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Join our Campaign to Save In Other Words

October 14, 2014

Dear Feminist Communities,

Thank you for your feedback and compassionate response to our most recent newsletter and social media communications.  We heard you loud and clear.  In Other Words faces closure and absolutely none of us want that to happen.

Please continue to ask your friends to sign up to volunteer by emailing us at and please continue encouraging all of the passionate and committed feminist leaders you know to apply to join our board of directors at


In Other Words is a non-profit, volunteer-run, feminist community center in Portland, Oregon. Our mission is to support, enrich, and empower our feminist communities through literature, art, and educational and cultural events. We have a storefront that serves as a book store, a lending library, and a venue for feminist events and community organizing.

In Other Words is facing closure

Most years, October is a month of joy and gratitude as we celebrate our birthday.  This year, the month of our 21st birthday, felt bittersweet as we held an urgent community meeting on October 5th to talk about our capacity deficits and the fact that we are seriously considering closing our doors.  We heard your voices loud and clear that you don’t want this to happen and that you are committed to having In Other Words around for years to come.  We gave ourselves until the end of the month to increase our capacity.  At the next public community meeting on November 8th, we will determine whether we have built enough capacity (re)commit to In Other Words so that we don’t have to go out of business.

That said, now comes the hard part.  It is time to walk the walk.  We are in need of serious funding, and a serious increase in our volunteer capacity and our board of directors membership.  Part of increasing our volunteer leadership and board leadership includes asking YOU to help us lead In Other Words towards becoming the open and affirming feminist community organizing space we all crave and desire.

If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at; please email us at to express interest in joining the board of directors.

In addition to our critical need of increasing our volunteer base and developing our board of directors, we hope to raise at least $20,000 in order to keep our doors open, and ideally need to meet our annual goal of $60,000 in order to remain sustainable.  It costs us a bare minimum $5,000 per month in order just to squeak by, and we need all the support you can give in order for us to stay open into the year 2015.

We need to do some serious fundraising in the form of financial donations, and serious “friendraising” in the form of recruiting new volunteers and new board members.We have four weeks in order to build up our capacity in terms of new volunteers, new board members, and new donations.  If we haven’t met our capacity goals by November 8th, we will need to close our doors.  Please contribute to this campaign to help us ensure that is not the case!

The question we get most often is, “but don’t you make zillions of dollars off of the TV show Portlandia?!” The short answer is:  NOPE.  Far from it.  Unfortunately, the fact that the TV show Portlandia features a regular feminist bookstore parody does not provide us with any substantial revenue flow and Portlandia-related donations are far from enough to pay our bills.  We aren’t rolling in money from Portlandia, but we do have a great time meeting local celebrities Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, and enjoy chatting with them about feminism and community organizing in between shoots. Here’s a photo of us with Carrie and Fred:


Please help us increase our volunteer and board leadership, and please make generous financial gifts if you are able, in order to help In Other Words continue to grow in to the passionate, committed, brave, resilient feminist community organizing space we all need and want.

Critical Upcoming Meetings

October 11, 2014

Board of Directors meeting, October 16th, 6:15PM at In Other Words

All interested/serious board applicants must attend this meeting. Please encourage your friends and networks to email Human Resources to express interest in the board.

Volunteer Orientation/Training October 18th, 3:00PM at In Other Words 

All interested/serious volunteers must attend this meeting! Please encourage your friends and networks to email our Volunteer Coordinator to express interest in volunteering.  People my express interest in volunteering in general as a staffer, or they may also express interest in a volunteer leadership position.

Planning meeting for the next General Assembly, October 24th at 7PM at In Other Words

This meeting was established by a community member who is invested in ensuring voices are heard at the November 8th meeting.


At this point in time we will evaluate whether we have built enough capacity within the past month to keep our doors open.

If you would like to read the meeting minutes from the October 5th meeting, please email to request the PDF of the document.

List of Open Positions

October 11, 2014
Board of Directors:
- Board Chair
- Board Treasurer
- Board Secretary
- Board Personnel/HR
- Board Fundraising and Development
- Board Marketing and Communications
- Board Operations and Strategy
- Board Legal
- Board Mentee
If interested in these positions, email

Volunteer Lead Positions:
- Personnel Lead
- Staffing Coordinator
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Consignment Coordinator
- Operations Lead
- Community Engagement and Outreach Lead
- Communications Lead
- Store Coordinator
- Events Coordinator
If interested in these positions, email

Volunteer Support Positions:
- 5 Staffing Support Positions
- 2 Library Team Support
- 2 Events Support
- 3 Community Engagement and Outreach Support
- 2 Communications Support

If interested in these positions, email

Did you fill out our volunteer web form recently?
We’ve been having technological glitches with our volunteer sign-up web form!  If you signed up to volunteer recently and nobody responded, then we did not receive your sign-up information. We feel terribly about this and we would LOVE to welcome you to our volunteer family!  Please email us at to express interest in volunteering, and please plan to attend the volunteer orientation on October 18th at 3PM at In Other Words.

We need to (re)commit to In Other Words!

October 11, 2014

October is the birthday month for In Other Words. We have been a resource for feminist communities in Portland for 21 years! This month is both a beautiful reminder of how long we have lasted and the relationships and people we have impacted, but also bittersweet as we celebrate during a very trying time.  Can you help us meet our goals this month in order to ensure we don’t have to close our doors this month?  We need to meet our $5,000 goal this month as well as welcome a significant infusion of new board members and volunteers in order to ensure we don’t go out of business.  Please ask your friends and networks to donate their time and resources as they are able!  We are relying on you, our feminist communities, to keep us relevant and in business for another 21 years. We have four weeks in order to build up our capacity in terms of new volunteers, new board members, and new monthly donations.  If we haven’t met our capacity goals by November 8th, we will need to close our doors.  Please help us ensure that is not the case!

♦ In Other Words needs a substantial increase in financial gifts, particularly in monthly sustaining funds.

♦ In Other Words has an urgent need for more volunteer leadership and immediate open seats on the Board of Directors.  Please view the full list of open positions on our blog and job descriptions at the bottom of our homepage.

♦ Please email to express interest in volunteering, and plan to attend the volunteer orientation on October 18th at 3PM.  Please encourage your  friends and networks to do the same.

♦ Please email to apply to the board of directors, and plan to attend the next Board of Directors meetings on October 16th at 6:15PM.

♦ Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for most current updated information.

Help Us Decide the Future of In Other Words

September 30, 2014

Dear In Other Words Community:

In the last year, In Other Words has struggled with a severe shortage of volunteers and managed a tenuous financial situation on a monthly basis.  Although the organization is nearly free from current debt and has survived thanks to the dedication of a handful of devoted volunteers, the time has come to ask the question:

What does our community want In Other Words to represent, and does that need still exist?

Take a moment to give us your honest feedback.  Tell us what you need, and what you think we should build together.

Join us in person October 5 for a General Assembly meeting to discuss your thoughts and feedback.

Thanks for your help!

March at In Other Words

March 1, 2014

Some real life volunteers from In Other Words will be tweeting the Oscars for IFC Portlandia on Sunday, March 2nd. Don’t miss the hilarity, and be sure to follow @IOWbooks on Twitter!

March is National Women’s History Month, y’all!  Send a care package from Good Boxes (including some awesome items from In Other Words) to your favorite woman. A portion of the proceeds goes to a local women’s shelter.

Happening at In Other Words this month:

  • Our neighbors, The Vital Compass, are joining us every other week for self-care sessions. These are happening on Wednesday the 5th and 19th at 11:30 am with Ear (Auricular) Acupuncture, which is a fantastic way to detox your mind and body. Suggested donation of $5.
  • On Monday the 3rd, poet, artist, and cultural organizer Vanessa Huang and In Other Words invite feminists of color in the Portland area to join us for an evening to find poetry and make ritual in honor of our connection with chosen, inherited, and collective ancestors along our journeys dreaming and making worlds where each and all of us are free.
  • On Tuesday the 4th join the folks from Flexible Fitness in Portland for the monthly introductory class. It will incorporate stretching, agility training, phantom weight lifting, and drumstick cardio. Bring water and a healthy sense of humor! The class is free and donations are welcome.
  • On Wednesday the 5th join us for a reading, talk, and open Q&A with Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence anthology editor, Lisa Factra-Borchers.
  • Saturday the 8th is International Women’s Day! We’ll with celebrating with Portland Pairings Wine Shop as they donate a portion of proceeds to In Other Words for this awesome event! We’ll also be hosting the Happy Hysteria Health Collective for a full day celebrating & supporting womb centric holistic health, or Happy Hysteria Day.
  • Don’t miss Sistah Sinema’s monthly movie also on Saturday the 8th. This month is Thick Relations, a movie about family, connections, and love.
  • On Tuesday the 11th at 4:30, join us for a talk and Q/A with bestselling authors Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson about what constitutes a good relationship. They will discuss their new book, Partners In Passion, which is fortified by interviews with couples from diverse backgrounds, relationship styles, and orientations who are enjoying erotically vibrant partnerships.
  • On Thursday the 13th join NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon for the release party for the second edition of the Repro. Sheroes zine.
  • On Sunday the 16th don’t miss the video showing of Homomentum: The Musical. Unicorns and other mythical creatures save the world through dance, live music, queer awesomeness, and glitter, in this brand-new genderbending sci-fi fantasy musical!
  • On Wednesday the 26th is “In Other Words presents Reel Feminism,” a monthly film series hosted at the Clinton Street Theater!  This month, we’ll be showing Maria in Nobody’s Land.

Reel Feminism: Compensation

February 21, 2014

Reel Feminism Banner

This month, COMPENSATION, the first feature by award-winning filmmaker Zeinabu Irene Davis (CYCLES and A POWERFUL THANG), presents two unique African-American love stories between a deaf woman and a hearing man. Inspired by a poem written by Paul Laurence Dunbar, this moving narrative shares their struggle to overcome racism, disability and discrimination. An important film on African-American deaf culture, Davis innovatively incorporates silent film techniques (such as title cards and vintage photos) to make the piece accessible to hearing and deaf viewers alike, and to share the vast possibilities of language and communication. (source:

Director: Zeinabu irene Davis
Country: USA
Year: 1999
Runtime: 95 minutes

Come down to the Clinton Street Theatre on Wednesday, February 26th at 7pm for a screening of Compensation with discussion to follow. Admission is $5-10, with anything over $5 going directly to support In Other Words.

REEL FEMINISM is a film series highlighting movies directed by women and genderqueer individuals that have a feminist perspective or address feminist topics. For more information, RSVP on Facebook and join the In Other Words presents: Reel Feminism group.


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