The Oregon Country Fair has committed to making our Fair a more welcoming, inclusive, and equitable organization and community for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. From 12pm-4:30pm on Sunday, this stream will host a panel discussion and series of workshops intended to start the conversation of doing that work. Additional content will be available throughout the weekend of this Fair in the Clouds. Please join us as we look within and prioritize the uncomfortable work of challenging the deeply entrenched personal and organizational assumptions and biases that have hindered progress in making the Fair welcoming and inclusive. Black Lives Matter, and that means all Black Lives. When Black Lives truly matter, then all marginalized groups will be free to live creative lives of dignity, respect, and meaning.
“CONSENT, SEXUAL VIOLENCE PREVENTION, AND GENDER INCLUSION AT THE FAIR” WORKSHOP – 1:00 PM ON SATURDAY: The Directors of local nonprofit, Respect(Ed), will be presenting a workshop titled: Consent, Sexual Violence Prevention, and Gender Inclusion at the Fair. The workshop will walk participants through consent, staying safe, dealing with sexual assault, gender expression, and respecting gender diversity at the Country Fair and other festivals. We’ll have interactive, nuanced discussions about the fair’s policies and how to cover these topics with your kids so that in future years we can have the best fair yet! Respect(Ed) Peer Education Program is run by and for young people providing educational resources around sexual assault prevention and inclusion.
KIYOSHI – 9:10 PM ON SATURDAY: The musician and artist Kyoshi will perform a set as the Oregon Country Fair’s Featured Thing during the Community Village day of the Fair. A world premier visionary-inspirational vocalist, musician, and songwriter, Kiyoshi, has a deep passion for empowering humanity. He is a purpose driven words man whose fusion of upbeat hip-hop and soulful sounds sends lightning bolts of conscious energy and thought into audiences around the globe. His rhythms and rhymes are rooted in social, spiritual, and political awareness to provoke the world to listen and feel what is true. Kiyoshi and his band engage audiences worldwide with a highly interactive and authentic stage performance, getting the crowd dancing and moving like no other.
“WHITE CULTURE AND CLIMATE CHANGE” WORKSHOP – 1:00 PM ON SUNDAY, Robin Quirke will lead a workshop titled: “White Culture and Climate Change.” The premise of the workshop focuses on the question, “how does dominant white culture limit the progress of climate change mitigation?” This workshop includes research results, hypotheses, and a group discussion on the importance of investigating internalized white supremacy as a necessary step towards climate change mitigation, focusing on the responsibility of white-bodied folks to do this work. This workshop will be led by Robin Quirke, a local white-bodied researcher, and will take place on the OCF Diversity Stream Sunday at 3:30 pm.
PANEL DISCUSSION – 2:00 PM ON SUNDAY: We are very excited for the panel discussion that I will moderate on Sunday at 2 pm. The panel will feature Ayisha Elliot, one of the children of the original Merry Band of Pranksters, who does anti-racism work in Eugene and is a member of the Oregon Country Fair’s Diversity Committee. The panel will include iona Matthews-Harris, from Spoken Word Stage, who is also a member of OCF’s Diversity Committee. Emz Alvarez, another panelist, is one of the coordinators of Rainbow Village in the Community Village as well as a member of the Village’s Diversity Committee. Our final panelist, Mark Harris, first participated in OCF in 1978 as a musician, then as a crisis worker for Whitebird in 84 – 85, a stagehand and performer, and lastly a spoken word artist.
HOLISTIC RESISTANCE WORKSHOP – 3:30 PM ON SUNDAY: The workshop is titled “Intro to Blackness,” and you should plan to attend early if you would like to join in the conversation. This workshop is for people who are new to social justice and feel they’ve been harmed by social justice circles. Holistic Resistance is led by Porsha Beed and Aaron Johnson and is based in the Seattle area. They offer workshops and programs on deep mentoring, disrupting whiteness, parenting, and facilitating. Porsha is an intimate activist and mentor who specializes in teaching young people and adults about the importance of deep human connection, holistic resistance, and the importance of self-love and resiliency. She is passionate about dismantling racism and oppression. As an earth builder and integrator of race, she strives to build a lifelong community to end racism. Her love for the Earth and for intentional community is the nest in which Porsha has chosen to fight systems of oppression. Aaron Johnson is an earth builder, teacher of closeness, and activist. He graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He has made a lifelong commitment to use the skills he possesses to end racism. In addition to using intimacy and closeness to blackness as a primary means to that end, the tools he frequently uses are speaking, teaching, singing, photography, film making, and minimalism. Aaron leads a mentoring program called Turn It Up Now that focuses on elevating the power, talent, love, and work ethic of youth. He believes that deep connection is one of the most powerful tools one can use in dismantling racism. We look forward to their workshop on Sunday at 1:00.
Ayisha Elliot –https://radiopublic.com/black-girl-from-eugene
Dr. Johnny Lake – https://www.drjohnnylake.org/
Holistice Resistance – https://www.holisticresistance.com/
Transponder – https://transponder.community/
Centro Latino Americano – https://centrolatinoamericano.org/
NAACP Eugene – https://naacplanecounty.org/
Please see here – a document for Action Steps – with lots of resources