05-21-2018  9:43 pm      •     
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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

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Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

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The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

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Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

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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

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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 ...


Voters choose nominees in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Texas

ATLANTA (AP) — Four states 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, A BIG...

China sentences Tibetan activist to 5 years for separatism

BEIJING (AP) — China has sentenced a Tibetan language activist to five years in prison for inciting separatism after he appeared in a documentary video produced by The New York Times.Tashi Wangchuk's lawyer Liang Xiaojun told The Associated Press that a judge in Qinghai province passed down...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...


Actress who accused Weinstein needs money to finish film

NEW YORK (AP) — Actress Paz de la Huerta has started a crowdfunding campaign to finish a movie she began making years before she publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape.The movie "Valley of Tears" is her take on the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Red Shoes," about a little girl with a...

Sony invests in image sensors, acquires more of EMI Music

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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...


Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Sarah Rose Summers from Nebraska beat out 50 other women Monday to win this year's...

Deadly Florida airport shooting results in plea deal for man

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Federal prosecutors filed court documents Monday in which an Alaska man agreed...

What is lava haze? A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

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Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Portland State University Campus
By Christen McCurdy | The Skanner News

A Tuesday night discussion featuring two nationally prominent activists remained somewhat abstract until moments before the scheduled question and answer session -- when a student activist was invited to the stage to call for the disarmament of Portland State University’s security.

Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, two of the three women credited with creating the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, who have since founded a national organization bearing the same name, spoke at PSU’s Peter Stott Center Tuesday night at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. lecture focused on King’s legacy.

They were introduced by Carmen Suarez, Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion at PSU, and the conversation was moderated by African American Student Service Coordinator Marlon Marion.

Shortly before the panel discussion started, a group of students seated in the bleachers near the stage, chanted “Disarm PSU!” a few times, and Garza mentioned being aware of a “big fight” over the recent decision to arm campus police during her discussion with Tometi and Marion.

“The work is local,” Tometi said. Then she and Garza said they would like to bring someone to the stage.

“You will notice my name is not in the program,” said Alyssa Pagan, an activist with the Disarm PSU movement, after walking up to the stage.

After explaining that activists with the PSU Student Union had been fighting against the Board of Trustees’ recommendation that campus security start carrying arms, an audience member cheered. Pagan reacted by saying she and other students had received multiple letters from the university about their activism, including letters of expulsion.

“I don’t need your congratulations. I need your help,” Pagan said.

Pagan also made mention of the introductory speech, which focused on different kinds of privilege, including White privilege, light-skinned privilege and the fact that the event took place on lands that had belonged to indigenous people. She said while she appreciated Suarez’s intentions, she was offended by the implication that the problem is a lack of diversity at PSU, or that people don’t check their privilege.

Much bigger than the problem of “individuals with bad attitudes not checking their privilege,” she said, are the systemic issues that affect students of color. In addition to armed security, Pagan noted the failure of the university to pay a living wage to on-campus workers. A video of Pagan’s speech is viewable on her Facebook page.

Students associated with PSUSU handed out flyers at the door as the event let out, advertising a Wednesday afternoon demonstration calling for the disarmament of campus security, broken ties with Armark, a $15-per-hour wage for all campus workers and that tuition be lowered by reducing administrative salaries.

The preceding discussion focused on broad issues of movement-building, developing a better understanding of Black history and how social change movements are contextualized in media.

Garza and Tometi, along with Patrisse Cullors (who was not able to attend the event), said they are often credited for starting a movement, but they didn’t.

“When we talk about how movements, we focus on one or two people who catalyze it, and that’s a bad habit,” Garza said.

Garza, Tometi and Cullors didn’t coin the slogan with the intention of creating a movement and feel they created a vehicle for organizing a movement that was already forming.

“It has never been a plea to non-Black people to make our lives matter,” Garza said of the slogan. “It was always a demand.”

Of the “All lives matter” response, Garza said, “Of course we believe all lives matter, but we live in a world where that’s not the case.”

Garza and Tometi demurred during the question and answer session, when an audience member asked them which presidential candidate they thought best embodied King’s legacy, with Tometi saying she felt a two-party system was inadequate for a robust democracy. Garza said it’s too early in the election season to be giving away votes, adding the movement needs to keep pushing the current candidates.

Tometi said there are a variety of ways people can get involved that aren’t just limited to joining a local chapter of the Black Lives Matter organization, which now has chapters in cities all over the country, including Portland. Others who want to aid the movement may want to choose other tactics, like running for office.

“This is one grand experiment that we’re walking together,” Tometi said.

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