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About Us

In Other Words is a feminist community center and our mission is to support, enrich, and empower the feminist community through literature, art, and educational and cultural events. We have three avenues available to our communities:

Explore Literature

Our goal is to support education by making literature accessible to everyone, while promoting reading, learning, and critical thinking about radical ideas.

One way we will continue to do this is by operating a radical bookstore where people can find books on feminism, queer and transgender studies, sexuality, and activism/politics, as well as alternative children’s books that are not easily found at other bookstores.

We are taking the next step in making literature accessible though the creation of a free lending library. Our library will be a free resource that will enable everyone to find radical books in a space that is intentionally safer and inclusive and will enable us to further our mission of supporting education. In times of economic hardship, libraries are crucial institutions to ensuring access to literature, and a library that is specialized is even more of an asset because it ensures that those materials include work from and for underrepresented and marginalized groups.

We are also developing a collection of feminist archives that will give our community first-hand access to our roots, history, and obscure feminist writing from earlier generations that has not been preserved elsewhere. Our archives currently consist of materials donated from community members, but will continue to be expanded as we develop this program. The list of the archive’s contents are available online.

Foster Culture

We enrich our communities by supporting local artists, craftspeople, musicians, performers, and writers – particularly those from under-represented groups. We provide the space for them to support themselves through selling their art, crafts, music, and zines, and also provide a venue space for people to display their art and abilities through cultural events like music shows, open mics, film screenings, and author readings.

We are one of the few spaces in Portland where artists and musicians can hold events for free and where people can come to events for very low, sliding scale costs at a place that is also a safer space and all-ages venue. We believe that making art and music this accessible is crucial to genuinely fostering culture and diversity in our community.

Cultivate Knowledge

We will empower our feminist communities by bringing community resources to life through new educational programming that will include classes, workshops, and discussion groups started in conjunction with partnering community organizations. These events will educate people on a wide variety of topics like health and wellness, literacy, business and finances, and technology, while also drawing attention to the large array of amazing organizations that Portland has to offer that are too often underutilized. These events will simultaneously lay the foundation for building a stronger infrastructure among local organizations to enable us to promote one another and ensure that our community has access to all the services that they need. These programming events will begin in late 2011.

We will also continue to expand the resource center that already exists at In Other Words. Our resource center provides tangible resources on topics like health and wellness, therapy and counseling, sexual and reproductive help, transgender issues, LGBTQ support and advocacy, birth and parenting, education, housing, activism and social change, and places to contact in crisis situations. Our resource center is unique because we are individually contacting and assessing all the businesses, organizations, and providers that are present in it to make sure that they are places that are safe for women and LGBTQ people to go. We intend to make these resources even more accessible by putting them on our website. We are also developing a computer lab that will enable people to search for resources, jobs, and other information.

The resource center at In Other Words is crucial to completing our mission of empowering our communities by connecting them to information. We are seen as a place where people can come to find answers to personal and sometimes controversial questions in a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere.

In Other Words’ Core Values:
-The individual and collective leadership of women
-Diversity of feminist perspectives
-Education and empowerment
-Social change through grassroots organizing
-Connections between feminist struggles and other movements for justice & liberation

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2011 2:33 pm

    Greetings! It’s exciting to learn that the store is stll ALIVE and has transformed into such a comprehensive resource center. Congrats to all you great women who continue to keep things going and growing.

    A couple questions: I’m a 60 year old lesbian/feminist retired community college counselor now offering affordable life and career coaching services. My specialities include working with women in transition, especially folks who want to change careers and/or return to school. I would like to connect in the following ways:

    a) offer a $5 per person workshop on financial aid and scholarships for college, perhaps in January?
    b) post information on my services at the store- flyer or business card?
    c) post information on your website?

    What steps might I take to accomplish these goals?

    In sisterhood! Cynthia Dettman 503 754 0972


    • November 29, 2011 6:22 pm

      Hey Cynthia!

      It’s great that you’re wanting to get involved with In Other Words! It sounds like your offerings are in line with our mission, and we’d love to have you host an event with us. If you’re interested in moving forward with this, you can email to see about getting something set up for January. Other, more general requests can be routed to

      Thank you again for your interest, and we look forward to hearing more from you soon!


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