Our words and voices are at times all we have in the fight for justice. Every year, OPAL hosts Voices of a People’s History, an event which uplifts the beautiful, powerful words of champions in the movement. We invite members of our community to read speeches, essays and poems that inspire revolutionary change. It’s a yearly gathering that brings us closer together while strengthening our resolve to fight for racial, social and economic justice. It’s important for us to amplify movement leaders, because we know that mass media and government won’t tell our stories. We have to do this for ourselves.
OPAL co-founder Kevin Raymond Odell left Portland to return to his hometown of Boston in 2010. Kevin loves OPAL, so he flew back to Portland for the 2015 Voices event to perform Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” A room packed with OPAL’s friends, family and supporters laughed along at the stream-of-consciousness and clash of imagery the song presents. The piece comes from the tumultuous environment of the late 60s and early 70s, when Scott-Heron looked out his window and saw violence in the streets, while on his television he saw squeaky-clean advertisements and pictures of the President. Watch Kevin’s reading here:
OPAL is unapologetically radical in the face of systems of oppression. Stand with us: make a donation to support the revolutionary work of leadership development in low-income communities and communities of color.