With the help of local artists such as Mic Crenshaw, this year's Peace and Unity Fest raised $500 for the 4th Annual Youth Summit, slated to be held in February 2010.
The event on Aug. 15 was inspired by the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March and is primarily held to raise money for the annual Youth Summit. The summit is organized by Imani Muhammad, who was driven by the death of Davonte Lightfoot, a former student of hers who was only 14 at the time of his murder.
This Peace and Unity Fest featured Community Drummers, West African Dance performances, guest speaker Pastor Frederick Woods, Brother Milford Muhammad of the Nation of Islam and DJ Grimrock, leader of Oregon Universal Zulu Nation. The event closed out with live musical performances by Northwest represented, Nationally recognized artists. Toni Hill, Silver Shadow D, Mic Crenshaw, Luck-One, Ro Deezy, Blacque Butterfly and DLUXTHELIGHT.
For more information go to www.youthsummit09.blogspot.com
Hot Nights/Warm Coats 2 Aims to Collect 2,000 Coats for Needy
A warm, winter coat might not be the first thing on your mind at the end of August, but that's exactly what Jesse Sponberg is banking on.
"People are more willing to part with coats in the summertime," he said.
Sponberg will be holding the second annual "Hot Nights/Warm Coats" coat drive from 2 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 13 at the Jupiter Hotel, 800 E. Burnside St.
Sponberg, also known as his stage name Ozone, says the drive helps get low-income children and teens gently used coats that aren't going to make them afraid to go to school.
"I remember going to school and thinking 'I can't rock this coat,'" he said. "I see kids with sweatshirts or short sleeves in the middle of winter … that leads to dropouts and self-esteem problems."
Everyone attending the Sunday show – which includes a number of Portland's top artists such as Cool Nutz, Braille, DJ Fatboy, Luck-One and many others – are asked to bring at least one coat and $5 for the door. All of the artists and event organizers donate their time for the event. Coats are donated to and distributed by Impact NW, which serves over 70,000 families in the Portland and Southwest Washington area.
"The hip-hop community has disposable income and the way fashion flips in the music business, what was cool last year may not be cool for you, but it'd still look cool for a high school student."
Last year's drive gathered 1,000 coats – this year he hopes to double that. He encourages artists around town to mobilize their fan bases to bring in unused coats.
A "rapper draft slottery" will be held on Sept. 7th at 7 p.m. at Blitz-Ladd to determine the order of appearance for the show. Check out www.ozoneshiphopshowcase.com for more details.
Sponberg also organizes two other drives during the year – a new sock drive in the winter and a food drive in the spring. A La Familia Poker Tournament and Coat Drive will also be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7 at the Sellwood Public House.
If you are unable to make the show, but have extra coats, there are a number of locations around town that will be accepting donations including Sky Box, Blitz-Ladd, Macadam's Bar and Grill, Sellwood Public House and more (visit www.ozoneshiphopshowcase.com for the full list).