Religious and community leaders will try to determine what is needed to improve civil rights for Portland residents and throughout the state during a daylong community discussion sponsored by the Portland and Portland State University branches of the NAACP.
Called "Project Portland," the discussion will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, in the Moriarty Arts Building Auditorium at Portland Community College's Cascade Campus.
The project's goal is to define a collective agenda for civil rights advocacy by involving religious and community leaders with community members who will work with state, regional and national NAACP units.
Participating in the community dialogue will be Mary L. Peeler, national director of branch and field services; Jamal Watkins, Western Region I director; and Oscar Eason, Alaska/Oregon/Washington State Area Conference president.
Portland Community College Cascade Campus President Dr. Algie Gatewood will host the meeting. The agenda includes three caucuses — all requiring reservations beforehand — and a community forum, which does not need a reservation. The sessions include:
• Religious Leaders Caucus: 9 to 10:30 a.m., Moriarity Arts Building Auditorium, PCC Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth St. (RSVP required);
• Community Leaders Caucus: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Moriarity Arts Building Auditorium (RSVP required);
• NAACP Internal Leadership Caucus: 1 to 2:30 p.m., Moriarity Arts Building (RSVP required); and
• Community Forum entitled "What Matters to Me and Why": 3 to 5 p.m., Moriarity Arts Building Auditorium; open attendance — no RSVP required.
To RSVP for any of the three caucus meetings e-mail the Rev. Renee Ward, Project Portland meeting coordinator, at RevRenee@zioncme.org, or call 503-548-7537.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members advocate for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.