Standing in the Gap…Together – tonight, 6:30 pm

The spirit of cross class/race partnerships? Simple. The practice of partnerships across difference? Complicated. Justice demands thoughtful attention.

Nancy M. Thurston and Sharon Gary-Smith have led very different lives, yet both are committed to forging partnerships right in the middle of the gaps that cut across our world. In their unique ways, both have worked to address and understand injustice through listening to diverse voices, diving into challenging conversations, and engaging in transformative action.

Along the way, Nancy, a financially wealthy Euro-American woman, and Sharon, a middle class African American woman, discovered that the way to change the system was to change their own lives.

Please join us for a conversation about how we can understand each other, our differences, and our similarities and how, by working together, we can ensure our commitment to social justice becomes our reality.

Seating is limited, please RSVP online or call us at 503-289-1517 to reserve your seat.

This event is free and wheelchair accessible.

Presenter Information

Nancy Thurston’s wealth flows from West Texas natural gas fields, yet she is committed to sustainable resources. Nancy worked for fifteen years as a physical therapist but didn’t fully land in her own body, including her white skin, until middle age. She immersed herself in the past to learn to be present. Nancy lives in Portland, Oregon, but knows her neighborhood is global.  Big Topics at Midnight: A Texas Girl Wakes Up to Race, Class, Gender and Herself is her first book.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Sharon Gary-Smith learned at an early age that while her family’s middle class status provided wonderful opportunities and experiences, it didn’t shield her from those who attempted to diminish, disrespect or ignore her, all because of her skin color, gender and short stature. Sharon has been a leader in social justice philanthropy, civil rights, and health equity for over two decades in both Portland and Atlanta, Georgia. As the executive director of MRG Foundation, Sharon leads a multi-racial, cross-class effort to build the social justice movement through activist-led philanthropy.


6:30pm – 9:00pm
3727 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland

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