At Oregon Food Bank, we acknowledge that meaningful, societal change requires the individuals directly impacted by inequities and injustices be heard. Only then can we effectively work alongside them as allies to support their achievements, address systemic inequities and bring about real racial justice.

As we continue to celebrate and observe Black History Month, Oregon Food Bank is partnering with Black leaders and artists. We lift their voices to deepen community understanding and set the groundwork to create lasting change.

In that spirit, we invite you to join us for three upcoming events: 

Poetry Hour: Young Black Voices

Wednesday, February 24th, 2021 | 4:00 pm to 5:15 pm 

To further amplify Black voices within our Beloved Community, Oregon Food Bank is hosting a poetry hour in honor of Black History Month. This event will feature four local Black poets – Bella, Brianna Renae, Nani Jones and Izzy Is Real – to raise their voices to bolster resilience, inspire liberation and advocate for systemic change. Meet our featured poets below, and reserve your spot at the reading here.

Brianna Renae is a spoken word artist from Portland, Oregon. She started writing poetry as a coping mechanism to heal herself. She transformed into an author when she discovered that her writing had the capability to heal others as well. Brianna’s poetry will take you on an emotional ride as she explores themes such as activism, vulnerability and raw Black Girl Magic. Brianna founded The People’s Poets open mic in 2017. She created this platform so that writers of color can feel the power and liberation of telling their story. Brianna Renae was crowned 2018 Grand Slam Champion and represented Portland at the 2020 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She has featured for many great organizations such as Pickathon, WeMakePdx, Literary Arts and many more. Brianna has something to say, and is thankful for anyone willing to listen. Follow Brianna on Instagram: @brianna_poetry

Bella is a Portland-based award-winning performance poet, writer, and author. Her book “Side Effects of Remembering the Little Things” is available at Powell’s Books and Jailbreak Studios. Her work centers around being a Black woman, abusive relationships, her anxiety and the hope between it all.

“My name is Israel also known as Izzy Is Real. I am a Charlotte, NC native who became a Portland advocate at the young age of 16. I started writing poetry a couple years prior to moving to Portland. I have always had a lot on my mind and poetry has given me the ability to express thoughts with purpose.” – Israel Hammond/Izzy Is Real

Nani Jones is an up-and-coming Portland poet and rapper. As a lifelong writer, she has written hundreds of poems and songs that voices how she sees the world. Influenced by her daily life, her works contains themes of love, Black power, and overall what it means to be herself. The former Slamlandia Grand Slam Champ and a current member of Lyrical Quest she has years of experience performing. When not performing she spends her time baking and helping others.
Register Here

Black History 101 Mobile Museum

Friday, Friday 26th, 2021 | 11:00am to 1:00 pm 

Dr. Khalid el-Hakim is the founder and curator of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, a collection of over 10,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia dating from the trans-Atlantic slave trade era to hip-hop culture. Dr. el-Hakim has been called the “Schomburg of the Hip-Hop generation” because of his passionate commitment to carry on the rich tradition of the Black Museum Movement.   He has received national and international attention for his innovative work of exhibiting Black history outside of traditional museum spaces.  

Most recently Dr. el-Hakim was given the distinct honor of being named among the Change Makers for NBC Universal’s “Erase the Hate” campaign and was one of the 100 Men of Distinction for 2017 in Black Enterprise magazine. As the nation’s premiere Black history traveling exhibit, the Black History 101 Mobile Museum has exhibited in 40 states at over 500 institutions including: colleges/universities, K-12 schools, corporations, libraries, conferences, and cultural events making it the most sought-after exhibit of its kind in America.  

In 2013, he published The Center of the Movement: Collecting Hip Hop Memorabilia, a groundbreaking book on the material artifacts of hip-hop culture.  Dr. El-Hakim has also worked for over twenty years in the hip hop industry as a manager and/or booking agent for artists such as The Last Poets, Proof of D12, Jessica Care Moore, and Professor Griff of Public Enemy. Dr. el-Hakim taught middle school social studies in Detroit for 15 years and recently founded the Michigan Hip Hop Archive which opens on the campus of Western Michigan University in 2020.

The Truth Heals: Black History and Addressing the Roots of the Racial Divide

Using original artifacts from the archive of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, Dr. el-Hakim will facilitate an engaging dialogue, inviting the audience to look honestly at the history of racism in America and begin the process of healing. 

Register Here

Cooking Class with Feed the Mass

Friday, Friday 26th, 2021 | 5:00pm to 6:15 pm 

Join us for a virtual cooking and nutrition class on Friday, Feb. 26th at 5:00 pm. This event will be hosted by Chef, Jacobsen Valentine of Feed the Mass.  Learn how to prepare a tasty Jambalaya dish and also discuss how culture and history influence our relationship with food, the ingredients we use, and its effect on our health. This will be the first of many cooking classes to come.  This series will showcase various local organizations and their work in the food space.

About the Dish:
Jambalaya Recipe (Creole)

An authentic Creole Jambalaya recipe! A delicious one-pot meal coming to you from New Orleans is pure comfort food filled to the brim with chicken, shrimp, andouille sausage, rice, seasonings, spices, and incredible flavors! Ready and on the table in 45 minutes.

For a full list of ingredients and directions on how to make this tasty dish, register below to join the class!

Register Here

Thank you for all that you do to help us end hunger and its root causes. For other ways to get involved, please visit our volunteer and advocacy pages.