The place where I live

Some Months ago I attended the Restorative Listening Project’s event around the film “Northeast Passage”. The event was hosted by John Canda, among others, and gave the diverse audience of inner Northeast Portland residents a chance to explore and dialogue about gentrification. Restorative Listening is based on the principles of Restorative Justice which says that only when those most impacted are heard, acknowledged and efforts have been made to repair the harm can the community be made whole again. Once the following questions are answered- What happened?, Who was harmed?, How were they harmed?, and How can the harm be repaired? – we can identify ways to move forward. “Northeast Passage” is a local documentary based in Northeast Portland. It was originally released in 2006. The film explores the challenging dynamics surrounding gentrification, illustrating the clashing values of affordable housing, crime, safety, hope and economic diversity. My family’s choice to move into North/Northeast P-town was made with some trepidation. We desired to live in diverse community but we didn’t want to contribute to displacement. We tried to consider gentrification dynamics, but from a very limited understanding. “Northeast Passage” further revealed to me that I do not understand the issues let alone the solutions. One audience member surprised me by stating, “Redlining still exists in Northeast Portland”. Stay tuned. Equity Design may provide an opportunity to watch and discuss “Northeast Passage” together.

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