A planned Proud Boy rally this weekend has inspired local activists to counter the far-right group's appearance in Portland with a donation-based outreach plan called "Black Joy Weekend" (Sept. 25-27)—an event intended to lessen the emotional fallout caused by the rally while "fostering relief, healing, and joy for Black Portlanders."
The Proud Boys are a white nationalist organization that has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Their violent Portland rallies—also attended by other far-right groups such as Patriot Prayer—have garnered national attention, and the group uses video from these clashes to further promote their cause.
Formed by Brown Hope and NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, "Black Joy Weekend" intends to counteract the anticipated trauma that's associated with violent clashes between Proud Boys, protesters, and police, by financially supporting Black Portlanders and encouraging them to avoid what could be a dangerous, violent situation. Instead they are asked to use the money to "live their best lives." Organizers are hoping to raise $50,000 and distribute the money via a Google form to 200 self-identified Black Portlanders, giving each applicant $150 to "fund a family activity and a shared meal for four people." Those who choose to also take a family vacation to the beach this weekend could receive an extra $150.
Those interested in donating to this cause can find more information here. Anyone who would like to apply for funds are encouraged to do so here. Recipients of the funds are also asked to document how they spent their fun weekend on social media with the hashtag #BlackJoyPDX.
“Oregon was founded with the intent to be a Whites-only utopia. We’re organizing Black Joy Weekend because Black Portlanders are our neighbors, and nobody has the right to threaten and attack our community,“ said Brown Hope CEO/co-organizer Cameron Whitten via a press release. “Our existence is a radical and beautiful act that offers a breath of fresh air amidst rising, divisive, and often violent racial tensions.”
Find out more about Black Joy Weekend here.
RELATED: Local activist group Pop Mob (Popular Mobilization) is also having a fund raiser this weekend to benefit the Oregon Justice Resource Center, where you pledge a certain amount of money for every Proud Boy (or "chud" as they like to call them) that shows up in Portland this weekend. A previous fundraiser garnered $36,000 for Causa Oregon. Find out more about this weekend's donation drive here.