Need to Feel Some Hope for Oregon’s Future? Meet Qiddist Ashé.

She’s helping to cultivate a new generation of Black farmers.

This week’s issue of Willamette Week features Give!Guide. It not only outlines the paper’s annual directory of local nonprofits, organized for easy comprehension and maximum philanthropic opportunity at every income level, but it also spotlights the next generation of nonprofit luminaries via the yearly Skidmore Prize.

If this year’s election is giving you the heebie jeebies, the profiles of the five Skidmore Prize recipients will almost certainly restore your hope for the future of Oregon.

This week I’m talking to Qiddist Ashé, co-founder and executive director of the Black Oregon Land Trust. The land trust, or BOLT, helps maintain Black owned farmlands, build networks, and engage rural communities in order to cultivate a new generation of Black farmers. I am a person who has gardened while Black, aspires to rural living, and champions motherhood, so Ashé's work is very relevant to my interests.

I’m also going to catch up with WW’s City Hall reporter, Sophie Peel, in anticipation of the upcoming election, to get the scuttlebutt on Mayor Ted Wheeler’s new solution to street camping. Spoiler: It’s either relocate to the city’s designated areas or go to jail. Well, it’s actually way more complicated. But Sophie is gonna break it down for us.

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