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Social Justice Action Center

400 SE 12th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97214, United States (map)

SJAC is organized to support grassroots community organizing and low-income housing in central Portland. It has three main programs: it manages an event space, it develops community organizing projects, and it manages low-income housing.

In line with the purpose developed and agreed through its broad-based advisory council, SJAC prioritizes the leadership of marginalized communities, especially those of color. In particular, we recognize the sovereignty of indigenous peoples of this land, such as the Multnomah and other Chinookan villages of the confluence of these great rivers and the Kalapuya and Wasco peoples in the nearby hills and valleys (some of whose descendants are now part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, of Siletz, and of Warm Springs).

Access Notes

The SJAC event/meeting space is about 500 sq ft, has hardwood floors, high ceilings, and windows on two sides. The room is equipped with cafe tables and chairs.

Future events happening here

  • Saturday
    Oct 21 2017
    Portland DSA Feminist Branch Meeting

    Join the feminist branch of Portland DSA! Members and non-members welcome! Hannah Rosenau from NARAL will be joining us to update us on the progress HB 3391, and the challenges to come in securing full reproductive equity. We'll discuss how DSA can help make reproductive health care truly inclusive.


    Portland Democratic Socialists of America
    Community
    Portland DSA is a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the US. We organize together for economic and social justice in Portland and nation-wide.

    Website
  • Thursday
    Nov 2 2017
    Globalization & the City: Urban Renewal and Black History in PDX

    DEMAND UTOPIA PRESENTS
    Globalization and the City: Urban Renewal and Black History in Portland

    Thursday November 2nd 2017 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
    Social Justice Action Center
    400 SE 12th Avenue Portland, Oregon 97214

    Free, Open to the public, all ages and disability affirmative!

    A panel discussion featuring Cleo Davis & Kayin Talton Davis (Black Williams Project), Swiggle Mandela (local Hip Hop artist), Kent Ford (Portland Black Panther Party and father of Political Prisoner Patrice Lumumba Ford)

    Facilitated by Dr. Winston Grady-Willis Director School of Gender, Race and Nations (Portland State University)

    About the Organizing Group
    Demand Utopia is a radical think tank, a conversation and a collective dedicated towards developing understanding of local spatial histories, reinvigorating imagination and aspiration for a better world beyond this, defending our planets ecology while building a new urbanity under the principles of the right to the city and social ecology.

    About the Event Series
    This new series launching in fall 2017 "Globalization and the City" is a curriculum for building a new municipal movement featuring workshops and reading groups dedicated to understanding how local histories and development policies connect to systems of globalization. The aim of the series is to educate community activists in the pursuit of building a powerful neighborhood movement for grassroots direct democracy and system change. This series will operate with monthly discussion groups and presentations from experienced activists and intellectuals based around six subject areas. Globalization and Urban Planning, local Portland History, Counterinsurgency and the City, Social Ecology and Libertarian Municipalism and finally Municipalist Movements across the world.

    Event Summary
    This panel will work to showcase the history of urban renewal and resistance in Portland's black community . From Black Exclusions laws, Redlining's segregation and "blight clearance" to today's gentrification and urban renewal policy, Portland's black community for generations has faced the brunt of discriminatory housing, urban development policy and racist violence. The institutional violence of urban development policy has always underscored and set the stage for street level hate crimes and the motivation for broken windows aggressive policing. This panel will feature voices of community historians and activists who have lived this experience and resisted these forms of institutional power in the city of Portland.

    Co-Sponsored by the Northwest Alliance for Alternative Media & Education and Oregon Jericho

    For more Information www.facebook.com/dontwaitdemandutopia

    www.blackwilliamsproject.org

    www.facebook.com/Swiggle-Mandela-187292938067490


    Foster-Powell NAC
    Community
    This page is for members of the Foster-Powell Neighborhood Action Council of Portland Assembly to establish events and outreach to the community and other NAC's.

    Demand Utopia
    Community

    Website
  • Thursday
    Nov 9 2017
    Prisoner Letter Writing Night

    Portland ABC, Oregon Jericho, Portland IWOC, and Portland Prisoner Support are now ALL hosting their regular letter writing nights every 2nd Thurdsday!

    U.S. and International political prisoners, POW's, social prisoners of concious, we got 'em all right here. Need a pen, paper, envelopes, stamps, whatever?! Don't worry, cause we come prepared to get you and your friends well on track to supporting incarcerated peoples.

    FREE to all, but DONATIONS appreciated! You'd be suprised how costly this work gets, so bring a few bucks or materials if you can.

    For a copy of the lists we LOVE to stay up on for addresses and information see below:

    Website

Past events that happened here

  • Monday
    Oct 16 2017
    Jacobin PDX Reading Group

    We meet every third Monday of each month at the Social Justice Action Center (SJAC). The SJAC is at 400 SE 12th (corner of Oak St, one block north of Stark), formerly the Red & Black Cafe. Please bring a dollar or two with you to donate to the center for letting us use the space.

    This month, discussion will be about the Russian Revolution that installed the Bolshevik Party in October, because this October is the 100 year anniversary. The articles everyone should make sure to read are:

    Hungry Tiger, a good bar that has food with vegan options, is a block and a half north. After we close up the SJAC space, we can move to Hungry Tiger for more informal conversation.

    Website
  • Thursday
    Oct 12 2017
    Prisoner Letter Writing Night

    Portland ABC, Oregon Jericho, Portland IWOC, and Portland Prisoner Support are now ALL hosting their regular letter writing nights every 2nd Thurdsday!

    U.S. and International political prisoners, POW's, social prisoners of concious, we got 'em all right here. Need a pen, paper, envelopes, stamps, whatever?! Don't worry, cause we come prepared to get you and your friends well on track to supporting incarcerated peoples.

    FREE to all, but DONATIONS appreciated! You'd be suprised how costly this work gets, so bring a few bucks or materials if you can.

    For a copy of the lists we LOVE to stay up on for addresses and information see below:

    Website
  • Saturday
    Oct 7 2017
    Portland Democratic Socialists of America Socialism Study Working Group Meeting

    Building upon the last meeting, we will be continuing work on the priorities discussed in the last meeting.

    Tentative agenda:

    • Final (for now) review of the Community Agreements/Guidelines
    • Next steps for Socialism Intro class
    • Next steps for Robert's Rules workshop
    • Discuss coordinating more study groups (one-off series, etc)

    Portland Democratic Socialists of America
    Community
    Portland DSA is a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the US. We organize together for economic and social justice in Portland and nation-wide.

    Website
  • Thursday
    Oct 5 2017
    Portland Democratic Socialists of America Reading Group

    Join the Portland DSA reading group! Members and non-members welcome. Please consider bringing a dollar or two to donate for use of the space. Food and drink also welcome. Due to short notice we're keeping the reading list shorter this time:

    On Everyday Resistance: An Interview with Kevin Van Meter https://www.viewpointmag.com/2017/09/14/everyday-resistance-interview-kevin-van-meter/

    An International Perspective on Jonathan Smucker’s Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals http://berkeleyjournal.org/2017/05/an-international-perspective-on-jonathan-smuckers-hegemony-how-to-a-roadmap-for-radicals/

    Beyond Resistance https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/02/trump-gop-democrats-protests-marches-social-movement

    Website
  • Sunday
    Sep 24 2017
    The Disneyification of our Cities: a run rip city reading group
    free

    Last month, we discussed Foucaultian concepts of space and particularly in urban centers. This month, we discuss more tangibly how that occurs: Urban Planning – more specifically, the contemporary trend that any municipalist or local activist should have a confident understanding of : New Urbanism. This reading group will uplift and develop how we understand the city as connected to these world systems and the domineering forces of global capital, even down the Biketown "Disneyification" of our streets and greenwashing Eco-CapitalistUtopian vision that developers peddle for our city of Portland.

    The Run Rip City is a reading group designed to analyze how space is shaped, and in turn, shapes us. To understand how the city is controlled by the forces of globalization and urban planning; institutionally controlled by the military and the bank. And a syllabus that leaves ample time to discuss where we go from here – The Right to the City, Portland’s very own history of neighborhood organizing, and the theory behind the burgeoning worldwide interest in Municipalism. We meet monthly at the social justice action center, organized under Demand Utopia and supported in part by various Portland Assembly neighborhood action councils.

    Reading is here: http://bit.ly/fuckbiketown Full syllabus is here: http://bit.ly/runripcity

    Join us afterwards for beers + corn dogs at the nearby Hungry Tiger

    Website
  • Thursday
    Sep 21 2017
    Portland Democratic Socialists of America Reading Group

    Join the Portland DSA reading group! Members and non-members welcome.

    We will be reading the entirety of the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles, consisting of the preamble and parts one through four. The appendix is purely optional:

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/

    Please consider bringing a few dollars to donate for use of the space if you are able. Food and drink also welcome.


    Portland Democratic Socialists of America
    Portland DSA is a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the US. We organize together for economic and social justice in Portland and nation-wide.

    Website
  • Monday
    Sep 18 2017
    Jacobin PDX Reading Group Meet Up: Earth, Wind, and Fire

    We meet every third Monday of each month at the Social Justice Action Center (SJAC). The SJAC is at 400 SE 12th (corner of Oak St, one block north of Stark), formerly the Red & Black Cafe. Please bring a dollar or two with you to donate to the center for letting us use the space.

    This month, discussion will be about the new print issue "Earth, Wind, and Fire," taking a look at the climate crisis and environmental issues more broadly. The articles everyone should make sure to read are: "Tyrannosaurus Rex" by Trish Kahle, p 25, "By Any Means Necessary" by Peter Frase, p 73, and "If We Fail" by Christian Parenti, p 113. (The issue online: https://jacobinmag.com/issue/earth-wind-and-fire/ )

    Trish Kahle, a journalist and doctoral candidate in history at the University of Chicago, will be joining us by video conference. (For more Jacobin articles by Trish, see: https://www.jacobinmag.com/author/trish-kahle)

    Hungry Tiger, a good bar that has food with vegan options, is a block and a half north. After we close up the SJAC space, we can move to Hungry Tiger for more informal conversation.


    Jacobin Portland Reading Group
    The Jacobin Portland Reading Group brings local leftists together to engage with socialist ideas in a lively, open, and non-doctrinaire environment.

    Website
  • Saturday
    Sep 16 2017
    Portland Democratic Socialists Feminist Branch Meeting

    Join the feminist branch of Portland DSA! At this month's meeting we'll be joined by a Health Care for All Oregon rep to discuss feminist perspectives on the fight for single payer healthcare.


    Portland Democratic Socialists of America
    Portland DSA is a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the US. We organize together for economic and social justice in Portland and nation-wide.

    Website
  • Thursday
    Sep 14 2017
    Prisoner Letter Writing Night

    Portland ABC, Oregon Jericho, Portland IWOC, and Portland Prisoner Support are now ALL hosting their regular letter writing nights every 2nd Thurdsday!

    U.S. and International political prisoners, POW's, social prisoners of concious, we got 'em all right here. Need a pen, paper, envelopes, stamps, whatever?! Don't worry, cause we come prepared to get you and your friends well on track to supporting incarcerated peoples.

    FREE to all, but DONATIONS appreciated! You'd be suprised how costly this work gets, so bring a few bucks or materials if you can.

    For a copy of the lists we LOVE to stay up on for addresses and information see below:

    Website
  • Thursday
    Sep 7 2017
    Portland Democratic Socialists of America Reading Group

    Join us for our reading group! Members and non-members welcome. Please bring a few dollars to contribute for the space if you are able. Food and drink also welcome.

    Readings:

    A short debate from In These Times about free speech, violence, and fighting the Right: http://inthesetimes.com/article/20450/milo-alt-right-racism-free-speech-no-platform-berkeley-charlottesville

    http://inthesetimes.com/article/20449/no-platform-milo-free-speech-charlottesville-white-supremacy

    http://inthesetimes.com/article/20448/free-speech-milo-no-platform-racism-fascism-ideas-not-fists

    “The Lost History of Antifa” by Loren Balhorn https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/05/antifascist-movements-hitler-nazis-kpd-spd-germany-cold-war

    “The Changing Face of Antifascism” by Spencer Sunshine http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39128-the-changing-face-of-anti-fascism

    “Lessons from a Laguna Beach Counterprotest” by James Bergthold https://socialistworker.org/2017/08/29/lessons-from-a-laguna-beach-counterprotest

    Website
  • Saturday
    Aug 26 2017
    Portland Democratic Socialists of America Platform and Strategy Meeting

    If you are a dues-paying DSA member, please join us to discuss and finalize Portland DSA's platform and brainstorm possible campaigns in the context of our platform and aspirational goals.


    Portland Democratic Socialists of America is a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the US. We organize together for economic and social justice in Portland and nation-wide.

    Website
  • Thursday
    Aug 24 2017
    Portland Democratic Socialists Reading Group

    Join us for our reading group! Members and non-members welcome. Feel free to bring food/drink. Please bring a few dollars if you are able to help contribute to the use of the space.

    Readings:

    Chapter Six: “Abolitionist Alternatives” (p. 105-115) from Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis

    https://collectiveliberation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Are_Prisons_Obsolete_Angela_Davis.pdf

    “What is Community Justice?” by Jocelyn Simonson

    https://nplusonemag.com/online-only/online-only/what-is-community-justice/

    “The Bad Kind of Unionism” by Shawn Gude

    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/01/the-bad-kind-of-unionism

    “In Defense of Police Unions” by Jeff Spross

    http://theweek.com/articles/635690/defense-police-unions

    Bonus Cuts (short optional readings from DSA and DSA members)

    https://medium.com/@DSA_Praxis/abolish-police-and-prisons-fa263c44b3cb

    http://www.dsausa.org/justice_for_michael_brown


    Portland Democratic Socialists of America - Portland DSA is a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the US. We organize together for economic and social justice in Portland and nation-wide.

    Website
  • Monday
    Aug 21 2017
    3d Mon Aug Jacobin PDX Meet Up

    We meet every third Monday of each month at the Social Justice Action Center (SJAC). The SJAC is at 400 SE 12th (corner of Oak St, one block north of Stark), formerly the Red & Black Cafe. Please bring a dollar or two with you to donate to the center for letting us use the space.

    This month, discussion will be about [TBD]. The articles everyone should make sure to read are: [TBD]

    Hungry Tiger, a good bar that has food with vegan options, is a block and a half north. After we close up the SJAC space, we can move to Hungry Tiger for more informal conversation.


    Jacobin Portland Reading Group brings local leftists together to engage with socialist ideas in a lively, open, and non-doctrinaire environment.

    Website
  • Saturday
    Aug 19 2017
    The Portland Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee Mixer and Discussion

    Join us in this national call for action! Enjoy a potluck in the park located across the park from SJAC, followed by special guests who will discuss incarceration and their experiences in the federal prison system (and its potential for abolition!)

    The Portland Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee has been around for over a year now and started gaining momentum around the September 9th nationwide Prisoner led strikes and disruption. Since then weve continued to build and want you, your friends and family to come celebrate with us. August 19th is also a special date for the million Prisoner march taking place on the same day in Washington D.C. We plan on having light refreshments and a few special guests. Join us for a evening of fun and great discussion.

    Website
  • Thursday
    Aug 10 2017
    Portland Democratic Socialists of America Reading Group

    We will be reading chapters 7 through 11 as well as the epilogue of Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression. Please message Kenneth Coleman if you do not have the reading material. Please bring a few dollars if you are able to help contribute to the space.

    Website
  • Sunday
    Jul 16 2017
    Portland DSA Feminist Branch Meeting

    Join the feminist branch of Portland DSA! We'll be celebrating the victory of the reproductive health equity act and discussing next steps.


    Portland Democratic Socialists of America is a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the US. We organize together for economic and social justice in Portland and nation-wide.

    Website
  • Thursday
    Jul 13 2017
    Portland Democratic Socialists Reading Group

    We will be reading the prologue and first two chapters of Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists during the Great Depression by Robin D.G. Kelley.

    The book is expensive, but a PDF scan is available. Please send a message to Kenneth Coleman for the PDF. Comrades should feel free to come even if they only have time to read one chapter; multiple voices enrich the discussion.

    in 2010, NPR interviewed the author about his book:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123771194


    Portland Democratic Socialists of America is a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the US. We organize together for economic and social justice in Portland and nation-wide.

    Website
  • Thursday
    Jun 29 2017
    Portland DSA Reading Group

    For this session, we will be reading will be the first two chapters of The 'S' Word: A Short History of an American Tradition ... Socialism by John Nichols.

    If you do not have a copy, it is available at the Multnomah County library or for purchase online (the Kindle edition is inexpensive).

    Feel free to bring your own food and drinks!


    Portland Democratic Socialists of America - Portland DSA is a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the US. We organize together for economic and social justice in Portland and nation-wide.

    Website
  • Monday
    Jun 5 2017
    1st Monday June Jacobin Reading Group

    We are now meeting every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month!

    The Jacobin Portland Reading Group brings local leftists together to engage with socialist ideas in a lively, open, and non-doctrinaire environment.

    Our first Monday meetings are focused on a couple of recent Jacobin articles pertaining to current events. This week's readings are about [TBD by poll to go out closer to time of meeting].

    Got a friend that's interested in socialism? Invite them for bimonthly discussions of leftist political theory!

    Hungry Tiger, a good bar that has food with vegan options, is a block and a half north. After we close up the SJAC space, we can move to Hungry Tiger for more informal conversation.

    Please bring a dollar or two with you to donate to the center for letting us use the space.

    Website
  • Tuesday
    May 23 2017
    Tools and Culture for Participatory Organizing

    Organizing democratically is hard! How do we hear from everyone and still get work done? How do we grow a collaborative culture while we still live within a competitive society? When nobody is the boss, how do we handle money, information, and power?

    Rich and Nati have been engaged in the craft of participatory organizing for more than five years, starting with Occupy in 2011, co-founding Loomio (a worker co-op and social enterprise building software for collective decision-making) and Enspiral (a network of 250 tech activists experimenting with radical organizational forms). (See http://loomio.coop and http://enspiral.com )

    We're touring through the US, and will be stopping in Portland to offer a workshop on collaborative culture and non-hierarchical organizing.

    In the workshop we'll identify common challenges that groups face when they try to collaborate, and offer tools and processes that have been proven to overcome these common failure points. Most importantly, we don’t just tell people about participatory organizing, we will practice it together, co-creating the workshop and learning by experience.

    To maximize accessibility, we have a sliding scale of ticket prices. If you still can't afford it, but you really want to be there, send us an email at nati@loomio.org

    Spaces are limited :)

    Website
  • Sunday
    Apr 30 2017
    Film Night & Panel Discussion with Rose City Redneck Revolt
    free

    Come join Rose City RedneckRevolt for a film screening of "American Revolution 2" - a documentary about the co-organizing efforts between the Black Panthers and the Young Patriots and the beginnings of the original, radical Rainbow Coalition. The film will be accompanied with a panel discussion from Redneck Revolt organizers about the Redneck Revolt network and our organizing working people against white supremacy and capitalism, and the re-forming of the original Rainbow Coalition. We will be sharing a meal, potluck style! You are welcome to bring a dish to share with your neighbors, but don't worry if you can't, there's plenty to go around! Also, we will have some groceries to share with anyone that needs them. If you've got some extras, please feel free to bring any non-perishable food items you'd like to contribute. The event is free to everyone, donations are welcome. The event is Rose City RedneckRevolt's educational event as part of the Portland May Day Coalition pre-May Day organizing.

    Website
  • Tuesday
    Apr 11 2017
    Environmental Justice 101

    Do you want to help mobilize our community around the People's Climate Mobilization?

    This year, the frontline communities of the Oregon Just Transition Alliance (OJTA) are taking a central, leading role in the Portland People’s Climate Movement (PCM). 350PDX is joining in solidarity, led by those who are most impacted by ecological injustice, to advance the Portland PCM Platform.

    Join 350PDX for an Environmental Justice 101 workshop as the first step to be involved in all aspects of planning and organizing our community for the People's Climate Mobilization!

    RSVP online to gaurantee a spot: http://350pdx.nationbuilder.com/environmental_justice_101

    Frontline leadership does not diminish the valued participation of 350PDX and other organizations who have led and participated in PCM in years prior. This year’s PCM supports the vision and leadership of people who haven’t been centered, from planning to implementation, with the full partnership of allied organizations and individuals. The proper role of mainstream groups in climate justice is to uplift and support the vision of frontline communities. Organizations and individuals who want to participate are encouraged to come to this workshop to learn OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon's analysis and prepare to take on a role of support in planning Portland PCM.

    We’re stronger together, guided by those who are hurt first and worst by injustice.

    At the end of the workshop, you'll get plugged in to all the work happening in our city. Topics will be wide ranging including what's in the works, how you can get involved, and why we’re taking an environmental justice approach to PCM.

    Look forward to seeing you there!

    Website
  • Saturday
    Feb 25 2017
    350PDX Volunteer Orientation

    Social Justice Action Center

    Whether you are brand new to 350PDX or have you been part of a team for a few months, I invite you to join me for a (semi-) formal introduction to the organization.

    I will provide an overview of all teams and campaigns, what it means to be a contributing volunteer with us, and offer materials for strengthening your organizing skills. Please RSVP!

    This event will be led by Maya, Volunteer Coordinator.

    Website
  • Thursday
    Aug 14 0003
    Right to the City – a radical municipalist reading group
    free

    We’ve crafted a syllabus designed to analyze how space is shaped, and in turn shapes us. To understand how the city is crafted by the forces of globalization and urban planning; institutionally controlled by the military and the bank. And a syllabus that leaves ample time to discuss where we go from here – The Right to the City, Portland’s very own history of neighborhood organizing, and the theory behind the burgeoning worldwide interest in Municipalism.

    We meet at the social justice action center monthly – August 13th, 3-5 is the first meeting.

    This month, we are beginning the reading group with the “Right to the City” movement and the theory that backs it. You are likely already familiarized with this framework as it has influenced houseless rights’ organizations and Occupy in 2011. The Right to the City unfolds a critical conversation about the human need to shape space and advances the notion of the Commons as an essential political building block.

    The homework is here – with videos, theory, and history: bit.ly/right2theCity

    Hopefully you will be available to join the conversation; we look forward to your experience, insights, and company.

    Topics for all 6 weeks include: 1. The Right to the City 2. Globalization and Urban Planning 3. Portland HIstory 4. Military Urbanism 5. Libertarian Municipalism, Social Ecology and Democratic Confederalism 6. Municipal Movements Across the world.

    Follow us here: https://www.facebook.com/dontwaitdemandutopia/

    Email us at DemandUtopia@ProtonMail.Com with any questions about this 6-part curriculum, and access the full syllabus here: Bit.Ly/runripcity

    Website