This Week's Curator: Nakisha Nathan, Executive Director of Bark
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and what keeps you busy all day/week.
I am a military brat. My dad was in the U.S. Air Force and we lived throughout the United States, in Panama, and Canada. I recently became the Executive Director of Bark, an organization that has spent the last 20 years working to protect and restore Mt. Hood and the surrounding communities. I am dedicated to building power for racial justice and a Just Transition and serves on the boards of the Portland African American Leadership Forum, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, and Neighbors for Clean Air.
Tell us about your neighborhood. What are the ups and downs of it?
I live in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, close to Lents, and love being close to Johnson Creek Corridor, Cartlandia, and the variety of restaurants along 82nd.
What are your favorite East Portland things to do and places to go?
What do you think people don’t know about East Portland that they should know?
East Portland has a lot of hidden treasures, including the Malden Court Orchard and the Learning Gardens Laboratory on 60th and Duke.
What do you think would be most helpful for people in East Portland?
Housing affordability, transit justice (including free and accessible transit), living wages, racial justice, clean air…
How do you think your Portland matches up with the Portland you’ve seen in media?
The media often portrays Portland as the whitest city in the United States. I think that narrative only serves to marginalizes the diverse cultures that live here and ignores the leadership within our communities of color.
What keeps you up at night worrying?
Racism, violence, hate…
What gives you hope?
My community, friends, family and work. Random conversations with my neighbors about things that bring people joy and open my eyes to their life experiences.
Why did you agree to participate in this project?
I believe having a chance to hear from all types of people is part of developing empathy, and compassion for people who have perspectives and life experiences that differ from your own. And necessary for building a sense of place and a strong and healthy community.
Where can we find you online and/or in person once your week of tweeting is up?
You're most likely to find me out and about at a community event, hiking outdoors and photographing natural landscapes. My Twitter is @Nakahlo77.