Environmental Justice requires we be unapologetically radical in how we fight oppression. Transformational organizing is, in part, about decentering white and male decision-makers in conversations about the future. OPAL empowers low-income women, queer people of color, and others to organize through powerful, narrative-based storytelling methods that center human experiences. Our goal is justice in all realms: in the language we use, how we choose our coalition partners, and our community agreements for public events and meetings. We uplift the voices of people from marginalized and impacted communities, in solidarity with all struggles, from historic campaigns for suffrage, to ongoing movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #RenterSOS.
Every year, OPAL hosts “Voices of the People’s History,” an event that celebrates diverse movement leaders by sharing their stories, in their own words. Members of our community perform readings of speeches and essays, and emphasize that our struggles are a continuation of past struggles – and justice has always had champions. All modern organizers stand on the shoulders of these giants.
At the 2015 Voices event, a packed room of our closest friends and supporters was delighted as Roberta Hunte delivered a reading of Sojourner Truth’s famous speech, “Ain’t I Woman?” Roberta Hunte is OPAL Board of Directors Co-Chair, and Assistant Professor of Black Studies and Peace and Conflict Resolution at Portland State University. Truth’s speech is on the intersection of race and gender, and how Black women have historically been undervalued in our society. The crowd loved it, and we think you will too. Watch the incredible reading now:
OPAL continues to fight racism, patriarchy, and other oppressive systems because justice is too important to wait. Make a donation today to bolster the voices of women and people of color in conversations about the future.