Dear Portland Community, 

After two and a half years of collective stewardship, Critical Resistance Portland (CR PDX) announces with bittersweetness that as of January 1, 2021, the Dismantle, Change, Build Center (DCBC) will no longer operate out of its recent home at the corner of Killingsworth and Williams. The DCBC has served as a homebase for community organizing in NE Portland since July 2018, when CR PDX brought together community organizations to keep the space (formerly In Other Words feminist bookstore) open with a new collective leadership and rent model, reflecting the collective world we are building toward. Along with Critical Resistance, Don’t Shoot Portland, Portland Books to Prisoners, PDX Alliance for Self-Care, Brown Girl Rise, and SURJ PDX – Black Lives Matter Group have continued to organize in the space to this day, along with several others who have shared the space at times throughout its existence. The name Dismantle, Change, Build Center drew from Critical Resistance’s abolitionist framework to dismantle the prison industrial complex (PIC), change the common sense practices around what safety and security truly mean for communities, and build the resources and alternatives to the PIC.

 

The choice to no longer organize in this space is a hard and necessary one, reflecting the current reality of our socially-distanced organizing and the movement of community events to outdoor and online spaces to support our collective safety. As we make the decision to pause on having a physical location at this time, we are also filled with deep appreciation for partnerships, all of the organizers, and the energy that everyone has contributed to the space over the last 2.5 years. Since 2018, we’ve had countless events in the space, been a home to numerous organizations, and provided an essential homebase for social justice organizing in NE Portland. We invite our community to stay tuned for the possibility of a closing celebration of all the powerful organizing and community building that the space has held, when we can all be safely together.

 

As CR PDX, we look forward to building another more permanent organizing home in the future. In the meantime, we know that transition and change is an opportunity for growth and transformation, and we are excited to be living our politics of radical imagination, and not clinging to things, be they resources or ideas, when it is time to let them go. Dreaming new possibilities is foundational to PIC abolition, a politic that requires creativity, to build with what is currently available, to direct the resources of time and money that we have to stay connected with people and the work. With the loss of this space, we are also holding hope for what is made possible by this transition.

 

As with the opening of the DCBC, the shift to organizing during a global pandemic has been a new era in Portland organizing. When the COVID-19 outbreak began, CR PDX adapted our traditional mail nights into a decentralized, dispersed model that has not only kept up correspondence, but expanded it exponentially with our #WriteThemAll program. We are so grateful for folks who are putting labor into volunteer opportunities over Zoom and from their homes! If you are interested in getting or staying involved, we are still actively accepting volunteers for our Write Them All and prisoner correspondence programs — sign up for our email list, and check out our Linktr.ee for all links of ways to be involved in one place. Like CR PDX, our DCBC partner organizations continue to do their invaluable work as well. For folks wishing to volunteer, support financially, follow the work and otherwise get in touch with these essential community organizations and projects, up-to-date contact information for each of the groups is listed below.

 

Our intention with DCBC has always been to reflect the world we are fighting for. Creating and maintaining community spaces is crucial to our vision of self-determined communities in Portland, especially as we seek to abolish the PIC and build up the resources that we need. At a time when gentrification is rapidly displacing communities in Portland, the DCBC has provided a much needed shared community resource to serve as a home for our movements to flourish, one that included a radical blend of meeting, event, and organizing space, as well as a homebase for local producers and artists to share their work. As the original home of the Albina Arts Center, the building where DCBC came to be has been an important part of the Black community in Portland for decades and into the present; Don’t Shoot Portland continues to hold down organizing work and support the Black community from the space next door, and it is our hope that the building itself will one day soon return to the Black community.

 

While we are no longer holding this space together, we are continuing to reimagine what organizing can look like. We remain committed to the framework of Dismantle, Change, Build, in whatever forms it may take, and carry forward the principles of the space in our work to abolish the prison industrial complex and to any and all future home bases each of our organizations will find.

 

In solidarity and struggle,

Critical Resistance Portland


Want to stay in touch with the organizations that made up DCBC?

Contact information is below:

Critical Resistance Portland: crpdx@criticalresistance.org

Don’t Shoot Portland: contact@dontshootpdx.org

 

DSPDX CENTER FOR ADVOCACY AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

18 NE KILLINGSWORTH ST PORTLAND, OR 97217 

 

Books to Prisoners: pdxbookstoprisoners@riseup.net

The address that incarcerated folks can use to write and request books is

92 Pike St., Box A

Seattle, WA, 98101

 

PDX Alliance for Self-Care: tamia@pdxasc.org

Brown Girl Rise: browngirlrisepdx@gmail.com

SURJ PDX – Black Lives Matter Action Group: calendar@surjpdx.org

other social and racial justice

organizations to protect and revitalize one of Portland’s community spac

es with a new collective

leadership and rent model.