All Invited to Celebrate Five-Year Anniversary of Meg Perry Center in Remembrance of Community Activist Meg Perry
Please join us on December 10th, 6-10pm, at the Meg Perry Center 644 Congress St. Portland to celebrate the life of community activist Meg Perry and the Center named after her. The event will be a potluck with some appetizers provided by Local Sprouts Cooperative. Attendees will have a chance to meet many of the community activists and groups that have launched from the Center, engage in a community-driven art project, listen to local musicians and discuss and celebrate peace, justice and community. The evening will feature music from Snaex (featuring Chriss Sutherland and Christopher Teret) and Megan Yates and Reverie Machine.
The Meg Perry Center has served for the last 5 years as an incubator hub for organizations, businesses and social movements. December 10th is International Human Rights Day and marks 7 years since the death of Meg Perry, who gave her life while working on Hurricane relief efforts. There is a suggested donation of $5-$10. Donations will be split evenly between relief work for victims of Hurricane Sandy and the Meg Perry Center.
The Meg Perry Center started in 2007 out of a collaboration to start a center for peace, justice, sustainability and community in Portland, Maine. Several different groups started meeting early that year to create a vision for a center that would be accessible to the community and build connections and collaborations between the diverse work that we involved in. Several groups were without an existing space and other groups had to move for different reasons, so we were seeking a space in downtown Portland that we could call home. Former Peace Action Maine Director, Danny Muller, met with Saul Fontenot-Amedee, an organizer for the People's Free Space, about a store-front space that he had found on Congress St. Peace Action Maine had been based at the Peace and Justice Center for many years on the 4th floor of a building on Center Street and the People's Free Space was in small store-front in the East End of Portland.
Both organizations had to move and so they decided to join forces together and collaborate on creating a center on Congress St. At one of the first meetings, we were trying to come up with a name and Wells Staley-Mays from Peace Action Maine suggested that we name the center after someone who inspired us. After a few names were put out, someone said "the Meg Perry Center" in honor of People's Free Space organizer Meg Perry who died in 2005. As soon as it was said, we knew that was the name and added the byline of "for Peace, Justice and Community."
Since the founding of the Meg Perry Center in 2007, the Center has changed, grown, and given birth to many organizations and projects. The People's Free Space changed into the Foglight Collective and after a year the Foglight Collective dissolved and its project Local Sprouts Cooperative started using the Center as an organizing space. Peace Action Maine and other organizers have organized many events, music shows, workshops and talks. In 2008 and 2009, several new organizations became based at the Meg Perry Center including the Portland Food Co-op, the Fur Cultural Revival (a part of the Darfur Community Centyer of Maine), and Centro Latino. The organizational structure of the Meg Perry Center was changed and brought under the banner of the Community Building Collaborative, so that the center would be run collaboratively by the different organizations that were based that the center.
As of November of 2011 the Meg Perry Center is home to Peace Action Maine, the Fur Cultural Revival, and Occupy Maine.After four years, the Meg Perry Center has become a beacon in the Portland community and has truly become a center for peace, justice and community. It has become a incubator and a source of inspiration for new organizations and organizers in our richly diverse community.