Portland, OR. The annual YMCA of Columbia-Willamette Portland Good Friday Breakfast, which is in its 12th year, drew more than 1,000 supporters to the Oregon Convention Center. This is the first year the YMCA hosted this event, which was founded by Open Arms International. There was a diverse group of attendees who reported they were excited to hear the testimony of God’s redemption and forgiveness. VIPs at the gathering included Jordan Kent, Portland Trail Blazer TV Host and Portland Good Friday Breakfast Emcee; Bob Hall, CEO and President of the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette, Jeannie Pickens, YMCA of Columbia Board of Trustees; and Jim White, Portland Good Friday Breakfast Chairman.

This year the featured keynote speaker was Alana Simmons. She is the granddaughter of Rev. Daniel L. Simmons, one of nine African-Americans gunned down in 2015 by a white supremacist in Charleston, South Carolina. Alana Simmons’ grandfather was leading the Bible study that day.

In the aftermath of the tragedy Alana Simmons became the voice of her family and founded the Hate Won’t Win Movement, which is described as “a nonprofit dedicated to showing acts of love to those different from us.” Leading up to her keynote address at the Portland Good Friday Breakfast, Alana took part in several other local activities.

Alana Simmons and Mark Burris, COO of the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette at the Better Together Leadership Luncheon leading up to the Portland Good Friday Breakfast.

Alana Simmons joins Hamilton Grant from Hate Won’t Win to honor the victims of the racially motivated hate crime at the Hollywood MAX Transit Station that killed two peoplein 2015.

Alana Simmons spoke about Spiritual Warfare at a Good Friday Prayer event at the Highland Christian Center

Hamilton Grant, Hate Won’t Win; Jama Lee, Senior Executive Director of the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette; Judy Booker, Senior Program Director at the Moda YMCA Child Development Center; and Alana Simmons, Portland Good Friday Breakfast Keynote Speaker

From YMCA of Columbia-Willamette:

The Portland Good Friday Breakfast provided an opportunity for the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette to feature 150 years of service in our community, which is being celebrated in 2018. The Portland Good Friday Breakfast was the eve of the first gathering of the YMCA in 1868.