Dearly beloved In Other Words Communities,
There is no softening this announcement. After 25 years, In Other Words is closing at the end of June 2018. The current members of IOW do not come to this decision lightly. We are grieving. We invite all of you who have found even a moment of clarity, love, determination, and joy to spend some time with our reasons for closing In Other Words.
Some reasons for the closure are increased expenses and the lack of funds, volunteers, and board members. This is a cycle of In Other Words as an organization, and also the cycle of community spaces in capitalism. IOW periodically discusses closing because of a lack of money and people. This isn’t sustainable, especially emotionally, for the people who come here and work to provide this space as a resource to Portland Feminist communities. Even if funds poured in, and masses of people showed up in response to this announcement, we would not continue our tenure here.
We cannot continue because we know reform does not work. The current volunteers and board members stepped into and took over a space that was founded on white, cis feminism (read: white supremacy). It’s really difficult, actually, impossible, for us to disentangle from that foundational ideology. Volunteers and board members tried to reform and re-envision the organization, and have found it unattainable to do, especially with so little resources. We have experienced this as a very real reminder that reform doesn’t work. Patriarchy, White Supremacy, Capitalism cannot be reformed and ever serve the people. Abolition is the goal.
We are then very excited and grateful that Critical Resistance Portland is working to keep the space on Killingsworth open as a community center. Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe.
CR is actively looking for partner organizations who wish to participate in keeping this vital community resource available. Interested organizations can email them here: firstname.lastname@example.org
To all of the people who have organized here, attended events, read a life-changing book in our library, gave their time, money, energy, knowledge, skills, and love to this space – we thank you. We invite you to share your stories, feelings, and memories of In Other Words.
We invite you to participate one last time. Please, join us in the closing process, to be a part of the transition of the end of one story and the beginning of another. If you would like to help with time and energy in physical or logistic closing work, you can email us at: email@example.com or call 503-232-6003 between 1 and 5pm Friday through Sunday. If you cannot physically join us in closing and you would like to help, we still need funding to help us make it through this closing process. You can donate here: tinyurl.com/donate2IOW