The Never Again Coalition is Portland, Oregon’s response to genocide and other crimes against humanity. Joining together from different organizations and backgrounds, we stand together and work towards revitalizing the phrase “Never Again.”

I was a fourth grade teacher when Portland brought the Anne Frank exhibit here in the 1990s. The education focus was on curriculum for middle school, but I wanted a way to present the topic to upper elementary grades. In order to write curriculum and prepare to give a workshop for teachers, I spent several months studying. Although I am Jewish, this was the first time I forced myself to face the Holocaust head-on. The more I faced it, the less I could look away in “self-protection mode” from other atrocities, other genocides. I did not want the promise “Never Again” to be hypocritical. I felt I could not utter that phrase, that hope, if I were not actively working to make it a reality.

When the atrocities in Darfur began to be known via what was then the Save Darfur Coalition, I helped organize a program for my congregation to learn about Darfur. I knew members would want to know what they could do to help. I wanted to have something they could do right then and there while the spirit moved them strongly. From this, the “Postcard Brigade” developed, now a long-standing project which has expanded to include Sudan, South Sudan, and DR Congo. The Postcard Brigade helps people who might not otherwise know of the situation in these countries to become informed and to easily take some action. The committee that developed this project grew to become the Never Again Coalition, and has expanded its activities beyond the Postcard Brigade to include, for instance, taking a mock refugee camp experience into the schools, co-hosting the fundraiser Pamper for a Purpose, raising money for Congolese women through Run for Congo Women, sponsoring sisters through Women for Women, and more.
— Diane Koosed, Postcard Brigade founder and co-chair of the Never Again Coalition