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Front Porch Sessions at The Alberta Street Pub
September 19, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm$10
One Host, Three Storytellers, Three Questions and a whole lot of conversations. Please join us as Front Porch Sessions kicks off its first event of the year on September 19th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Alberta Street Pub in Northeast Portland. Get ready to once again make less strangers in the world!
Theme: “Back to School”
with story tellers:
Ezell Watson III
Depart in Love. This is what the name “Ezell” means. Born and raised in Birmingham Alabama, the product of high school aged parents, I believe “It takes a village.” My village has been a mobile one, attending college in Virginia and Alabama, and working and living in various villages across the U.S—from the Southeast Panhandle to the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been called a renaissance man, but I’d like to consider myself simply a connoisseur of life. I’m a practicing yogi, roller-skater, and lover of worldly cuisine (aka foodie). When I arrived in Portland in 2012, I discovered my home. The motto, “Keep Portland Weird” resonated with me. The idea that we’re ‘normalizing weirdness’ speaks to the spirit of acceptance that I encountered upon arrival.
In my various roles in the Church, I began to tap-into the storyteller that I believe resides in all of us. Every step of my life’s journey has generated vivid stories that I remember without the bounds of time. Storytelling liberated me from confining constructs such as patriarchy, capitalism, and xenophobia—to name a few. Through ‘owning’ my stories, and thus feeling comfortable sharing them, I have been able to connect with souls that have led and continue to lead my personal growth and healing. I’m honored to participate in the Front Porch Storytelling Series. My hope is that I promote smiles and happiness in the atmosphere, and that everyone who engages in my story ‘departs in love.’
I think in my heart I am a visual artist and in a different life I’d spend my days in the studio. In this life I somehow found myself drawn to education and have spent my career in youth development programs for under-served youth. I believe there is a huge educational debt owed to our students of color, immigrant students and other marginalized groups. I agreed to participate in Front Porch Sessions in the hope that through story we can gain greater empathy for those of us whose stories aren’t often heard.
I am Brandon Saephan. I am 23 years old Laotian male from North Portland, specifically St. Johns. I currently work for a non-profit organization called Camp Fire Columbia, I work for their teen programs. I’ve been doing youth work since I was in high school, it was recently that I found full time employment- the site that I happen to work at is George Middle School. If you know the North Portland area and the stigma that comes with residing from here you know that growing up for some of the youth here was not a walk in the park. The adversity that I’ve seen my peers go through ranges from scarce kitchens to gang affiliation. But that’s the negative, too often we don’t talk about the roses that grow from these concrete sidewalks. I look forward to sharing some of these stories through Front Porch Sessions.
[See also the official Front Porch Sessions website]