05-24-2018  4:19 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — An "unlikely" string of events prompted Amazon's Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle, the company said Thursday.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an...

Portland streetcar derails in crash; 1 injury

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland streetcar derailed during an accident involving several vehicles.No major injuries have been reported, but police say one person was taken to a hospital.The crash happened early Thursday afternoon in the Central Eastside Industrial District.The streetcar's "B...

Suspect in 1986 Washington murder case pleads not guilty

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A man arrested in the killing of a 13-year-old Tacoma, Washington girl over three decades ago has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.The News Tribune reports 60-year-old Robert Washburn pleaded not guilty Thursday in Tacoma, Washington, to murder with aggravated...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — An "unlikely" string of events prompted Amazon's Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle, the company said Thursday.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Staley settles lawsuit against Missouri athletic director

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has reached a ,000 settlement in her lawsuit against Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk.Missouri is paying the ,000. One half of the settlement will go to INNERSOLE, a nonprofit foundation co-founded by Staley. The other half will...

San Francisco police not charged in black man's 2015 killing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco prosecutors said Thursday that they will not charge officers in two shooting deaths, including the killing of a black man that led to citywide protests three years ago and federally recommended police reforms.District Attorney George Gascon declined to...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking violation is just the latest setback for efforts to improve relations between Milwaukee officers and the city's black population.The confrontation involving Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee...

ENTERTAINMENT

Scenes cut from 'Show Dogs' over resemblance to sexual abuse

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two scenes are being cut from the family movie "Show Dogs" after complaints that they resemble real-life sexual abuse, the movie's distributor has announced.In the movie, a police dog goes undercover at a dog show to catch animal smugglers.In one scene, the dog is told to...

Tommy Chong reflects on pot's evolution as he turns 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana legalization would be sweeping America.He knew when he and partner Cheech Marin pioneered stoner comedy 50 years ago, a time when taunting the establishment with constant reminders that they...

Paltrow: Brad Pitt threatened Harvey Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow says ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt threatened producer Harvey Weinstein after an alleged incident of sexual misconduct.The 45-year-old actress told "The Howard Stern Show" on Wednesday she was "blindsided." Paltrow claimed she was 22 when Weinstein placed his hands...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

MLB panel says baseballs getting extra lift, cause unknown

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseballs really have been getting extra lift since 2015, and it's not from the exaggerated...

Tommy Chong reflects on pot's evolution as he turns 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana...

Bus driver charged in crash that killed student, teacher

A school bus driver with a history of driver's license suspensions caused a fatal crash on a New Jersey highway...

Israel defense chief plans 2,500 new West Bank settler homes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister said Thursday he will seek approval next week to fast-track...

Cyclone Mekunu pounds Yemen island on its path to Oman

SALALAH, Oman (AP) — Cyclone Mekunu roared over the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on its way...

Saudi Arabia releases 3 women as other activists still held

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi authorities have released three prominent women's rights...

Bruce Poinsette of The Skanner News

The rain didn't keep people away from a march in solidarity with the family of Trayvon Martin last Saturday on North Killingsworth Street. The event was called by Portland mayoral candidate Cameron Whitten. Helen Silvis photo

 

In response to the Trayvon Martin shooting, around 80 men and 20 women gathered at Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI) this past week to discuss police brutality and strategic action in the Black community.

"We wanted to meet and figure out what people can do individually to change their communities," says Blake Dye, organizer of the event. "I don't think the Black community in Oregon communicates well. There are a lot of people of common interest but we just don't know it."

The event, billed as "The Conversation," was put on by the Phi Beta Sigma, a fraternity that runs on a social justice platform.

Males of different ages, backgrounds, occupations and faiths attended the event. Dye dismissed members of the major news media so participants would feel more comfortable expressing their views and emotions.

The meeting began with an outpouring of anger at not just the Trayvon Martin shooting, but the killings of Black men, specifically in Portland.

"There was a lot of pain in the room," says Dye. "People needed to be heard. They needed other Black men to hear who they were."

Some men shared experiences of having family members killed while others expressed thoughts on the age gap. One man even proposed entering the bicycle industry to spur economic empowerment, after telling his story of working for years at Freightliner.

While Dye acknowledges that the sharing of emotions was important, he says he didn't want it to be two hours of emotional rehashing.

The men broke into three groups to discuss specific ideas and strategies. These smaller groups were facilitated by the three main speakers of the event, Johnny Lake, Andrae Brown and Marcus Sharpe. Some of the topics included family, community and police brutality.

Each smaller group developed a list of ideas to present to the larger group when it reconvened at the end of the event.

Debates over some topics were heated but Dye says they produced a number of productive ideas.

One plan that came out of the family and community discussions was the need for parents to create a language to better communicate with teachers and school administrators. This was part of a larger discussion on the importance of getting involved in children's education because students today don't see the value of it as much as past generations.

Another point that was discussed in detail was the need to get involved in local government.

Dye, who sits on the Marion County Sheriff's Community Adviser Board, uses himself as an example.

"There are 16 members and I'm the only Black person," he says. "My presence is important so they understand that the Black community cares."

Lastly, speakers and participants in "The Conversation" encouraged attendees to get involved in organizations in the community, including the Urban League, gang outreach and mentoring programs.

"Our goal wasn't to create another organization," says Dye. "We wanted to reinvigorate the organizations that already exist in the community. There's a job for everyone."

Originally, the event was billed as a Black male's meeting. However, a number of women responded to the invitation, so a separate classroom was used to facilitate a question and answer session between them.

"From the point of view of the men, they were happy to be among themselves," says Teressa Raiford, who did marketing for "The Conversation."

Raiford said there were a number of spirited conversations on topics that included what women expect from the men in their communities and what women can do collectively to enact change.

She says there was a heated debate among different generations of women about the role of men. Specifically, she says older women came with the point of view that men should already have certain values instilled in them while younger women argued that younger men were not taught some of the values of the older generation due to a different upbringing.

Another major topic was having discussions with Black children on how they will be perceived by the police and authority figures.

"I had to have a discussion with my son about why it's not safe to jog at 4:30 in the morning," says Raiford. "He thought it was his clothes and told me his gear was fine. I had to tell him that the gear was his skin.

"There is a certain generation that doesn't want to hear it. It's hard to have that discussion because it affirms a lack of value. Our goal was to figure out how to direct this info to our children without telling them they have no self worth."

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