhetoric, Pacific Northwest College of the Arts’ Masters in Critical Studies Program, Portland State University's Black Studies Department, and Oregon State University's Women Gender Sexuality Studies Department.

Emmett Wheatfall lives in Portland, Oregon where he reads, writes, publishes, and performs poetry. Fernwood Press, an imprint of Barclay Press has published 2 books of Emmett's poetry. His collection titled As Clean as a Bone was published in May 2018 through Fernwood Press. As Clean as a Bone was a 2019 Eric Hoffer Award Finalist as well as a da Vinci Eye award finalist. Our Scarlet Blue Wounds is his latest collection and was published in November 2019. Our Scarlet Blue Wounds examines poetically American “Exceptionalism” in light of today’s political, social, and economic constructs. Emmett has recorded one non-lyrical (without music) poetry CD titled I Speak and four lyrical poetry (with music) CDs. They are When I Was Young (2010), I Loved You Once (2011), Them Poetry Blues (2013), and Welcome Home (2017). These CDs feature some of Oregon’s most gifted and talented jazz, blues, and pop musicians, and artists. His latest release is titled, Somebody Told Me (2020) and is his first gospel single. His latest release is Amazing Grace featuring LaRhonda Steele (2020). These releases can be viewed, heard, and or downloaded from music online sites such as Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, and a host of other such download sites. Since 2014 Emmett has served on the Nomination Committees for the selection of Oregon Poet Laureate Peter Sears, Elizabeth Woody, Kim Stafford, and Anis Majgani. The Oregon Poet Laureate fosters the art of poetry, encourages literacy and learning, addresses central issues related to humanities and heritage, and reflects on public life in Oregon. The poet is appointed by the governor of the State of Oregon. Emmett was a featured poet at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the March on Washington (Portland Event), where he delivered his original poem written for the occasion, Miles to Go Before We Sleep. In addition, poet Wheatfall was the keynote speaker at the screening of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech for the Oregon Historical Society’s Oregon Black History Series program, “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom Fiftieth Anniversary” on August 28, 2013. In October of 2017, Emmett gave the keynote address at the 2017 Oregon Poetry Association Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon. The title of his keynote address was "Can Poets Change the World?" In 2020, Corban University in Salem, Oregon filmed a 9-Part Series featuring Emmett Wheatfall. This series was made possible by generous grants from the Library of America and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of Lift Every Voice, a year-long national celebration of African American poetry. A Brief History can be viewed at the following Youtube link. He has performed lyrical spoken word poetry in Portland jazz venues such as Ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant, Tony Starlight's Supper Club and Lounge, Backspace Café (formerly), Portland's fabulous Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and many venues around the Portland area. He has performed lyrical jazz and blues poetry at Jimmy Mak’s: the former premier Northwest Jazz club, once regarded as one of America's top 100 Jazz Clubs. Emmett has been accompanied by world-class Jazz and blues musicians in the persons of Noah Peterson (Peterson Entertainment LLC), national and international jazz recording artist Darrell Grant, Gordon Lee, Andre St. James, Brandon Woods, and John Thomas; Canadian pianist Gaea Shell, Eldon T. Jones, James Blackburn, and Ramsey Embick (former pianist and band leader for the Pointer Sisters); including Portland's the late great bass player Mr. James Miller. Then there is the "Boss of the B-3 Hammond" Mr. Louis Pain, aka “King Louie,” as well as Carlton Jackson, Peter Dammann, Renato Caranto, and Edwin Coleman III; Salem, Oregon great Nathan Olsen, and Portland pianist concert Michael Allen Harrison. Then there is vocalist Barbara Harris and jazz, blues, and gospel vocalist LaRhonda Steele. Most notable is the late legend and Grammy-nominated jazz, blues, gospel pianist and recording artist Ms. Janice Scroggins.

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imarisha_uncovering_Audio.srt (153 kB)
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imarisha_uncovering_Transcript.srt.txt (71 kB)
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