I am because we are, and because we are, therefore I am ...

The meaning of this African proverb is that the health of the black community is dependent upon the health of its individuals. Our name says it all:
Healing: "to free from grief, troubles, evil, to make sound, well, healthy"
Roots: "an essential or basic part, to become settled or established"
Village: a community of individuals, social-service providers, businesses and community and faith-based organizations who work to empower black women and their families

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Just see NO!

Eleven years in the making, this ground breaking, feature length documentary - NO! - explores how the collective silence of acts of sexual assault adversely affects African-Americans. The Portland premiere also includes a panel discussion featuring community leaders addressing the unique issues that women of color face around the issue of sexual assault and encouraging dialogue, healing and reconciliation

When: Monday, July 16, 9 a.m. - Noon
Where: PCC's Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth St., Moriarty Arts & Humanity Auditorium (Room 104)
Sponsors: Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, PWCL, PCC, Healing Roots Center, and the Tri-County Sexual Assault Task Force

Here's what other community influencers have said about the film:

If the Black community in the Americas and in the world would heal itself, it must complete the work [NO!] begins.” Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, The Color Purple

"Heartbreaking, personal and ultimately empowering... NO! is a painstaking compilation of Black women's testimonies about sexual assault and domestic violence. Not only does Simmons' groundbreaking film breaks a pervasive deadly silence, it reaffirms the power of a Black woman's truth." Joan Morgan, Author, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down

''’NO!’ is a film that is about more than sensational exposure. ‘NO!’ seeks resolution to a painful crime that has been shrouded in silence for too long in the Black community." Dwight Williams, Executive Producer, ‘Hustle & Flow’ and ‘Baby Boy’

Tangoing With Tornadoes is BACK!!

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but your words will break my heart ...
Don't miss Renee's next FREE concert. If you haven't seen her perform - as featured in February on Oregon Public Broadcasting - you're in for a treat. She and her amazing band, featuring pianist Daniel Crothers, will be performing poetry/music from Renee's latest book/CD/play, “Tangoing with Tornadoes.”

When: Friday, July 13, 2007 * Time: 7 p.m.
Place: PSU’s Lincoln Performance Hall, Broadway/Market

The National Black Women's Health Project identified domestic violence as our NUMBER ONE health issue. It is killing us - emotionally, physically & spiritually! Here’s how you can learn more about the issue:
DIVERSE PATHS - UNIVERSAL TRUTHS: Multicultural Perspectives of Domestic & Sexual Violence - A 10th annual interpersonal violence conference Sponsor: PSU’s Women's Studies Department

Friday, July 13, 5:30 - 9 p.m.Saturday, July 14, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Lincoln Performance Hall, Portland State University
SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE! HERE’S HOW TO REGISTER: 503-381-1170, www.ws.pdx.edu/registration.pdf

Monday, July 2, 2007

What's Next?

The good news is we have an unbelievable gift of TWO years to get this program ready for independence! Roslyn Farrington, a longtime women's advocate, suggests these next steps.

We need to get 6-8 people who will agree to:
1) A 3-year commitment to being on the board
2) Faithfully attend monthly meetings with work assignments in between
3) Attend a one day meeting, where we spend 1/2 a day building community and the other 1/2 creating a 3 year plan.

So, who's on board? Let's hear from you soon!

Reclaiming Our Cause, Directing its Future

On Wednesday afternoon, June 27, 2007, we held a meeting at the Healing Roots Center, just off Albina and Killingsworth, to discuss creating a much-needed community advisory committee. The success of this project is critical to black women in the Portland area getting the services they need around domestic violence issues.

Here is a copy of the Evite message that went out to about 30 community leaders:

As we enter the second year of the United Way-funded project, the Healing Roots Center, we recognize that we need to build stronger alliances with the community we're serving. So we're reaching out to you in hopes that you will gift us with your advice, counsel, input and prayers.

As you know, this innovative project is intended to serve African and African American women and their children who are survivors of domestic violence. Portland has never successfully offered this type of service here, at least not for the long term. Not only do we want that to change, but we want to create a national model on how to do that.

We want this project to eventually stand on its own, so it's a service designed for and by black women and run by black women, with the support of other individuals and organizations. We believe the creation of a community advisory board would be the first step to making that happen. And we hope you will help us do that.