In Other Words has been serving the Portland community as an independent feminist bookstore, a low-cost and safe event space, and a community center since 1993.
We are an and independent feminist bookstore and community center whose mission to strengthen resistance against a culture of oppression. We seek to create a safer space where women, people of color, queer, trans, gender variant folks, workers, and those who live at the intersections of these identities can organize for self-determination and build a sustainable movement for liberation.
We were founded by Johanna Brenner, a PSU professor, and Catherine Tetrick and Catherine Sameh, both women’s health activists. The center was created in response to the closure of “A Woman’s Place,” Portland’s only feminist bookstore.
We moved from the original location on SE Hawthorne to NE Killingsworth in 2006 to a bigger space in the former Albina Arts Center, which is still owned by the Albina Women’s League. The move to the new space enabled us to expand the programming we offered and accommodate more people at events in our space.
When we opened in 1993 there were over 200 feminist bookstores in the United States and today there are fewer than 30. In Other Words is the only feminist bookstore in the United States that also functions as a nonprofit organization, which has allowed us to serve a unique role in our communities.
As we have observed the demographic, cultural, and social transformations of Portland’s diverse feminist communities recently, we’ve identified new needs and shifting interests that have inspired us to undertake one of the largest expansions in our organization’s history: we are becoming In Other Words Feminist Community Center.