refugees and immigrants in Portland

Portland Meets Portland

The innovative "Pass the Mic" summer music camp pairing music pros and young refugees and immigrants will give a free concert Friday.

It used to be that a piece of good news brought some cheer and then I’d move on. I don’t know if it is true for you or not, but these days a piece of good news makes me also feel a palpable sense of relief that not all is bleak in this world of ours. That is particularly true if it concerns issues around refugees and immigrants, a domain where misery and heartbreak dominate the current news cycle.

So share my joy in reporting about the newest venture by Portland Meet Portland, a young organization that provides one-on-one professional mentoring, citizenship and language classes, youth leadership development, and cross-cultural dialogue for immigrants and refugees: It calls itself “a cultural exchange right in your backyard.”

Shredding it at “Pass the Mic” camp.

It also offers music, in the new summer camp Pass the Mic, which will culminate in a free, open performance on Friday, July 20 by the youth bands taking part in the camp. Twenty-five young musicians, originally from Africa, India, and South America, have been at the camp, working with 10 experienced Portland musicians.