Think & Drink on Poverty, Displacement, and Housing Inequality

Creative approaches for a city in crisis

Tim LaBarge

Our 2017 Think & Drink series on race, power, and place concludes Wednesday, May 17 with a conversation about creative approaches to combatting poverty, displacement, and housing inequality in Portland.

Like many American cities, Portland is in the grips of a housing crisis. Rapid population growth, a shortage of houses and apartments, and skyrocketing rents and home prices have forced many families to move far from the jobs, schools, and communities where they feel at home. 

At this event, we'll talk with Portland leaders and activists working on creative ways to mitigate the effects of the city's housing shortage and build more stable, prosperous communities. Our guests include Alan Hipólito, executive director of Verde, and John W. Haines, executive director of Mercy Corps Northwest. Adam Davis, executive director of Oregon Humanities, will moderate the conversation.

Verde is a social enterprise and advocacy organization focused on building environmental wealth through projects benefiting low-income communities and communities of color. It is a founding partner in Living Cully, a collaborative effort with Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, Hacienda Community Development Corporation, and Native American Youth and Family Center that reinterprets sustainability as an anti-poverty strategy by concentrating environmental investments at the neighborhood scale.

Mercy Corps Northwest provides a variety of programs to assist low-income citizens of Oregon and Washington to create more productive, secure, and satisfying lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. Their efforts include the first-ever community investment trust, a financial arrangement designed to enable people to make small investments in commercial property in their community.

Tickets ($7.50 general admission, $10 preferred seating) are available now. Reserve your seat at

Think & Drink takes place at the Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. We hope you'll stick around after the program for free snacks and conversation. Minors welcome when accompanied by an adult.

Think & Drink is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust: Oregonians investing in Oregon’s arts, heritage, and humanities. We are also thankful for the support of our media sponsor, Willamette Week; our corporate sponsors, Tonkon Torp and Stoel Rives; and our community partners, Portland Housing CenterNorth Star Civic FoundationCity Club of Portland, and Agora Journalism Center.


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