05-22-2018  5:11 am      •     
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Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

3 killed in Vancouver vehicle crash identified

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County Medical's Examiner's Office has identified three men killed in a vehicle crash in Vancouver.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 24-year-old Tabo Naveta, 27-year-old Akiki Kintin and 27-year-old Kenson Cheipot, all from Vancouver, died from injuries...

Springfield settles lawsuit with fired dispatcher for K

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The city of Springfield has agreed to pay ,000 to settle a 2014 lawsuit by a dispatcher who said she was wrongly fired after accusing officers of inappropriate conduct.The Register-Guard reported Sunday that a joint statement from the city and the former dispatcher,...

3 killed in Vancouver vehicle crash identified

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County Medical's Examiner's Office has identified three men killed in a vehicle crash in Vancouver.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 24-year-old Tabo Naveta, 27-year-old Akiki Kintin and 27-year-old Kenson Cheipot, all from Vancouver, died from injuries...

Seattle, family reach M settlement for deadly crash

SEATTLE (AP) — The family of a couple killed in 2013 by a drunk driver has settled with the city of Seattle for million.KOMO-TV reported Monday that the family of Dennis and Judy Schulte settled with the city last month.Prosecutors say Mark Mullan was drunk when his pickup hit the...


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 ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...


Black man ordered to pay [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 for racist campus graffiti

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former Eastern Michigan University student who admitted to painting racist graffiti on campus has been ordered to pay more than [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 in restitution.The Ann Arbor News reports 29-year-old Eddie Curlin learned his punishment Monday after earlier pleading guilty to...

China sentences Tibetan activist to 5 years for separatism

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese judge sentenced a Tibetan shopkeeper to five years in prison on Tuesday for inciting separatism, based on his comments in a New York Times documentary in which the man talked about the erosion of his culture and language in the tightly secured region.Tashi Wangchuk's...

Voters choose nominees in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Texas

ATLANTA (AP) — Four states will cast ballots Tuesday as the 2018 midterm elections take shape. Voters in Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky hold primaries, while Texans settle several primary runoffs after their first round of voting in March. Some noteworthy story lines:IN THIS #METOO MIDTERM,...


Sony buys most of EMI Music, to spend B on image sensors

TOKYO (AP) — Electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. said Tuesday it plans to spend [scripts/homepage/home.php].3 billion acquiring an additional 60 percent stake in EMI Music Publishing, home to the Motown catalog and contemporary artists like Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams.Sony already owns...

At Cannes, a #MeToo upheaval up and down the Croisette

CANNES, France (AP) — Fifty years after filmmakers shut down the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Cote d'Azur extravaganza was again shook by upheaval.From the start to the finish, the 71st Cannes was dominated by protest and petition for gender equality, culminating in the...

Despite Spotify change, R. Kelly's streams still intact

NEW YORK (AP) — Streaming numbers for R. Kelly have remained intact a week after Spotify announced it had removed the R&B singer's music from its playlists, citing its new policy on hate content and hateful conduct.Spotify made the bold declaration on May 10, but R. Kelly's streaming...


All tied up: LeBron's 44 helps Cavs even series with Celtics

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James knows the path to the NBA Finals better than anyone in today's game.And...

Experts disclose new details about 300-year-old shipwreck

BOSTON (AP) — A Spanish galleon laden with gold that sank to the bottom of the Caribbean off the coast of...

Palestinians ask ICC for 'immediate' probe against Israel

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Calling it a "historic step" toward justice, the Palestinian foreign minister...

Syrian army, police celebrate recapturing all of Damascus

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces raised their flag over the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus on...

EU lawmakers to press Zuckerberg over data privacy

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union lawmakers plan to press Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday about data...

US bishop at royal wedding thought invitation was a prank

LONDON (AP) — The American bishop whose sermon caused a stir at the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan...

Cameron Whitten
By Arashi Young | The Skanner News

When Cameron Whitten arrived in Portland, he was a homeless youth trying to find his way in the city. He became an advocate for marginalized communities during the Occupy Portland movement and ran for Mayor of Portland. In June 2012, Whitten went through a 55-day hunger strike to bring attention to the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp.

Since then, Whitten has served on many advocacy boards such as the City Club of Portland’s Advocacy and Awareness Board and the Transit Equity Advisory Committee for TriMet. He is in his final year of a bachelor of arts in economics at Portland State University. Most recently, he was chosen as the executive director of the art and social justice non-profit Know Your City.

Founded in 2009 by former executive director Marc Moscato, Know Your City has spearheaded a variety of public engagement and art projects – ranging from themed city tours to concerts to publications (including two series of historical comic books, a renters’ rights comic published with the Community Alliance of Tenants and the Jade Journal, a monthly newspaper published by fifth graders in East Portland).

Whitten spoke to The Skanner News about Know Your City and how he hopes to expand the organization’s reach to include more disenfranchised voices into Portland community-building. Here are excerpts of the interview, edited for space and clarity.


The Skanner News: Congratulations on becoming the Executive Director at Know Your City. Why did you choose this job?

Cameron Whitten: Portland needs Know Your City. Portland is going through a lot of changes right now. We're seeing Black Lives Matter, climate crisis, affordable housing. We're seeing a climax of social and political issues happening right now. There's a need for social justice in our community, for movements pushing us forward for progress for all people. People are paying attention. They are talking a lot more about these issues than I've seen since I've first came here to Portland. That's a huge deal.

We are even looking at our demographics. We are looking at our youth, who are more diverse than ever -- and it’s going to be our youth who are going to topple the image and reputation as Portland's Whitest major city in America. 

But are we ready for that right now? No. We need to change the conversation at the institutional level, at the societal level. We need to change the conversation to make sure that all people have their identities welcomed and celebrated in our community. Right now is the moment for Know Your City to be doing this work, and this is where I am called to be. 


TSN: What can Portlanders expect to see from Know Your City under your leadership?

CW: I think they can expect an organization that is honest, that is committed to the beauty of our culture and is committed to being on the cutting edge of community issues as they are happening. I want Know Your City to be a responsive, proactive organization and it should be one that is all-inclusive to Portlanders and Oregonians.


TSN: In what ways will Know Your City focus on the Black community in Portland?

CW: We are working on expanding our Jade Journal we did in Harrison Park elementary last year. We worked with fifth graders who were journalists for 12 whole weeks.

They interviewed people like state representative Alissa Keny-Guyer and APANO. They read about justice issues in their communities, pedestrian safety, food deserts. These youth were able to understand where they are, their community and also understand how they can use their voice to shape and benefit their community.

We want to have that kind of presence and empowerment in North Portland and also in East Portland. We see that kind of support happen at Lincoln and Grant High School, but there are so many areas where they aren't expected to have a voice and we want to change that.

We are looking at our schools and how every school between third and fifth grade is supposed to do Oregon studies. You go into these schools and what they are talking about is mostly Lewis and Clark, Ben Holladay, George Whitaker maybe. Maybe Carrie Brownstein comes up once or twice, but it's not my Oregon, it's not your Oregon. It silences the voices and lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

We need to have all-inclusive studies of Oregon and we expect our city to be a partner and champion in making that happen. That's what I am advocating right now, civic equity in all Portland schools and we want to spread that to the region.


TSN: What are you most excited about in this upcoming year?

CW: I am excited to see how Know Your City can expand and it's going to take a lot. I see this being a movement that spans the region. I think we have communities we are advocating for who do not live in Portland proper and we need to get out in Beaverton and Hillsboro and Gresham and Oregon City. We need to be able to get out there.


TSN: Is there anything else you want The Skanner readers to know?

CW: I want this to be an opportunity for The Skanner community and the community at large to really sit down with me. My phone number and my e-mail address are out there. Please have us as a resource. We are writing grants, we are fundraising, we are trying to find ways to leverage our resources that we have with the arts, with civics, with education to be really bent towards justice.

We really rely on community working with us to make projects available that help benefit all people and make everyone feel like their culture and identity is welcome and celebrated.

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