Tuesday night OPAL’s closest family of supporters and allies turned out for Voices of A People’s History: Nothing About Us Without Us. And it was amazing.
The unity and support in the room was tangible from the moment that supporters started to trickle in to the final new connections and eventual goodbyes. OPAL loves getting to connect in person with our community, with an incredible array of performers, and a tremendous showing of support from allied organizations.
We heard from eight inspiring readers recounting the words of notable social justice icons like James Baldwin, Billy Frank, Jr., Grace Lee Boggs, and Elizabeth Peratrovich. The selections touched on self-determination, white supremacy, ideology, revolution, Indigenous leadership, Civil Rights, and more.
We think it’s important to highlight the incredible performance by BRU Research and Advisory Committee Chair David Bouchard. David’s performance, a reading from former National Federation for the Blind President Kenneth Jernigan, had the entire audience laughing, nodding in solemn understanding, and roaring with encouragement and applause. David then blew us all away with his explanation for why he loves OPAL and asked the crowd to support OPAL’s work in the next year. By the end of his ask, everyone in the room was on their feet clapping in thunderous unity.
This year’s Voices was our most successful year yet. We raised more than $25,000 for OPAL! The support that we received that night is vital to our work and helps us build power for our campaigns. In the last year we have done some amazing work and seen unprecedented success. We declared victory on YouthPass expansion, saw Inclusionary Zoning go into effect in Portland, won major victories in the state legislature, and worked to secure a low-income fare from TriMet. And this year we plan to go even bigger, with a growing statewide alliance convening the Oregon Just Transition Assembly in September.
Last night, we also kicked off our EJ Champions campaign, to keep the generosity going and raise money for a lasting and powerful OPAL. Read more here.