Now (and always) is the time to be vocally anti-racist.

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Representative Smith Warner

Dear Neighbors and Friends: 

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. 

Now is the time for each and every one of us to stand in solidarity with Black community members. George Floyd. Ahmed Aubrey. Breonna Taylor. Three Black Americans murdered. Three tragic reminders of the generational and institutionalized racism that plagues our country. We have to demand that government institutions – especially the legislature – operate with a lens toward equity and inclusion. We have to stop the microaggressions that impact our fellow community members. We have to take real action as policy makers to address inequities.  As we head into the weekend, I implore you to look into yourselves and see how you can be an ally to stamp out racism in all of its forms. Here’s a start:

To Be an Ally


Everyone can be an ally. Allyship involves listening, learning and actively working in concert with impacted individuals and groups working towards racial justice. Sometimes, people say "doing ally work" or "acting in solidarity with" to reference the fact that "ally" is not an identity, it is an ongoing and lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability. 


  • Do make an effort to diversify your social spheres
  • Do start and encourage dialogues across differences
  • Do be aware of your implicit biases
  • Do the inner work to figure out a way to acknowledge how you participate in oppressive systems
  • Do advocate, speak out, and support organizations working to change the oppressive systems
  • Do amplify (online and when physically present) the voices of those without your privilege


  • Do not expect to be taught or shown. Take it upon yourself to use the tools around you to learn and answer your questions
  • Do not behave as though you know best
  • Do not take credit for the labor of those who are marginalized and did the work before you stepped into the picture
  • Do not make an anecdote about your self experience to discount anti-black racism


Black Lives Matter, Portland Chapter                                                                                  Black Lives Matter PDX is committed to advocate for social justice and increasing socio-economic capital for the black community.

Color of Change                                                                                                                  Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization by designing strategies powerful enough to fight racism and injustice—in politics and culture, in the workplace and the economy, in criminal justice and community life, and wherever they exist. You can find more information here

Irresistible                                                                                                                      Irresistible is a podcast playlist and collective of conversations and practices around racialized trauma, healing and advocacy. You can tune in here.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)                  The Portland chapter of the NAACP has been a leader in establishing and upholding civil rights for the African-American community and for people of color in Portland. 

The Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF)                                            PAALF is a grassroots organization, uniting people of African descent to advance equity through community organizing, civic participation and leadership development.The PAALF People’s Plan serves as a powerful tool for research, organizing, and implementation  empowered  by the Portland Black community to address disparities  in the areas of health, education, housing, administration of justice, environmental justice, etc. You can find more information here

Unite Oregon                                                                                                                      Unite Oregon actively works on engaging and organizing the public to participate in field listening sessions, training, and local workshops about racial justice programs.You can find more information on their website here.

Urban League                                                                                                                        The Urban League of Portland is one of Oregon’s oldest civil rights and social service organizations, empowering African-Americans and others to achieve equality in education, employment, health, economic security and quality of life. 

These and many other organizations in Oregon and around the country are making a difference, and you can join them in that work. It is not enough to be quietly non-racist; now (and always) is the time to be vocally anti-racist. Together, and individually, we can use our privilege to speak up and advocate for change. 



Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-295, Salem, OR 97301