On June 1, a longtime Timbers Army capo and member of our gameday ops committee, posted a blog about his experience as a Black member of the 107ist and it has put our own systemic, institutional racism front and center for the board of directors. The experience detailed in the blog was not a one-off experience, and the board has been confronted with the hard truth that we have biases and have not been doing nearly enough to be actively anti-racist and radically inclusive. We apologize to our friends and fellow supporters for failing them, leaving them to do the work of pointing out our mistakes and the hurdles that have been in place.
On June 4, the board asked for 30 days to develop a plan to start restructuring and identify steps that will bring us closer to the organization we want to be. We realize we have not centered BIPOC voices in our decision making or created sufficient pathways to participation or leadership.
Since then, several BIPOC members of the 107ist have volunteered to form a committee. Here is an update from the team:
Today, July 4, the board is sharing our plans for changing the organization to be better. In the process, we have identified paths toward not only addressing the issues regarding racism and not centering BIPOC voices, but also toward other areas of improvement, including better communication, more transparency, and more inclusivity.
Below are the different areas that the board is working to improve over the next 5 months. We have identified Board Leads for each area so our membership can hold us accountable as well as know who to reach out to if able to help these efforts.
In addition to the move forward plan, the board has also done the following over the last 30 days:
We want to do this work alongside our members, see an area that you want to be involved in? Email the board members responsible. All emails can be found here. We will also be reaching out for help in various ways over the coming weeks and months.
If you would like to join the BIPOC team, please email the team directly at BIPOC@107ist.org. This email address does not go to the board, but to the members of the BIPOC team.
For more information on any of the items listed above, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members have also asked what we, the board, are doing to learn more about systemic racism, how to be an antiracist, and the issues with racism in the United States. Many of us have been spending time reflecting and discussing past and present issues regarding racism and privilege with friends, coworkers, and family. We are looking to bring these changes not only to the 107ist and our work on the board, but to our workplace and other community groups which we belong to. Below is a list of educational material we have been engaged with that focus on re-centering Black experiences and other diverse voices:
General Admission and the North End go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. Like avocado and toast. Like Sinc and Tobin or Diego and Diego.
The North End should stay General Admission. In 2012, the 107ist board wrote down a long list of reasons why it is vital that the Timbers Army sections remain General Admission. Since 2013, the Riveters have also been rooted in the General Admission sections of the North End. When the North End is full to the rafters, our singing makes it easy for the whole stadium to join in.
Please take a few minutes to read the blog post and the comments.
Today the Timbers & Thorns sent out a “July Supporter* Survey” inside the June Gate E newsletter. The Front Office is looking to learn more about Annual Members’ feelings regarding Safe Standing terraces.
The 107ist board recommends that every season ticket holder fill out the survey and use this opportunity to let the Front Office know your interest in Safe Standing, like what is available in 8 other MLS & NWSL stadiums. In each one of these stadiums, the terraces have either been added or built to create a different kind of home field advantage and a unique supporter experience.
The 107ist board also wants to provide some additional context as to why we think the this survey is targeting your preference with regards to Reserved Seating as opposed to adding Safe Standing to the General Admission North End.
While the survey is being presented to inquire about how Annual Members feel about Safe Standing, many of the questions also relate to your future ticketing preferences, which also means ticket pricing. These topics are not new to the 107ist board, as Safe Standing has been discussed with the Front Office since 2013. Their original proposals for terraces called for the North End sections of the lower bowl (100 level) to be converted and then specific sections of the upper bowl (200 level) would become Reserved Seats. The board opposed the loss of General Admission seats. And Reserved Seats also means more expensive tickets. See below for the price breakdown for 2020 season tickets for Thorns and Timbers:
2020 Thorns Reserve Seat season ticket, lowest price: $215
2020 Timbers General Admission season tickets: $475
2020 Timbers Reserve Seat season ticket, lowest price: $600
The 107ist board has been advocating for Safe Standing in the North End since 2013. Safe Standing should not equal more Reserved tickets as it would make it harder for new fans to experience their first Timbers or Thorns match. We already have issues with scalpers around Providence Park, and this would make General Admission tickets even more valuable on the secondary market. Most importantly, shrinking the number of General Admission sections would severely impact the gameday atmosphere for which Providence Park has become known. Safe Standing should not be an either/or argument. Safe Standing can happen while the North End remains General Admission.
We want Providence Park to have Safe Standing Terraces. But not at the expense of pricing out our current members or new fans. It is as important today as it was in 2012 that the Supporters sections remain General Admission.
*Note: while the survey is listed as a “supporter survey”, the survey was not administered in partnership with the 107ist board.
The 107 Independent Supporters Trust and Community Outreach Committee are pleased to announce the award of an additional $10,435 in micro-grants to community organizations. These funds are being dispersed to 22 organizations who are all working to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on individuals in our local communities. For many people, these organizations represent a lifeline, including access to food, utility payments, housing, technology, healthcare, translation services, job services, or other necessities. They also represent access to experiences like soccer, summer camp, books, and the arts. We are pleased to award this money, and encourage you to amplify our impact by visiting, learning, and sharing information about these organizations. Some organizations are large and established, others are newer to the scene, but all are doing remarkable work.
This second round of grants includes funding for the following organizations: Boise-Eliot/Humboldt PTA, Q Center, Woodlawn Farmers Market, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Camp ELSO, Black Resilience Fund, Portland Community Football Club, Northwest United Women’s Soccer Inc, Harmony Event Medicine, In4All, Girls Inc of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon Food Bank, Hillsboro Farmers’ Markets, and the Portland Chapter of the Alliance of the Guardian Angels. We were also able to provide additional awards to several groups that were partially funded during the first round of funding: Y.O.U.th (Youth Organized and United to help), Write Around Portland, Rosehip Medic Collective, JOIN PDX, Friendly House, Equitable Giving Circle, Howard’s Heart, and Grow Portland.
We encourage everyone to check out the fantastic work being done by these groups. If you have time or resources to donate, many of them have asked specifically for volunteers, dollars, and in-kind donations. You can find those needs on our community giving pages: timbersarmy.org/org-needs and rosecityriveters.org/caring. These sites will continue to be updated if we receive additional requests.
As we all know, our greatest asset as an organization is our dedicated and caring membership. If you wish to help with outreach efforts such as donation drives or group volunteer opportunities, please contact email@example.com. We’d love to hear your ideas or connect you with ways to help. Thank you for supporting this work.
The following is post from Todd Diskin.
The list of BLM Resources started with a callout from Nando on Twitter a little more than a week ago. I’d been helping create resource lists for my job at Hands On Greater Portland and with a similar list of anti-racism resources from members of the Rose City Riveters, so I offered to help out.
The resources list is organized with information about how to support the protests in Portland at the top. Next are organizations you can connect with, other ways you can help, and then, finally, a long list of ways you can educate yourself. It’s organized this way to emphasize the importance of direct action as a means to advocate for change.
Now that we are in our third week of protest marches in Portland, the results of taking to the streets have significantly shifted the conversation at City Hall and the state capitol. Our community is making itself heard in response to the calls from Black leaders for justice and changes to policing in Portland. White folx need to keep supporting this movement, keep showing up, and be led by Black organizers.
The BLM resource list also includes many ways to support organizations who have been doing the work in the Black community, as well as ways you can spread some cheddar around to help out Black-owned businesses, community farms, and other groups.
Finally, we have a number of ways for you to get educated: reading lists, podcasts, training, and even more lists of resources are at your disposal to help you learn. Start where you feel comfortable and push yourself to get uncomfortable. Build your knowledge. Then ... do something.
This is “the start of a list” because information is fluid and dynamic. It began with what a small group of us have collected. We welcome and need your feedback, additions, and edits to help broaden how we can take action. You’ll find a link at the top of the document to follow to provide any new resources, edits, or input.
I’m grateful to those who’ve contributed so far; I’m inspired daily by the outpouring of support. We have a long way to go, but the daily work adds up.
The following is a post from Rachael Travis.
We’ve all seen it … someone has an idea on Twitter. No, really! A good idea. An “Oh, dammmmmnnn. Why didn’t I think of that?!” kind of idea.
There’s a kind of cycle that happens: An idea is thrown out there, people get really excited, we all brainstorm in an abstract way, someone @’s a board member, and then … “That’s a great idea! Thank you for volunteering.” I used to think those seven words were a metaphorical door slammed in the face of ideas. Boy howdy, was I wrong.
Earlier this year, Dawn had the amazing idea that there should be some kind of Riveters’ version of the front office’s Axe photos. She articulated that she didn’t have the capacity to be the task manager behind the project, so I jumped in and, before I knew it, Rose Poses happened. I’m being a little hyperbolic, but this project that I thought would take months to plan took mere weeks with a lot of support.
Roses Poses wasn’t the first 107IST-supported event I helped organize. In 2018, I came to the board to pitch the idea of bystander intervention training — and I came prepared. I had multiple options for what a training could look like, I had researched different groups from around Portland that could lead them, and I also a fundraising plan. I was ready to come in and have to do all of the heavy lifting. I wish I had footage of my face when the board told me that they would be fully funding the trainings and that they already had a space in mind. Having an idea, especially one so deeply personal and rooted in pain, be supported and encouraged is a rare gift.
Having had the bystander intervention training experience in my pocket, you’d think I would’ve remembered that 107IST members almost never have to reinvent the wheel. But repetition is the key to learning, and apparently, I needed another event-planning experience to truly learn about all the resources this organization makes available to us.
Back to Rose Poses …
When I agreed to take on the project, I truly thought I’d be on my own: I’d be setting up a black sheet in my garage and taking everyone’s picture by myself, while hoping people wouldn’t mind hanging out in my yard for hours. Instead, I put out an ask on Twitter for some volunteers to help plan and run the event. All of a sudden, I had a team to help.
Then, while we were trying to figure out where to hold the photoshoot, Gabby reached out and let us know we could use the Fanladen. That’s when I learned that members can ask and reserve that space — because it is our space. Y’all might already know that, but my mind was blown. Through the 107IST network, we found a few great photographers who volunteered their time and talents, even a couple backup photographers when Covid changed our original plan. It felt like magic when snacks, a professional lighting setup, and a background showed up. Of course it isn’t magic — it’s the support and resources of this community.
107IST is a member-driven community, not a board-driven one. Without us, this doesn’t exist. I want to acknowledge that I am speaking from a place of white privilege, so when I say “Oh, just pitch an idea, and it’ll come together!” I know that my experience is not universal, and that not all ideas are embraced and supported as enthusiastically as mine have been. Three months ago, when I was originally planning this post, I wanted to share the privilege of my experience planning events, something that feels even more important now than it did then. I imagined a laundry list of all the resources hidden in the Fanladen (did you know we have a button-maker?!), instead I want to uplift the truly endless resource that is a community with endless expertise and passions.
The board probably can’t write a blank check for a passion project, but when you hear “that’s a great idea! Thanks for volunteering.” I hope you hear what it really means “That’s a great idea! Thank you for volunteering. Please let us know how we can support you!”
If you have an idea you want to pitch to the board, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you aren’t sure where to start, my DMs are open (@rachael_with2as)
I didn’t know how to do any of this until I tried. I want to support you while you try.
A long-time Timbers Army member has donated a first edition No Pity Scarf, which we are raffling off to benefit Urban League of Portland.
Here’s how to enter:
We failed to listen to and incorporate the views and needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who identify as Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters. We ignored opportunities to listen to our community about concerns that are vital to them — not just this time, but many times.
We failed our community, and we commit to dismantling structures that keep BIPOC not only from speaking, but also from being heard.
Effective immediately, we will:
We will get back to you within the next 30 days with a more structured plan. We are getting to work.
The 107IST board of directors
The Rose City Riveters, Timbers Army, and the 107IST are anti-racist.
We strongly oppose the systems of racism and injustice that have caused so many black deaths in our country and our communities. We continue to mourn the loss of black lives at the hands of police and others.
During this time of remarkable loss and fear, we recognize the hardship faced by people of color at all times. We encourage everyone to take action and speak up about what is happening in our communities. Listen to the voices of those who have lived this reality for their whole lives, and amplify them. Now is not the time for silence, and we are never silent.
The NWSL Supporters Code of Conduct states that “We will not tolerate hateful or discriminatory words or actions based on race, gender identity, sexuality, citizenship status or nationality, age, appearance, disability, religious or cultural identity.” The new MLS Supporters Code of Conduct includes similar language. These are statements of our values, both within our stadium and in our community.
Now is the time to take action on those values in support of black lives. In the coming days, we will be providing information and directing Riveters and Timbers Army to ways they can help, both in Portland and nationally.
Please stay safe, be well, and speak up.
#BlackLivesMatter #BAONPDX #RCTID
It started simply enough in mid-April: Organizations locally and around the country were begging for masks for their essential workers. Many folks were spending their time and money to sew as many as they could, but the demand was far greater than the thousands of crafters could meet. How can we as an organization help locally?, we asked. So we launched Project Face Masks. We were a bit reluctant at first: Could we really sell 1,000 masks? The response, however, blew our expectations completely out of the water.
We sold that initial 1,000 masks in two hours — and 3,000 in 12 hours. The response was so incredible and the demand so great that we opened up another order … and then another.
As of this writing, we have:
Those orders came from 43 states and D.C., totaling 1,277 participants (76 percent of whom are 107IST members).
We still have organizations who are hoping for masks, though. So, we're making things even more enticing! From now through 9 p.m. (Pacific) on Sunday, May 31:
Yes, multiple purchases and guest registrations get you multiple entries.
This project has been an immense success, and we thank all of you for your support!
As we try to come to grips with the realities of the current situation, we see many organizations attempting to find a way to return to some semblance of normalcy.
While we’re hopeful for the return of sport as fans, our concern lies squarely with the health and safety of players, coaches, support staff, and the community at large. We continue to have reservations that a return to play happening too quickly risks too much.
We await the day when we can safely support our squads in person. Until then, we wish everyone good health.