50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Join Us in Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

50th anniversary march

WHERE: Terry Schrunk Plaza (SW 3rd Ave and SW Madison St)

WHEN: August 24th (10am)

WHAT: March and Rally: The rally will focus on seizing this opportunity to organize around civil rights and demand that systematic injustices and inequities are addressed.

This event will coincide with the national event in Washington, D.C., bringing together local activists & communities in solidarity with the ongoing Civil Rights movement.

The issues that compelled the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, including lack of economic opportunity and police brutality, are still the pressing issues for communities of color and LGBT people of color today.

The commemorative march will begin at 10am on August 24th, at Terry Schrunk Plaza and we will march to South Waterfront Park, where the rally, speakers, and music will begin at 1pm.

Please use this link to sign up for the march: http://bit.ly/PDXMarch50

Sponsored by Basic Rights Oregon, Albina Ministerial Alliance, PFLAG (Portland, Black Chapter), and community partners.


Progress in Idaho on Justice for the LGBT Community

by Carol Stirling, Boise First Congregational United Church of Christ

People testified at the Boise City Council meeting last November about the fear of being “found out” at work. They don’t keep pictures of their children at work and struggle to answer questions from coworkers about their personal lives. Dozens of people spoke in a crowded Statehouse auditorium during a public hearing for a proposed city ordinance to prohibit discrimination in the city based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Councilwoman Maryanne Jordan said she was motivated to push for the ordinance with Councilwoman Lauren McLean after hearing people who were targets of hate crimes say they were reluctant to contact police. These people fear being terminated by their employers if they explain why they must miss work for court. McLean said Boise is a city where everyone is treated equally, “and we as a council have the opportunity to make that clear by approving this ordinance.”

The room was packed at the third reading of the ordinance. The final vote was unanimously approved by six City Council members. Each councilperson spoke in favor of the ordinance and how it affected him or her personally. One councilwoman received many phone calls, letters, and e-mails in support of the ordinance. She said the faith community had come together in support of the ordinance. One councilman indicated it was a momentous occasion and probably one of the most important issues he will address during his tenure on the City Council. The audience rose to give the council a well-deserved standing ovation.

Transgender Awareness Week

The annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) memorializes trans individuals who have died because of anti-transgender discrimination and victimization.  A tradition inspired by the Allston, MA vigil for slain transsexual Rita Hester in 1998, this day has become the worldwide rallying point for a community long under siege.  No one should be subjected to violence simply because of their gender identity or expression.  No one should be denied the basic rights that enable their safety and security.  No one should consider taking their own life to escape harassment and bullying.  Many transgender people experience discrimination on a daily basis in the workplace, healthcare access, public accommodation, etc.

In Oregon, several events are planned for Transgender Awareness Week and can be found here: http://www.basicrights.org/featured/14th-annual-transgender-day-of-remembrance/

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) also has more information about how to be involved in trans-justice and a new video project here: http://www.glaad.org/transawarenessweek.