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Updated: New Nonprofit Will Teach Social Justice to Portland Bars and Restaurants

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A way for socially-conscious eaters to find out if a business shares their values

The One Portland team
One Portland

Updated 9.27.17: The price for a one-month membership to One Portland is $100, not $300, as originally reported. One Portland tells Eater the $300 figure was an error on its website. The $100 amount is flexible if need be.

“The most important part of the program is the workshop element,” One Portland founder Steven Cook writes. “Everybody at One Portland is a volunteer. All money that comes in is filtered out to the participating community-based social justice organizations (Raphael House of Portland and the Main Street Alliance).”

Original coverage, 9.21.17: Established in response to growing tensions around the intersection of food and equality, cultural appropriation, and other hot-button topics, One Portland is a newly founded nonprofit dedicated to educating bars and restaurants on these social subjects. It’s only one month old, but if it gains steam, it would be a way for socially conscious eaters to find out whether they’re frequenting a business that shares their values.

One Portland’s website reads: Over the last six months, as local business owners in Portland, it has become increasingly clear that our long-held values of justice, respect, and inclusivity must be explicit, public, and transformed into concrete action.

So how will it work? Once a bar or restaurant joins, One Portland and its partnership community organizations — currently Raphael House of Portland and the Main Street Alliance because they "have a strong track record and are organizations led by people of color, LGBTQ folks, immigrants, and women" — will promote its commitment to social justice in a variety of ways, including through its media channels and by providing stickers to hang in windows.

The cost of membership is $300 $100 a month (plus a monthly $30 gift card), and all participating bar and restaurants will serve as donation hubs to local community-based organizations. In exchange, the staff at these community organizations will provide biannual training sessions to bar and restaurant staff on important social justice issues in Portland, including “Portland's racial history, human trafficking, coercion, and microaggressions.”

These workshops would be mandatory. To remain a member, at least 75 percent of a local business’s staff must have taken the workshops.

Church bar owner Steven Cook founded One Portland. The organization is actively seeking new businesses to join through its website.


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