Thursday Jan 12, 2023

Running on Coffee with Ian Williams and Amir Armstrong

The Deadstock Run Club is giving people of color in Portland a place to come together, connect and get moving. 

As home to one of our most storied track and field destinations, one of the most celebrated runners in American history and arguably the greatest sneaker brand in the world, Oregon is a natural place to start a running club. 

That Ian Williams and Amir Armstrong started the Deadstock Run Club out of a coffeeshop in Portland’s Old Town Chinatown neighborhood, then, might not seem too surprising. That is until you consider another, much more disturbing aspect of Oregon history: its hostility toward people of color, in particular Black people. 

For instance, in the 19th century, the state passed three Black exclusion laws. These were later rescinded, but even during the 20th century Klan demonstrations and cross burnings were common throughout the state.

For this episode of the Out & Back podcast, host Alison Mariella Désir visits the coffee shop where it all started to talk with Williams and Armstrong about how a love of sneakers and coffee fueled a community that is giving people of color a place to gather and get active.



Host/producer: Sara Bernard

Featured reporter: Margo Vansynghel

Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten


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