The 10th annual Love in Motion storytelling event, formally known as Live the Revolution, took center stage on Friday, February 7, returning again at the Alberta Abbey. This year featured stories from Ashley Henry, Mike Clark, Cameron Whitten, and Jackie Yerby.
Judge Kemp, Programs & Events Director walks back and forth giving instruction to volunteers trickling into the old converted church. There is a nervous energy in the air and private conversation had between a group of volunteers thinking about taking a shot of alcohol to calm their nerves. Caroline Crisp, Programs & Events Assistant, randomly begins dancing no longer able to contain themselves from the excitement of it all. There is a loud screech from the microphone followed by Neo-soul music playing softly over the speakers. At 6:30, attendees began to trickle in. After brief stops in the cafe for beer and pizza, the attendees along with the volunteer's nerves settled in for the program.
After welcoming everyone, Jillian Detweiler, Executive Director of The Street Trust, introduced emcee Leah Benson, founder of Gladys Bikes. Leah warmed up the crowd with an applause exercise of standing up and clapping as hard as possible to set the mood for the night and encourage the storytellers.
First up to the stage was Executive Director of Business for Better Portland, Ashley Henry. Ashley started off by reflecting on her more carefree and car-free times as a vocalist and riding her bike. With lots of lighthearted swearing and uncontrollable giggles from the crowd, she explained how riding gave her strength and confidence to conquer Portland’s hills. Now, she spends time making the case that transportation options are good for business.
Mike Clark, Bike Education Instructor at The Street Trust and Community Cycling Center, followed Ashley to the stage and spoke of his love for dirt biking and passion for educating 5th graders about biking. His insightful and heartwarming take on his work inspired us all to look at biking through the eyes of a 5th grader.
Preceding intermission, the evening was revved up again by surprise guest, Steph Routh, storyteller. Steph gave a rousing appeal to everyone to do their civic duty and fill out the 2020 census. She also asked the crowd to support The Street Trust. This was a perfect segway into LGBTQ+ and racial justice activist Cameron Whitten, candidate for Metro Council.
Cameron, Executive Director of Portland Q Center, launched the second half of the show with his compelling and emotional story of discrimination, fear, and compassion dealing with a particular ride on the Portland Street Car. Ze described in detail the violent physical removal by Portland Police after vocalizing concerns and questionable conditions as a passenger just a few short years ago.
The final storyteller, Jackie Yerby, delivered the tear-jerker. Jackie is an active transportation Advocate and Community Cycling Center Board Member. She spoke of her friendships and involvement with Cycle Oregon. Jackie described Cycle Oregon as helping her become a better cyclist and how the ride continues to challenge her each year to push harder and go farther.
Raffle prizes capped off the evening. Attendees won a Roule cycling kit, a Fully office chair, a Showers Pass rain jacket, bike gear, and the grand prize, a 2020 Kona Dr. Dew bike courtesy of Sellwood Cycle Repair!
We were so grateful for those who could come out and enjoy this special evening with us. Thank you, and see you next year!