Compassion Through Literature Celebration
Diverse Speakers & Performers with ASL Translator
Plus Free Books & Snacks
EMBRACING DIVERSITY ONE BOOK AT A TIME
Join us for this summer's BIG EVENT!
Positive Charge! PDX's Compassion Through Literature initiative is hosting an afternoon celebration of the power of books to cultivate awareness, understanding, and inclusion.
Saturday, August 26
1 - 5 pm
4115 N Mississippi
Will have ASL translator!
Made possible through
the support of
As the Positive Charge! PDX CTL webpage highlights, the mission of our Compassion Through Literature initiative is to foster a more compassionate, equitable world by increasing the circulation and access of books that reflect and honor the lives of all people, especially those underrepresented in published literature. We're making this happen in several ways, including by:
Encouraging Little Free Library stewards to carry more diverse books.
Increasing the availability of diverse books in already established free little CTL libraries.
Frequently sharing posts about diverse books. encouraging people to check them out and broaden their minds.
Hosting this summer celebration to showcase how diversity and inclusion enriches our lives!
Your RSVP will help us to plan for snacks and book giveaways!
Nikki Brown Clown (she/her)
1:00 - 2:00 pm
Portland's first Black clown and the winner of numerous entertainer and clown of the year awards. Nikki's goal is to promote cultural pride and awareness among the Black community, with special emphasis on engaging children of diverse backgrounds. She has worked tirelessly throughout North and Northeast Portland, advocating for the importance of literacy among Black children—paying special attention to connecting Black children to books that support and validate Black children’s experiences. In addition to seeing Nikki Brown Clown at various local parades, including the Rose Festival, she also offers her services for parties and work events, Black Story times, and Kwanzaa celebrations for children.
Kendall Clawson (she/her)
Leader in nonprofit management and public service. Kendall’s experience and work is rooted in cross-sector collaboration, organizational development, community building, equitable practices, and leadership development. Currently, she serves as Portfolio Director for Inatai Foundation in Seattle, where she focuses on leadership cultivation, development strategies, and building an ecosystem of connected organizations working for equity and justice. Her past experience includes being President and CEO of Grantmakers of OR and SW Washington, Executive Director of the American Leadership Forum of Oregon, and the first Executive Director of Q Center. She also has served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Oregon Governors John Kitzhaber and Kate Brown. In 2022, Kendall authored A Kids Book About Pride, which celebrates the history of the Pride movement and encourages kids to identify and celebrate a sense of Pride all year-round.
Alex Dang (he/him)
Portland poet, speaker, and educator. Alex's work has been featured in Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, and UpWorthy. A two-time TEDx speaker, he has performed in over 50 cities, 30 states, and 7 countries—and his work has been viewed over two million times on YouTube! Born and raised in Portland, Alex is a proud graduate of Cleveland High School and earned his stripes on the Portland and Eugene Poetry Slam circuits. He wants to know what your favorite food is.
Jonathan Hill (he/him)
Award-winning cartoonist, illustrator, and educator. Jonathan's work has been published by First Second Books, Oni Press, and The Believer Magazine. His most recent book, TALES FROM A SEVENTH GRADE LIZARD BOY, was published by Walker Books US. Some of his other clients include Microsoft, the Portland Trail Blazers, and Powell's City of Books. Jonathan also serves on the board of directors for Literary Arts.
Elliott Hinkle (they/them)
Principal and founder of Unicorn Solutions. Elliott is a national expert focused on elevating lived expertise in systems that serve children, youth, and families, particularly in support of LGBTQIA2S+ community members. They bring many years of lived and professional experience on topics such as child welfare, youth mental health, and the LGBTQIA2S+ community. As a young person, Elliott has lived experience in the Wyoming Foster Care System but calls Oregon home. They currently serve as a Federal Lived Experience Expert Partner for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Equity Technical Assistance Center (ETAC). Elliott also has worked on the Children's Bureau Capacity Building Center for States Project and Division X TA Project at ICF, the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Reviews via JBS International, and Oregon Healthy Transitions Project at Portland State University.
Trudy Ludwig (she/her)
Nationally acclaimed speaker and award-winning author. Trudy's numerous children’s books include the likes of BRAVE EVERY DAY, Children’s Book Council’s Teacher Favorites Book; THE INVISIBLE BOY, a School Library Journal Best Picture Book and a recommended back-to-school book by USA Today and Scholastic Instructor; and GIFTS FROM THE ENEMY, with accolades by the Jewish Book Council, Oregon Spirit Honor Award, and numerous other awards; plus many other wonderful books! Trudy's work helps empower children to be kinder and more inclusive.. She has collaborated with leading experts and organizations including Sesame Workshop, International Bullying Prevention Association, Committee for Children, and ConnectSafely.org.
Dane Liu (she/her)
Award-winning author. Dane believes in the power of stories to affirm, transport, and transform. Her debut for young readers, FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS, FOREVER, is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, Indie Next Pick, and Best Book of the Year from The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. A native of China, Dane moved to the US and Canada when she was a tween. As a storyteller, she's drawn to the less-explored terrains of the human experience—to questions about identity, family, culture, and belonging. She also has been an Oregon Literary Career Fellow and awarded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and We Need Diverse Books. Dane hopes to inspire children to see the beauty of their own stories and the power of sharing them.
Chris Gustafson (she/her)
Retired K-12 school librarian extraordinaire. Chris loves connecting readers to books. Working with the folks at Third Eye Books (one of Portland's few Black-owned bookstores), she is distributing books by diverse authors in her neighborhood Little Free Library. She’s always looking for ways to address symptoms of injustice and the systems that cause them. Her Little Free Library can be found in the Brentwood Darlington neighborhood on the corner of SE 77th Street and SE Rural Street. Stop by!
Flawless Shade (she/her)
Miss Gay Pride of Portland 2023. Flawless Shade is an American drag queen and makeup artist who also has been honored as a former Miss Gay Oregon and former Miss Sweetheart of Portland. She has been featured in campaigns by Adidas, GLAAD, and Top Level Design. In addition, Flawless Shade was a finalist in RuPaul Charles' Painted with Raven competition under their given name of Tajh Jordan.
Featured Book Stores
Face Masking for Covid
3415 SE Belmont Str., Portland
Maggie Mae's Bookshop
50 NW 1st St., Gresham
Special thanks to Sister Shiso Panda of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Order of Benevolent Bliss, for the time and energy she gave in planning this celebration! We only wish the Sisters could join us on the day of the event.