Bad Encounter Line Portland General Interest Meeting 1 28 12

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Bad Encounter Line PDX General Interest Meeting


  • Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012
  • Time: 4:00pm until 6:00pm
  • Location: In Other Words 14 NE Killingsworth, Portland, OR 97217
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Chicago's Bad Encounter Line (BEL) is a project and an organizing tool of Young Women's Empowerment Project, a youth-led grass-roots community group that uses harm reduction approach to support and empower girls and young women (including transgender girls and young women) involved in street economies.

BEL is a way for youth (girls, boys, and others) to report bad experiences they have had with institutions that are supposed to help them, such as social services, health care system, welfare system, police, etc. They use reports to share information among the youth, pressure these institutions to do better job providing assistance to youth, improve their staff training, and hold them accountable.

We think Portland needs a similar project. We are alarmed by increasingly police-centered approach that our public and non-profit institutions are taking to "protect" youth (e.g. shutting down Occupy Portland to evict youth so that they would be forced to return to youth services, outreach workers asked to "ride along" the police car for prostitution sweeps), and feel that a project similar to BEL would help counter the trend.

Some things to note
  • While we (the organizers) are currently a group of adults concerned about what other adults as well as social institutions are doing to the youth, we intend to operate from youth-centered, anti-adultism perspective. We are going to provide some resources at the meeting to help adult participants (including ourselves) learn how to become better allies for youth rights. In the meantime, some resources can be here in case you want to read ahead:​resources-3/​information-clearinghouse/​orc-adult-allies/
  • If you can, please read about YWEP/BEL before the meeting. The material can be found at
  • If you are a social worker or medical professional, we welcome you and your expertise--we love insurgent youth workers! But please come as an individual, not as a representative of your agency; nobody should attend the meeting on their employer's time. We want to keep this an organizing event, not a social service provider networking event.
  • If you are a member of the police force or other law enforcement agencies, please do not attend the meeting. Please contact the organizer privately if you want to help.
  • We want to support a formation of youth leadership team to facilitate youth-only discussion/organizing groups. Start a conversation with youth in your life who might be interested, and invite them to our meeting if you feel it is appropriate to do that.
Please spread the word!

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