February 5, 2015

Jade Journal Release Party, February 15

Jade Journal Release Event

Sunday, February 15, 2015 1pm-3pm
APANO Jade District Office
2738 SE 82nd Avenue

Portland, OR - (January 28, 2015) On Sunday, February 15 from 1:00-3:00PM Know Your City and Asian Pacific Network of Oregon (APANO) will host a release event for Jade Journal, a newspaper about the SE 82nd community created by 5th grade students at Harrison Park Elementary School, at APANO’s new office building and community space, 2738 SE 82nd Avenue. The event will include readings by the students and a short presentation from the lead educators. Guests speakers and artists who participated in the program are also invited to speak. Food and refreshments will be provided by neighborhood restaurant Wing Wa BBQ, and Voodoo Doughnuts.

Harrison Park Elementary School and the surrounding SE 82nd Avenue community represent the largest multicultural diversity and economic disparity in the City of Portland. There are around 70 languages spoken at the school due to a large recent immigrant population who call this area in east Portland home. 88% of the students at Harrison Park qualify for free or reduced lunch. To represent these demographics,Jade Journal is printed in three languages: English, Chinese and Spanish. Many stories written by the students explore the layers of a community with a diverse cultural identity and economic inequality.

An example of one of the student stories: “According to Jeremy, Joe, and Daejon, “parks are important because when we’re bored, we can go to the parks and play and exercise.” We hope Portland creates and improves the parks in East Portland. The question we’re left with is, why don’t neighborhoods east of 82nd ave. have as many parks as neighborhoods west of 82nd?”

Another article tells a personal story of the challenges of overcoming racism. Elaine and Justis write, “One time while I was outside I a saw a person of a different race playing wallball. Another person of a different race came up to her. She asked if she could play. The wallball player said “no.” The girl asked why? The wallball player said “I don’t like your race and color.” As I started to say something the girl ran away crying while the other girl continued to play wallball. I told her that was very rude. She said “everyone does it, why not me?” This is called racism, it isn’t fair.”

Jade Journal is the culmination of a KYC youth program with Tim Schulze’s 5th-grade students at Harrison Park Elementary School led by Program Coordinator and artist Travis Neel. This twelve week class was designed to empower students by teaching them local cultural history and a pride in place as well as lessons in research and journalism. This program aligns with KYC's mission and builds on the success of KYC’s previous youth programs, which engage the public in art and social justice.

Students benefited from guest speakers from across disciplines to provide them with skills needed to provide content for Jade Journal, such as how to conduct research and interviews, photography, drawing, creative writing, local community activism and policy-making. Guest speakers in the class included Oregonian reporter Brad Schmidt, local artists Intisar Abioto and Julie Keefe; Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer; and civil rights lawyer and coordinator from the Office of Human Rights at the City of Portland, Ronault LS Catalani (Tio Polo).

Jade Journal will be available at the release event and distributed for free in local SE 82nd Avenue businesses and in news boxes throughout the neighborhood at locations such as Portland Community College Southeast campus, Harrison Park Elementary School and Fubonn Shopping Center. Copies will also be available at Know Your City's office in Union Station, and for download from the Know Your City website (knowyourcity.org).

Jade Journal was funded by grants from the Oregon Arts Commission and the Black United Fund.
For a preview of the paper and promotional images, to arrange an interview or for more information, contact Amanda Tillstrom or Luann Algoso (contact info listed at top of release). More information is also available online at our website: knowyourcity.org.

Know Your City engages the public in art and social justice through creative placemaking projects. Our programs and publications aim to educate people to better know their communities, and to empower them to take action.