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  Portland event encourages people to return downtown   With music and positive words, the Sunday event aimed to provide a contrast to recent conflicts downtown  

Story by Christelle Koumoué (KGW) - Story Source
Published on Monday April 26, 2021 - 6:59 AM
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PORTLAND, Oregon - After almost a year of unrest, violence and destruction in downtown Portland, "I Choose Love PDX" is on a mission to change the narrative.

"Obviously, the need for change was clear, because what we had wasn't working for all," said Ray Leary with the organization.

I Choose Love is a collective of concerned citizens who formed last year in the wake of violent clashes downtown involving police, federal agents and opposing groups of demonstrators.

The organization believes peaceful assembly is the hallmark of social justice. "We realized that our nation, our city and communities are in deep need of a transformative healing," explained Leary, "and toward that end, we have created programs along those lines."

Their programs include youth camps in partnership with first responders. The group also organizes community events, like Saturday's concert at Pioneer Square to encourage Portlanders to get out and rediscover their city.