PCRI Sponsors Black Pioneers Luncheon

December 26, 2013 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives is proud to sponsor the Celebrating Black Pioneers luncheon, to be held on December 27, 2013 at the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME).

PCRI invites community members to join in honoring the lives and accomplishments of five people who made a difference for Portland’s Black community.  Please RSVP to PCRI by telephone at (503) 288-2923 or by email.

The luncheon will be held on Friday, December 27, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Please note a change of location from earlier announcements.  The luncheon will take place at OAME:  4134 N. Vancouver Avenue, Portland, Oregon.

The luncheon’s 2013 honorees include:

JordanCharlesCharles Jordan, Portland’s first African-American City Commissioner.  Mr. Jordan held the role of City Commissioner for 10 years and the role of Parks Director for 14 years.  In June, 2012, the University Park Community Center—a center Mr. Jordan was instrumental in revitalizing—was renamed in his honor.  Prior to the dedication of the newly-named Charles Jordan Community Center, Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish commended Mr. Jordan’s work, saying, “Charles Jordan took Portland Parks and Recreation to the next level. His fingerprints are all over our system.”

pauline-at-duderanch-1Pauline Bradford, respected teacher, neighborhood advocate.  Mrs. Bradford was a teacher at Peninsula Elementary School until her retirement in 1989.  She has a strong connection to Albina and the Eliot neighborhood where she has lived for fifty years.  She is Past President of the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods and she remains on the Board representing the Eliot Neighborhood Associations.  She has long been active in the Association of Colored Women’s Clubs & Youth Affiliates (the oldest African American women’s organization in the U.S., founded in 1896).  First elected President of the Oregon chapter in 1982 she served several subsequent terms and was also elected to a term as President of the Northwest Region of the Association. Currently, she is a member of the National Board of the Association.

harold-williams-500x415Harold Williams, Sr., member of Portland Community College’s Board of Directors from 1990 until 2012.  Mr. Williams continues to be remembered by his peers and community not only for his service to PCC, but also as a community leader for over 50 years, including work for Governor Bob Straub as affirmative action director and equal opportunity coordinator (a role he later filled at the Portland Development Commission as well), and as a consultant to the Oregon Youth Authority.  Mr. Williams was also president of the Portland African American Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Coalition of Black Men, among many other accomplishments.

evelyncollinsEvelyn Collins, daycare owner and community member.  Miss Collins, as she was commonly known, purchased in 1965 what is now the Wonder Ballroom.  There, she earned the respect of Eliot community members by caring for the neighborhood’s children.  “She cared about some kids that others threw away,” says Ralph Davis on the Eliot Neighborhood website. “Being a white person, it was unheard of what she did in the Black community.”  Miss Collins received numerous community service awards over the years, including KOIN-TV’s Jefferson Award, and the Humanitarian Award from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Dr. John Marshall (photo not available), one of Portland’s first black medical doctors.  Dr. Marshall was a prominent physician whose own practice mirrored the challenges of many black Portlanders.  Originally located near Memorial Coliseum, eminent domain forced him to relocate his practice to a new location on North Williams Avenue to make way for the construction of I-5 in the late 1940s.  Regardless of location, Dr. Marshall’s connection to the community went beyond that of a typical physician: he strengthened the community by stressing education as a means to better oneself, and he routinely wrote off 20% or more of potential income caring for patients who did not have the means to pay for his services.


All photographs and information are thanks to the sites to which they are linked.


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