Community Cookout at King School Park


Community Cookout at King School Park

A Community Cookout was held at King School Park on July 9. Northeast Portland residents and community leaders gathered together to make the neighborhood a safe and friendly place.

IMG_1117NECN, Self Enhancement Inc., and King School teamed up to hold the first ever Community
Cookout at King School Park, Saturday, July 9 from 4-7 pm. The event was free, open to the public, and aimed to bring together Northeast Portland neighbors for family-friendly activities. The day included  include face painting, a musical performance, hamburgers, hot dogs and more. It not only had the best elements of a summer party, but also came with a theme and a message. The community cookout engaged North/Northeast Portland neighbors in a dialogue around violence and its impact on children. Getting together with our neighbors and community partners showed that we have more in common than we think. Photo (Right): Youth from the theater production group, Maverick Main Stage sing about the impact of community violence. 

In Portland, there have been nearly 50 shooting incidences, with 15 people shot so far this year. The shootings are attributed to a small number of people, who make up Portland’s gangs. A disproportionate number of the gang shootings have occurred in North and Northeast Portland, and authorities anticipate that shootings will increase in the summer months.

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The community cookout celebrated Northeast Portland, while providing a safe space to talk about violence, in an inclusive and collaborative way. CEO and Founder of Self Enhancement, Inc.’s Mr. Tony L. Hopson Sr. opened the event. Our Keynote speaker was  Ms. MaryEtta Callier-Wells, leader in parent and childhood education.  She addressed the reality of trauma. The kind of trauma that we seem to write off as a normal part of living often manifests itself in negative ways. There were also presentations by city leaders who are working to create safe communities who shared words of inspiration and strength. Groups that focus on social justice issues tabled at the event, to provide resources and raise awareness. Photo (Left): Kids get their faces painted. 

Roslyn Cunningham works with Self Enhancement Inc. She explains, “While a Cookout does not solve all of the problems for the neighborhood, we hope that by providing a safe and fun event in the park, we can begin building bridges and laying the foundation for the future. We can continue holding constructive conversations to make our neighborhood a safe zone.”

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What: Community Cookout 
When: Saturday, July 9, 2016, 4-7 pm
Where: King School Park, 4906 NE 6th Avenue
Sponsored by: Self Enhancement Inc., Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, and MLK School
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Photo (Top): Police Officer speaks about ending violence. 

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