August 2019

Hello friends, comrades, and community partners~
As the horrific headlines have appeared pretty consistently in the last several weeks it seems easy to fall into despair. There will always be struggle and pain. As a group we've been sitting with this reality frequently. We continue to imagine new ways to support our communities which appear to be in a state of continuous chronic stress. One thing that we have come to learn and believe is that our movements are truly only as strong as our relationships and connections with each other.

The Empathy Riot picnic last month was a great opportunity to connect with others, eat good food, and build community. We look forward to creating more opportunities to deepen these connections.

Also last month we co-facilitated a pod-mapping workshop with the Care Not Cops Coalition. Pod Mapping was developed by the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective (BATJC). They began using the term “pod” to refer to a specific type of relationship within transformative justice (TJ) work. Pod mapping is a process of exploring and naming people that you would call on if violence, harm or abuse happened to you; or the people that you would call on if you wanted support in taking accountability for violence, harm or abuse that you’ve done; or if you witnessed violence or if someone you care about was being violent or being abused.

Please check out an updated resource list on the website to see more about this!
"All of this imagining, in the poverty of our current system, is heightened because of scarcity economics. There isn't enough so we need to hoard, enclose, divide, fence up, and prioritize resources and people. We have to imagine beyond those fears. We have to ideate-imagine-conceive- together. We must imagine new worlds that transitions ideologies and norms, so that no one sees Black people as murderers, or brown people as terrorists and aliens, but all of us as potential cultural and economic innovators. This is a time travel exercise for the heart. This is collaborative ideation- What are the ideas that will liberate all of us? "
~Adrienne Maree Brown; Emergent Strategy


Our monthly Provider Support Groups are still on a summer break. We will reconvene in the fall at a new location!



Join POPMOB and Portland Jobs with Justice
Come #BeTheSpectacle on August 17th! (Meet us at the Waterfront & SW Pine.)

Bigots plan to come to Portland. Again. *sigh*

Are you tired of them? Because we’re tired of them. We’re tired of being afraid for our lives. We’re tired of the attacks on our community. We’re tired of their hatred. They think Portland is too queer, too far left, too weird, so we’re going to show them just how weird we can get. We’re going to create a spectacle like they’ve never seen before.

But we need your help!

We need all of Portland to come out with the biggest, weirdest, most spectacular costumes, performances, and other fun activities. Portland is supposed to be the weirdest city in the country, so let's prove them right. Let's be weirder and more absurd than we've ever been before. Let's show them we won't let them scare us into hiding our true selves.

Are you in a band? Perhaps you could play on August 17th! In a troupe of dancers or acrobats? We want to see your talent! Have another weird skill? Bring it!

Reach out on instagram or facebook to what you’re planning and with any questions.

If you'd like to help get the word out about The Spectacle via flyers, posters, etc. email our Street Freaks team at

Follow them at @popmobpdx on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get updates in the coming days and weeks!

See you all in the streets!

Did you know that Street Roots turns 20 this year? Help us celebrate in style at our summer Street Party!
Empathy Riot would love to have folks from our larger community to volunteer at this awesome event!
This would be a great way to build community, share connections and support!

****If you're interested in volunteering, please email Andrew w/ Street Roots directly ( to sign up for a shift. Let him know you're connected to
Empathy Riot! ****

Join us for live music, fun activities for kids and a Marketplace, where you can purchase art and other goods created by Street Roots vendors.

Enjoy complimentary food from Laughing Planet Cafe, cold brew from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, as well as other local food and beverages.

CNC coalition is hosting an Introduction to the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) workshop! There are still some logistics being confirmed so please stay tuned on the CNC facebook page- or on Empathy Riot's page.

Tuesday August 27th.
Time: 6pm-9pm
Location: TBD

Every last Sunday of the month we partner with a different local nonprofit or community organization to highlight the work they're doing in Portland and contribute 10% of daily sales to the group. It's a simple way for us to do right in the city we love. This months Do Right Sunday will be held August 25th and funds will go to Critical Resistance.

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. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected by the PIC. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support any work that extends its life or scope.

The night is always free to attend and is anchored by DJs, Shi Shi of XRAY.FM's Everyday Mixtapes --

DJ Shi Shi and her special guest, DJ Cunt Sent be spinning music that makes you feel some type a way. R&B, hip hop, throwbacks, funk, vintage + modern international gems --

"The defense of self and of loved ones in the community is something everyone should have access to and be empowered to participate in. This is particularly true for marginalized communities who experience violence. Right now there is an intensity of state and institutional violence, including violence enacted by those who act as the state's private militia such as white supremacists, transphobes, homophobes and fascists."

About the class:
Class is taught to the ability of those present.

There is shower, laundry and sauna access.
To protect yourself, those in class, the equipment and matt, please wear gym clothes (clothes only for the gym that are cleaned and washed after each use). Clothes with no buttons, zippers or pins ect).
No shoes are worn on the mat.
Kids are welcome. There is no child care but there is semi-supervised space to play.

Who is Empathy Riot!?

Empathy Riot started out as Mental Health Providers Unite! in response to the 2016 presidential election results. As our affinity group has evolved over the last few years it has become clear that our work is not explicitly focused on uniting mental health providers. We are a core group of several people imagining a new radical world that has both love and intensity. For us, empathy riot means holding the complexity of compassion and chaos. This allows us to organize specifically around a radical perspective of Mental Health.

Empathy is about growing, creatively connecting, and healing.
Riot is about disrupting, interrupting, and challenging.

We invite you to like Empathy Riot's new public community page!

We will continue our grassroots organizing and community collaborations. We look forward to new opportunities to cultivate connections with other radical mental health providers and to challenge the status quo in mainstream Mental Health.

In solidarity,
Kirk, Karen, Nicci, Leah, Anna, and Carissa

Please connect with us on Instagram too!

Amidst the larger political struggles, stressors, and fears, we know you are working hard to support your clients. We may feel exhausted, numb, or like we can never do enough. These and other symptoms, affect us collectively.

Let's meet these challenges together!