Principal Natasha Butler has big plans for Harriet Tubman Middle School and Eliot neighborhood. As the school reopens to students for the 2018 school year, Principal Butler looks to enlist the entire neighborhood in support of diverse populations and thriving communities for students. Principal Butler’s own roots in Eliot run deep, and she is committed to continuing to welcome people of color in our neighborhood. Growing up, Ms. Butler’s father ran a business near the intersection of Graham Street and Williams Avenue and lived on Graham. Although the neighborhood demographics have changed over the years, Principal Butler wants Harriet Tubman Middle School to be a powerhouse for students of color and students from underrepresented communities.
Portlanders cherish easy access to outdoor activities, clean air, and locally roasted coffee. While our city’s air quality has generally improved over the last 30 years, Portland, and especially the Eliot neighborhood, currently has some of the worst air pollution in the nation.
The Boise Eliot Native Grove on N Ivy St. is transforming an unimproved right-of-way into a native plant and pollinator grove. Situated just to the north of the Fremont Bridge ramp, the land is owned by Portland Bureau of Transportation but cannot be developed due to a number of utilities running underneath.
A heart-wrenching fact: individuals who struggle with severe and persistent mental illness die 20 to 30 years sooner than those without mental illness. Just as distressing, research shows these individuals’ deaths are typically not due to mental illness, but to other health problems – hypertension, asthma, diabetes – that haven’t been adequately treated.
Ray Shellmire is the founder of Shellmire Unlimited, P.C., offering individuals, families, small groups, and organizations counseling services for personal development, wellness, domestic violence, depression, anxiety, the harmful effects of racial oppression, discrimination and inequality, and other bio-psycho-social issues. They also offer massage therapy. Mr. Shellmire began his practice in 1991 because previous employment revealed that clients were only interested in him and how he fulfilled their needs for counsel and support services. Leasing space at Oregon Association for Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME), he provided a therapeutic environment for clients. A year later, his practice grew, so he trained other clinicians to do cultural specific training, and by the year 2000, he had an entire wing at OAME. In 2012, he moved and expanded to Vanport Plaza, Vancouver WA., Gresham and to Mid-K Plaza in 2014.
Pay it forward. This is a well-known phrase that is easy to understand and possible to enact but rarely a lifelong philosophy that continually directs your life. One Eliot businessman has dedicated his life to paying it forward and it has had a positive effect on his life and the life of others. You might have been to the food cart pod on Vancouver and Fremont or maybe you’re new to the Eliot neighborhood and are looking for some convenient and delicious dinner options. Jimmy Wilson owns the food carts at this location and the story about how they came to be located here is one of dedication and generosity.
In 2009, Nigerian author and storyteller Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warned about the danger of a single story. “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete,” she argues. A panoply of perspectives is crucial to overcoming stereotypes. On October 31st, Black Hat Books, a radical bookstore located on MLK Boulevard, hosted a delegation of Arab language political cartoonists. Organized by the World Affairs Council of Oregon in collaboration with the Oregon Cartoon Institute, the event aimed to foster cultural diplomacy and conversation across cultural difference.
The steam from cooking noodles drifts easily across 7th avenue into the Eliot neighborhood. The pale brick building on the corner of Tillamook doesn’t give much away, only a simple sign in English and Chinese characters – America’s Noodle Inc.
Once again, February 1-3, the city will be lit up with art along the banks of the Willamette River near OMSI and in other various locations throughout the city. Artists and performers will showcase their talent for residents who have bundled up to embrace winter weather and the season of darkness, connecting with their city when most of us choose to stay indoors.
Thirteen years ago, Seth Prickett’s life was changed by a decision participate in a study abroad program while attending Linfield College. He was the fifth-generation to be born and raised in Washington County, and he was eager to go somewhere far away and culturally different. The class offered in Ghana, Africa seemed to fit both of those desires. Ghana was the first sub-Saharan colony to gain its independence in 1957. Ghana hosts a diverse population and is an example of democratic success. Prickett was a political science major and was also active in student government at Linfield. The history course he took that January was “Emergence of Modern Ghana,” and his project looked at the political structure of the country and how it manifested from 1957 to today. What started as just a curiosity about Ghana’s culture and history became a humanitarian and philanthropic venture that has helped to shape the future of Ghanaian children for years to come.
… And the news from the front lines of the battle against litter: As part of a new city-wide initiative, the Eliot Livability Team recently led the local effort of “Pick it Up, Portland!” On a clear and warm Thursday morning at the end of August, 26 volunteers gathered to collect 40 bags of litter from Eliot’s streets and sidewalks.
Central City Concern has had a positive impact on many Portland residents. As their website states, “Central City Concern (CCC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency serving single adults and families in the Portland metro area who are impacted by homelessness, poverty and addictions. Founded in 1979, the agency has developed a comprehensive continuum of affordable housing options integrated with direct social services including healthcare, recovery and employment.”
Ricardo Nagaoka is new to the Eliot Neighborhood. He hasn’t borne full witness to its creeping gentrification over the past few decades, but he arrived at a critical time in its history. Neighborhoods are always undergoing flux, but Eliot is currently changing at an extremely fast pace. This rapid transformation is the inspiration for his latest project, a book of collected portraits of long-time local residents.
Open Signal, located on MLK and Graham, has been producing community media content for cable access channels for the last 35 years. Their stated mission is, “With a commitment to creativity, technology and social change, Open Signal makes media production possible for everyone. We provide skills, equipment, inspiration, and we amplify local voices on five cable channels.”
SAVE THE DATE: October 17, 2017.
Eliot Neighborhood Association General Meeting and Community Conversation. It’s time to check in with the constituents. If we call it a Town Hall Meeting, will you come?
These are important times for democracy at all levels. Even in a State where our Federal representatives are strong and carry the support of most citizens, at the local community level YOUR VOICE is, also, needed. Clean air, clean water, safe streets, affordable housing……. All need your attention.
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