The Real Lost Boys of Portlandia

On June 7th at Revolution Hall, Outside the Frame will premiere The Lost Boys of Portlandia, a documentary featuring the real lost children of Portland – homeless youth.

[Image description: A group of six costumed youth pose in a patch of sun with trees in the background. One of the youth carries a guitar. Another wears fairy wings. Another wears a Peter Pan costume. One has on striped pajamas and a Daniel Boone hat, and one flexes both of his arms. There is a Jolly Roger pirate flag affixed to his wheelchair.] 

The Lost Boys of Portlandia is a riff on Peter Pan, as well as a documentary about filmmaking, in which homeless youth debate if and how to return to mainstream society. According to KGW-TV, "on its surface, it’s a film about the making of a film, but the backdrop is flooded with one of Portland’s most pressing social issues.”

lost boys bench

[Image description: Three youth sit on a bench. A boy on the left sits with his back to the camera. He is dressed like Peter Pan and holds a cup. His right leg is crossed over his left. Two boys on the right sit facing the camera. They are not wearing costumes. One of them is leaning over a presentation folder with a red marker in hand.]

Outside the Frame, originally a program of Outside In, is a nonprofit that offers homeless youth paid internships and film workshops that provide hands on technological training and relevant job experience. The youth involved produce original films depicting issues pertaining to and determined by homeless youth. A number of these short, youth-made films will also screen at the premiere of The Lost Boys. Claim your ticket here.

Outside the Frame aims to change the way homeless and marginalized youth see and are seen by film. By making films, youth are able to speak and advocate for themselves and issues they care about, as well contribute to changing the systemic barriers homeless youth face.

lost boys flyer

[Image description: A flyer for The Lost Boys of Portlandia, a premiere of films by and with youth who have experienced homelessness. The flyer advertises the show on Tuesday, June 7th, doors at 6 pm, show at 7 pm; Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., Portland, OR; Free, all ages; Tickets at The bulk of the flyer is an illustration of Peter Pan, camera in hand, flying away from three crocodiles, one of which is dressed as a police officer. Tinkerbell flies next to him with a clapboard.] 

The Lost Boys of Portlandia premiere is sponsored in part by Northwest Health Foundation. 


Disability Art and Culture Project Presents Portland ReelAbilities

What is problematic about representations of disability in film? A lot. More than we have time or space to discuss here. People with disabilities are hugely underrepresented both in front of the camera, as actors, and behind the camera, as filmmakers. Too often actors without disabilities play characters with disabilities, and characters with disabilities fill flat, stereotypical roles. These are just a few of the problems, and local nonprofit Disability Art and Culture Project (DACP) is challenging all of these and more with Portland ReelAbilities Film Festival.

[Image description: A man sits in front of a blank canvas, smiling. Behind him a woman, also smiling, prepares a table full of paints.]

May 27-29 at Alberta Rose Theatre, DACP will present a wide range of films all made by, starring and/or about people with disabilities. They include everything from Imber's Left Hand, a feature-length documentary about an artist with ALS whose painting process and style change dramatically as his body degenerates, to a three-minute comedy about a woman whose prosthetic hand falls off during a dance audition. View the full schedule here.

We're most looking forward to two showings during the festival. The first is Saturday Social Justice Night. DACP will show three films, all dealing with disability and social justice issues, followed by comments and discussion. This is exciting because disability is rarely considered in the context of social justice; more often it is considered as a health or medical issue. The second showing we are looking forward to is on Sunday night when DACP will screen films submitted by local filmmakers. Many of the local filmmakers will be at the theater, and we can't wait to meet them and hear what they have to say!

Moderator Kathy Coleman and panelists Cheryl Green, Courtney Hermann and Bryony Nesbitt spoke about disability representation in film and tv.

Moderator Kathy Coleman and panelists Cheryl Green, Courtney Hermann and Bryony Nesbitt spoke about disability representation in film and tv.

[Image description: Four adults seated in a row in front of a dark blue curtain. Electrical cables are visible on the floor beneath their chairs.]

Beyond showing audiences more nuanced representations of the disability community, DACP also wanted to equip more social justice-minded folks with the tools to make films, as well as amplify the voices of media makers from marginalized communities. What does this mean? Last week, one of DACP's board members, Cheryl Green, taught two free filmmaking classes. Participants storyboarded, filmed and edited one-minute movies on their personal devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.). These will be posted on the Portland ReelAbilities Facebook page. In addition, DACP filmed a panel about disability representation in film and tv with media makers from marginalized communities in front of a live audience, which will be available to watch online in June.

Portland Reelabilities Film Festival is Portland's first disability-themed film festival, one of fourteen ReelAbilities Film Festivals presented across the U.S. Buy tickets for the festival here.

Disability Art and Culture Project was one of Northwest Health Foundation's Learning Together, Connecting Communities partners. We've also sponsored several of their events.

Oregon Islamic Academy Students Build Bridges

Photos of Oregon Islamic Academy alumni on a bright blue background.

Muslim Educational Trust (MET)'s Oregon Islamic Academy is much more than a school. It's a launching pad for healthy futures, a sanctuary for Muslim students of all races and socioeconomic classes, a community of people who value learning in many different ways. It's also an excellent example of how culturally-specific education can support a child to succeed.

"I left MET a stronger person in my faith than I think I otherwise would have been. It's hard being a Muslim in today's society, but they helped build our confidence in that aspect of our identities by providing outreach, interfaith, and presentation opportunities for the students," said Mariam Said, an Oregon Islamic Academy class of 2012 alumna who is currently a teaching intern at Milwaukie High School.

Mariam says she has so many good memories of her time at MET, "it has all sort of melded into one warm feeling." She fondly remembers working with everyone in her high school to make a short film for their Islamic Studies project and celebrating graduation on the Portland Spirit.

Oregon Islamic Academy students take Islamic Studies and Arabic classes and pray together in the afternoon. They also take science and art, math and English, participate in service learning days and collaborate with other schools and community organizations. For example, Oregon Islamic Academy has partnered with Oregon Episcopal School on a class called American Story, in which students share and respond to immigrant stories. 

Students who are members of the Youth Ambassadors Club at Oregon Islamic Academy travel to schools throughout the area to give presentations and answer questions about being a Muslim student in Oregon. They've found students and staff at these schools to be very curious and welcoming. Oregon Islamic Academy staff see their students as reversing misconceptions about what an Islamic school is and who graduates from one. They also see their students as bridge builders, from their community to other communities.

When Oregon Islamic Academy was founded, it had 12 students. Today, it has grown to 160 K-12 students, some driving to Tigard every day from as far away as Vancouver, WA, plus a waiting list. Oregon Islamic Academy graduated its first high school class of two students in 2011; this year, it will have graduated 21 seniors since the inception of its high school program in 2007. So far, 100 percent of students have gone on to four-year colleges and have continued to put their faith into action by excelling in all that they do and by being committed, well-engaged citizens of the world.

Muslim Educational Trust is a Kaiser Permanente Community Fund funded partner.

VIDEO | Momentum Alliance and Metro Ask About Equity

What do community members in the Portland metro region have to say about equity? Momentum Alliance and Metro found out, and they made this video so that we could know too!

We will show up for equity, Metro and Momentum Alliance! Thanks for asking, and thank you for including voices that represent the diversity in our region.


A short history: Momentum Alliance started with a video--a documentary actually--called "Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth." The founders of Momentum Alliance were members of the youth crew that helped produce and distribute "Papers" nationally. Since their founding, Momentum Alliance remains committed to being youth-led and youth serving. Their board is two-thirds youth (under 25).

Momentum Alliance was founded with a grant from the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund at NWHF. They are also a Lead Organization for one of our Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Organizing Grant communities.