Civic engagement by people of all ages and from a variety of life experiences is critical to foster lasting change and build lasting bridges.

Join us for a fantastic lineup of speakers and explore tips, tools & inspiration to help you advocate for the issues of importance to you.

This Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm – registration required, but at NO COST

Guest speakers:

Cameron Whitten: Cameron Whitten (all pronouns) is a community activist, small business owner, and nonprofit executive. At the age of eighteen, Cameron worked themself out of youth homelessness in Portland and has spent the past decade giving back to the very same community that was here when they needed it the most. They have a Bachelor’s of Economics from PSU and are currently enrolled as an MBA student at Willamette University. Cameron recently served as the Executive Director of Q Center, and is the founder of racial justice nonprofit Brown Hope and the Black Resilience Fund. They serve on the Board of Directors of local nonprofits such as REACH CDC, Venture Portland, and Pioneer Courthouse Square.

George E. Hocker, Jr: In April 2015, George began his sixth career, as Public Advocate for Commissioner Loretta Smith, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2 and retired on December 31, 2018. Prior to working for Commissioner Smith, he served as Public Advocate for Commissioner Nick Fish on the Portland City Council, from December 2008 to March 2015. In these roles George’s responsibilities included, Liaison to the Disability Commission; Member of the Disabled Parking Task Force for the City of Portland; Liaison to Elders in Action a non-profit working with the elderly and disabled; Liaison to the Northwest Oregon Labor Council’s Executive Board; Member of the Age-Friendly Portland and Multnomah County Advisory Council at Portland State University’s Institute on Aging; Liaison to the Faith Community and various other community groups. He managed the SummerWorks program for Commissioner Smith that provided jobs for roughly 1100 youth each summer at the minimum wage for six weeks.

Pastor George and his wife came to Oregon in November 1999 to serve as the Administrative Pastor of an eight hundred member Christian Church in Boring, Oregon. In January 1992, George retired from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after a career of over 34 years in Covert Operations as a Spymaster and Senior Intelligence Service officer with the civilian rank equivalent to Brigadier General or Admiral. In 1989, George became the first Senior Advisor from CIA to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as part of President George H.W. Bush’s “War on Drugs”. Earlier in his career, he became the first Black American to serve as a Special Assistant to two CIA Directors, Admiral Stansfield Turner under President Jimmy Carter and Bill Casey under President Ronald Reagan. George has lived a total of fifteen years overseas in five countries in Africa, South America and the South Pacific. He has visited 53 countries, some more than once. He is the recipient of the CIA’s Intelligence Medal of Merit for “performance of especially meritorious service or for an act or achievement conspicuously above normal duties which has contributed significantly to the mission of the Agency”.

George is a graduate of Howard University and the U.S. State Department’s nine month Senior Seminar that is the Federal Government’s highest executive development program. He is married to Marcia K. Hocker


JoAnn Herrigel – JoAnn Herrigel has 20 years of experience in local government as the Community Services Director for the City of Milwaukie Oregon. She is the former Deputy Director of Elders in Action where she coordinated the agency’s advocacy efforts, organized candidate forums and developed Civics 101.

Armster Edwards – Armster Edwards is an army veteran, and former college president of South Puget Sound Community College. Armster now attends Portland State University and is majoring in mathematics and computer science. Armster receives most of his inspiration from his partner and his cat Oreo. In his free time, Armster enjoys dancing and playing dungeon and dragons.