Literary Power Hour event to raise funds for Planned Parenthood

—Co-sponsored by CSWS. From Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon:

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon Literary Power Hour

Thursday, June 25, 2020 @ 7:00 PM Online

Outspoken words can change hearts, change minds and change the world. Now more than ever, we need a jolt of energy from some of Oregon’s most acclaimed literary minds to inspire, educate and empower.

Please join us on Thursday, June 25th for the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon Literary Power Hour, an entertaining virtual event to raise critical funds for PPAO and Portland African American Leadership Forum Action Fund.

In the past month, we have witnessed state-sanctioned violence and murder against Black communities. Reproductive justice is about being able to make choices, care for your children and families, and pursue your life’s interests without fear of violence or murder at the hands of police and white supremacy. PPAO knows our future of reproductive justice, freedom and liberation depends on every single one of us being safe and free. To read our full June 1st statement about Black Lives Matter, please click here. 

At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare enormous disparity and countless inadequacies in our state and country. So much is at stake to protect reproductive freedom as the U.S. Supreme Court debates abortion and birth control access and our reproductive rights with looming decisions this summer. 

We need your help and support in order for us to be able to continue that work in light of our largest fundraiser being moved to September in response to COVID-19 we cannot in good conscience only raise resources for PPAO. We need to step up and support other organizations at this time doing direct work to advocate for justice and lift the voices, leadership and work of Black and Brown Oregonians. 

You’re invited to hear an exclusive behind-the-scenes update on the political work of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, what we’ve turned our attention to rapid responses on COVID and Black Lives Matter, how we’ve jumped into the 2020 election, and what we are advocating for. We cannot do this work without moments of rest, joy, entertainment, inspiration and time to really think, so along with our updates please join us to hear from some fierce and talented Oregon writers and poets who will share their empowering words. 

Writers include:

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the bestselling books “Wild,” “Tiny Beautiful Things” and “Brave Enough”; the critically acclaimed novel “Torch”; and the popular advice column “Dear Sugar.” Her story inspired Oprah Winfrey to revive her tremendously popular book club, and her books have been translated into nearly 40 languages and adapted for both the stage and the screen, including Reese Witherspoon’s Academy Award-nominated “Wild” in 2014. A longtime feminist activist, she previously worked as a political organizer for the Abortion Rights Council of Minnesota and is a founder and board member of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

Bella, the 2019 Portland Poetry Grand Slam Champion, has performed at various events such as the WeMake Disrupt Conference, Invisible Spectrums and Intersect Fest. “Side Effects of Remembering the Little Things” is her debut book with Lightship Press. Bella’s poetry centers around her experiences as a woman of color, her eating disorder, abusive relationships and the hope between it all. Through her work she hopes to create connection, conversation and understanding so we all feel a little less alone.

Born in Bangladesh and raised in Thailand, Reema Zaman is an award-winning actress, screenwriter, activist and author of the critically acclaimed memoir “I Am Yours,” which is being adapted into a movie. She has been published in Vogue, The Guardian, Salon, Ms. and other renowned publications and is partnering with the International Rescue Committee and Girls. Inc. to empower the next generation of leaders. 

Claire Rudy Foster is a queer, nonbinary trans writer whose short story collection “Shine of the Ever” wasnamed as one of the best LGBTQ books of 2019 by O: The Oprah Magazine. Their first collection was the critically acclaimed “I’ve Never Done This Before.” Foster, who has been in recovery from alcoholism and addiction since 2007, co-authored “American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis and How to End It” and hosted two seasons of a leading recovery podcast called “Addiction Unscripted,” described as “This American Life” for people with substance use disorder.

Lidia Yuknavitch‘s widely acclaimed memoir “The Chronology of Water” — a finalist for a PEN Center USA Award for creative nonfiction and winner of a PNBA Award and the Oregon Book Award Reader’s Choice — will soon be adapted for a feature film written and directed by Kristen Stewart. Her other acclaimed works include national bestselling novels “The Book of Joan” and “The Small Backs of Children”; “The Misfit’s Manifesto,” a book spawned from her viral TED Talk; the novel “Dora: A Headcase”; and a critical book on war and narrative, “Allegories of Violence.”

Samiya Bashir‘s “Field Theories” won the Oregon Book Award for poetry in 2018. Bashir holds a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkeley, where she served as Poet Laureate, and a master’s degree from University of Michigan, where she received two Hopwood Poetry Awards. She is a founding organizer of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization and writers festival for LGBT writers of African descent. Bashir teaches at Reed College.

Leni Zumas‘s national bestselling novel “Red Clocks” won the 2019 Oregon Book Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and the Neukom Award for Speculative Fiction. Vulture listed it among “The 100 Most Important Books of the 21st Century So Far.” Zumas teaches in the creative writing program at Portland State University.

Please join us at this critical time to celebrate powerful words, to defend reproductive freedom and to support Portland African American Leadership Forum Action Fund.

WHAT: Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon Literary Power Hour
WHEN: 7-8pm Thursday, June 25th
WHERE: Online. We will share log-in instructions with all ticket holders the morning of the event.
COST: $50