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In My Shoes – Community Walk

January 14 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Portland Public Schools is partnering with Word is Bond to host a community walk through the historic Albina neighborhood to glean inspiration about the possibilities of the Center for Black Student Excellence.

The Students and Families In My Shoes walking tour is specially curated for students attending Portland Public Schools, with an emphasis on Black students and families with Black students The interactive tour will trace the history of the historic Albina neighborhood and the Black residents who call it home. Along the tour, participants will be prompted to discuss the experiences of Black students in PPS schools and how the upcoming Center for Black Student Excellence can enhance outcomes for Black students.

The tour begins at Unthank Park at 10 am and concludes at Matt Dishman Community Center at 11:45 am after a debrief and meal. During the brainstorming session, participants will discuss and share their ideas for the Center and enjoy a warm meal. All are welcome to join us for this special tour which is free to the public.

The tour will utilize ADA-approved public sidewalks and buildings to ensure equal participation. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes, weather appropriate clothing including an umbrella depending on weather and be prepared to walk and stand for one hour. Translation services are available upon request.

If you are a PPS staff member or community partner, we kindly ask that you sign up for the Staff and Partners tour directly following the Student tour at 12 pm. You can sign up for the Staff and Partner tour here.

We kindly ask that you prioritize PPS students, family members, or staff for this event. Public tours open to the entire community will be offered with our second-annual In My Shoes project in February 2023. Tour sign-ups will open on Monday, January 16 here.

Word is Bond is a Portland-born, Black-led, nonprofit whose mission statement is; What if young Black men were empowered to their fullest potential? Word is Bond inspires young Black men ages 15-20 years old through dynamic leadership programming including a rite-of-passage program, paid internships, college and career exploration, and national and international leadership experiences. You can learn more about Word is Bond on our website here.

In My Shoes is a walking tour project by Word is Bond that highlights the stories and experiences of young Black men across Portland. Each tour is designed and led by a community ambassador (youth leader) from Word is Bond. The tours highlight the personal stories of the ambassador, as well as the history of the neighborhood, and address topics of race, class, community investment, gentrification, community safety, and equity.

Tours are offered to the public in February for Black History Month, a 5K community tour and walk takes place in September, and private tours can be scheduled throughout the year on sliding payscale for organizations and businesses. Learn more about In My Shoes here.

Center for Black Student Excellence. Portland Public Schools is tapping the collective wisdom of our Black Community to embark on the development of a historic plan that centers Black students, unifies and elevates the Black educational experience, and improves outcomes for Black students. This endeavor is a manifestation of our values: PPS has been transparent about the effects of racism and under-investment on impacted Black students and predominantly Black-serving schools. This Community-led effort fulfills promises to voters – while addressing longstanding racial disparities in our school system. You can learn more about the CBSE on the PPS website here.

Your tour guides will be Max (Lincoln HS, 24) Mathew ( Lincoln HS, 24), Solomon (Roosevelt HS, 23), and Ja’Mari (Benson HS, 20). We look forward to seeing you on the tour! For questions, comments, or press please email us at admin@mywordisbond.org


January 14
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Denorval Unthank City Park
3920 N Kerby Ave
Portland, OR 97227 United States
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