Free ESD Classes for the LGBTQ+ Community – April 2nd

1st Sunday of the month 12:00 to 1:30 at the Equality Community Center – 15 Casco Street, Portland

These fun and information packed sessions are open to LGBTQ+ community members. Come gain effective and accessible verbal and physical tools to prevent and respond to microaggressions, harassment, assault, and abuse. Share tools for managing adrenaline in stressful moments and strategies for setting boundaries, de-escalating situations, and responding physically when needed. While addressing serious topics and situations, this class is engaging and built around the ethic of challenge by choice. There are many ways to participate and you decide what works for you: watch an exercise, participate in a role play, practice a grab release with or without touch. All physical techniques are accessible and adaptable.

What to wear/bring: Please come as you are. We will have water and masks available at the Center. For everyone’s safety, we will all be masked throughout the sessions. No preregistration necessary.



Saturday March 18th 1 to 4pm, Portland Yoga Project – 449 Forest Avenue

Come together for a great afternoon of learning, sharing, and exploration of the ways we can all take up more space in the world by expressing what we want, need, and feel and intervening early to prevent and respond to harassment, abuse and assault. Gain awareness, verbal and physical response skills, and tools for adrenalin management and healing. This training is highly accessible and adaptable to all. Open to women, trans and nob binary people ages 16 and older. Pre-Registration required.

Cost: $40 to $60/person (more if you can, less if you can’t).



Saturday April 1st, 1 to 4pm,  Portland Yoga Project – 449 Forest Avenue

Take your safety skills to the next level! Learn to de-escalate heated situations and add to your physical self defense skills by learning ground fighting, pins, and additional grab defense techniques. Explore  the roots of violence, your role as an active bystander, and expand your healing tools. Open to women, trans, and non binary people ages 16 and up who have taken our Level 1 class at any time. Pre-Registration required.

Cost: $40 to $60/person (more if you can, less if you can’t).


*You may have to download Zoom to your device. Joining by phone doesn’t include video or chat feature access.  *For accessibility needs or other questions please email *To manage a safe space & start on time, please arrive promptly to the workshops.  *By engaging in this workshop you are agreeing not to record the session and to maintain the confidentiality of other participants. *Online classes are less of a controlled environment than in-person classes. The instructors will discuss this more in the sessions, but use your own judgment about whether and how you feel comfortable participating.

PAC COURSES available: for details check the drop down tab under Programs

WORKPLACE TRAINING: Sexual harassment prevention and response, Safe and Welcoming Workplace, Navigating Challenging Interactions, Microaggressions and Identity-based Harassment, and more.

HEALING THROUGH EMPOWERMENT:  An 8-10-week program designed for people of all genders who have experienced sexual and/or intimate partner violence. Participants report decreased PTSD symptoms, and increased confidence and feelings of safety in their bodies and in their lives.

EMPOWERMENT SELF DEFENSE BASICS: Gain awareness, verbal tools for assertive boundary setting, de-escalation, physical self defense skills, and tools for healing and growth. These skills will help you navigate interactions on the spectrum from challenging to dangerous at home, online, in relationships, or in public.

NAVIGATING CHALLENGING INTERACTIONS:  3 Sessions: A blend of Verbal empowerment self defense tools to address a range of challenging interactions facing us at home, in public, online, and at gatherings and protests. Each session focuses on a different skills: Assertive Communication and Boundary Setting, Active Bystander Intervention, and De-escalation Strategies and Tools.

DE-ESCALATION FOR BUSINESSES: As part of our larger work in Empowerment Self Defense and in recognition of the many challenging interactions presented by the current pandemic such as the wearing of face masks, social distancing, and anti-asian and anti-back hate/bias we have crafted this training to help maintain safety and build a supportive and caring community.

ACTIVE BYSTANDER INTERVENTION: Gain awareness on the rise in hate based harassment and Covid related incidents occurring in supermarkets and other public spaces and learn skills and strategies to safely intervene when you witness this harassment online or in person.

ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION AND BOUNDARY SETTING: Dealing with physical distance and the extra closeness of home is challenging for all of us. As states begin to ‘open’ and many of us return to face to face interactions, come together to learn and share skills for assertive communication and boundary setting in these challenging times.

PAC also offers specific training for:

  • Parents and Children
  • Mothers and Daughters
  • High School Seniors
  • College Students
  • LGBTQIA++ community members
  • Survivors of violence

Register here


PAC Classes include:

  • Healing Through Empowerment 10-week series for women
  • Mother / Daughter Self Defense
  • Single and Multi-session Empowerment Self Defense 
  • Workplace Safety
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response
  • Active Bystander Intervention
  • Microaggressions and Identity-based Harassment
  • and more…

Many PAC classes are scheduled with businesses, organizations, schools, groups, and individuals. Contact us for more information and we’ll build a class around your schedule and interests!

For more information email:

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