PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The latest group to stand in solidarity with protestors demanding racial justice is growing by the day and calls their movement PDX Stripper Strike.
It’s made up of Portland dancers, DJs, and bartenders who say they won’t go back to work until strip clubs commit to providing safer working environments, which includes agreeing to cultural sensitivity training and ending racist scheduling preferences for nights and weekends.
Cat Hollis, a local dancer who mobilized the movement on Instagram, is from Minneapolis. The protests have affected her deeply.
Since Multnomah County has still not entered Phase 1, which means strip clubs aren’t yet open in Portland, Hollis decided to take this time to look for solutions for the racism she and other dancers experience in the industry.
Since dancers are independent contractors, the only way to make change, she says, is for everyone to stand together as one.
Hollis says she hopes as businesses approach this chapter of recovery from the pandemic, they’ll not only improve public safety, but also their cultural practices.
“It’s really interesting how we have this opportunity because of COVID to remove something else that's toxic from this community, which in my mind is racism,” Hollis said.
In just over a week, about half the clubs in Portland proper have signed on for cultural sensitivity training by accredited organizations, which Hollis is working to make free or available at a reduced cost.
She says they’ll be striking at clubs which aren’t willing to grow with them.
“A lot of the issues we have are deeply ingrained in our culture and in our minds, and so breaking that down with the trainings will help people realize how they make those prejudicial decisions without realizing it,” said Hollis.
You can follow the movement, as well as which strip clubs support it, on Instagram here.
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