Thursday, June 15, 2023

RACE TALKS: The History of Black Drag - BIPOC Night

RACE TALKS: Opportunities for Dialogue

Kennedy School - Kennedy School Theater

6:00pm doors, 7:00pm start


All ages welcome

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About RACE TALKS: The History of Black Drag - BIPOC Night

RACE TALKS: The History of Black Drag - BIPOC Night

RACE TALKS: Uniting to Break the Chains of Racism and McMenamins present the 2nd Annual History of Black Drag in Portland, hosted by Poison Waters and Lawanda Jackson. This is an intersectional Pride and Juneteenth event featuring fabulous drag performances and a special forum to learn about the historical connection between BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, plus) communities.

Thursday, June 15th is BIPOC night, and we are emphasizing LGBTQ+ BIPOC in-person attendance, because there are few Pride events that are centered around Black and brown queer folx in Portland. We welcome audiences outside of that identity to please join us on Friday, June 16th for the all-community night.

About RACE TALKS: Opportunities for Dialogue

Learning plus beer

RACE TALKS: Opportunities for Dialogue

The rumblings for RACE TALKS started in 2005 when Portland Public Schools introduced the book Courageous Conversations About Race, which helped produce amazingly open conversations about race, class, and white privilege. When RACE TALKS' Founder and Executive Director, Donna Maxey heard "by the year 2040 there will be more people of color (POC) in the USA than whites," she knew all communities, and especially those in Oregon, urgently needed a format to discuss and engage in conversation about issues of systemic oppression, inequity, privilege, and violence in order to bridge growing divisions. With the help of McMenamins Historian, Tim Hills, and Uniting to Understand Racism founder, Maceo Pettis, RACE TALKS hosted its first community forum in February 2011.

Donna Maxey is a Black Portland-native, whose parents fled Jim Crow laws in East Texas in the early 1940's. The Maxey family remained in Oregon and their name is synonymous with social community activism in Portland, especially in the Black community. Donna's parents didn't realize that no Jim Crow in Oregon was due to Oregon being a white's only state that had exclusionary laws against Blacks that was memorialized into the state's constitution and not removed until 2002; 28% of Oregon voters voted against the removal. As of 2021, Black Oregon residents comprise 2% of the state's population. Portland, Oregon remains one of the whitest cities in one of the whitest states, with the highest rising white supremacist presence in the country.

RACE TALKS has been a resounding success engaging over 30,000 participants in over 2000 facilitated conversations and providing a platform to over 500 Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) panelists to highlight their work and make an ask to attendees to get involved. We are excited about our 13th year of partnership with McMenamins.

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