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“At the end of the day, we have to trust that we as a community are capable of honest conversations, painful or otherwise.” 
– Debra Porta, Pride Northwest Board President and Community Committee Member

Q Center’s transformation is well underway and we need all hands on deck!  At the beginning of the New Year, the Q Center interim board convened and empowered a grassroots Community Committee to assess and develop much needed opportunities for community dialog, reflection, and planning based on the following key questions:

  • What has happened at Q Center? How did we get to where we are now?
  • What is happening now? What is the state of things at Q Center and what does it mean for community space, support and services at Q Center?
  • What does the next phase of Q Center look like? What do we envision for a community center that reflects and serves our diverse community today?
  • How do we get there? Assuming that Q Center is a vital community resource, what can we do to we make it sustainable, now and for the future?

Please be part of the conversation! The Q Center interim board has information to share and needs to hear from everyone who cares about the future of LGBTQ community space, support, and services in Portland.

* Attend a town hall. Two all-community town halls are scheduled for the first half of February, with more to come as needed. These facilitated community conversations will be an opportunity to meet the interim board and get an overview of the financial status of Q Center, the current fundraising plan, and programming considerations underway. There will be time for questions and answers, as well as opportunities to give feedback and organize for next steps. Save the dates!

  • Sunday, February 1st, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Q Center Auditorium
  • Wednesday, February 11th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Q Center Auditorium

* Take the community survey. This survey launches today and closes on February 15th.  Tell us about your experiences at Q Center and what you hope will change or stay the same. We will report back the general results and highlights in an upcoming town hall:

Take the community survey here
The survey will also be available on paper at Q Center.

* Participate in a Community Conversation. These small, community-based discussion groups are an opportunity to discuss the past, present, and future of Q Center with other people who share some of your experience and priorities. The Community Conversations series has convened almost a dozen conversations over the past two weeks and we are adding new ones as quickly we can! Contact leadership@pdxqcenter.org to find out about an upcoming conversation or propose one for your group or community.

Work in Progress

The Community Committee is a group of community organizers, social workers, non-profit leaders, Q Center users and Q Center staff who have come forward to volunteer for the planning and design of the community engagement and empowerment aspects of the Q Center Futures Project.

Q Center staff and committee co-chair Neola Young described how the committee initially came together: “We pulled together a coalition from across our communities to work quickly, but thoughtfully, on making sure every opportunity for community feedback was made possible. I’m very excited to continue calling in more folks who want to make this process open and accessible.”

“Collectively we’ve put in 60 person hours for the two committee meetings in the last week alone,” said committee co-chair Athen O’Shea. “This process is huge, but I feel sustained and inspired by collaborating with good people, on the interim board and community committee, who really want this to work.”

Devon Rose Davis, a Q Center affinity group facilitator, was one of the first committee members to bring an early version of the survey to one of her groups. “The consensus within my Trans* women’s community is that we want broader and more direct Trans* Femme inclusion in all aspects of Q Center; from the ground floor to the staff and board.  We hope moving forward for an all-inclusive Q Center that meets us where we are, that is self-sustaining and safe, and that can thrive with us.”

Jim Clay, a member of the *eRa* (Encouraging Respect for Aging) program at Q Center and the committee’s first volunteer, has convened six community conversations to get insight and feedback from Q Center’s senior community. “As a gay man in my late 60s, with nearly everyone from my entire previous life dead, I need the warmth and the embrace of my community center. I’m getting as much out of this process as I am giving to it.”

The interim board is deeply grateful for the Community Committee’s hard work and commitment to this project. Thank you Jim, Debra, Devon, Court, Alexis, Katie, Tash, Leila, Nash, Matthew, Nikole, and our committee co-chairs, Athen and Neola.