In late June, several media channels picked up a story about a black police officer who experienced a racist incident in Lake Oswego. This story made it to Nextdoor, a neighborhood networking site, where neighbors began to converse. You can read the original story about Detective Nathan Sheppard's experience here.
Within days, another post was made challenging the existence of racism in Lake Oswego. A clamor of activity on that Nextdoor thread propelled resident Liberty Weaver to make a post asking if other neighbors would like to continue the conversation face-to-face. Willie Poinsette was the only neighbor to respond and so the two of them got together.
In that meeting, Willie and Liberty shared stories about their lives, their experience with organizing around racism and their wishes for making change in Lake Oswego. From there, they co-wrote a post to extend an invitation to other neighbors to join the conversation. That post got over 30 replies within 24 hours. Within a few days, more than 50 people had expressed interest.
Willie and Liberty began organizing, which led to the meeting on July 10th. You can read about that meeting here.
Photo used with permission from the Lake Oswego Review, by Vern Uyetake