The Urban League of Portland’s 2012 Equal Opportunity Day Awards Dinner

Hello, Hannah Mahoney here. The summer is officially over and I am back working in the archives. This year I will be keeping you up to date on the latest and greatest things happening here at the OMA, so bookmark this page because you won’t want to miss out!

Last night Natalia and I were lucky enough to attend The Urban League of Portland’s 2012 Equal Opportunity Day Awards Dinner in Portland.  For the event, the Oregon Multicultural Archives created a display, using materials from the collection, that spotlighted some of the rich history of The Urban League.  Last night’s display was inspired by a display that was used at the 7th Annual Meeting in 1952. Before the dinner began, we spoke to many people who shared their personal stories pertaining to The Urban League and told us their plans to do research at the OMA.

Urban League buttons made by the OMA

The program this year was truly inspiring, and I was overwhelmed with the amount of pride and love present in the room. The new Chief Executive Officer of The Urban League of Portland, Michael Alexander, welcomed everyone and explained that even though there has been great work done since The Urban League began in 1945, that cannot take away from what still needs to be done. He simply put that the work of The Urban League, “is a journey, not a trip.”

Two men were honored last night for the work they have done for the Portland community. Rob Ingram, who passed away last year, worked with at-risk youth and violence prevention programs and Ron Herndon, who is an advocate for minority rights and equality in education. During his speech Ron Herndon brought up Issacc Newton’s quote that’s says, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” We are individuals, but our triumphs our based on the work that others have done before us. We are able to see further because of them. I thought the quote really summed up the evening’s idea of community well.

The Urban League Records are generated by the League and its board, officers, and staff. The records include constitutions and bylaws, correspondence, financial statements, flyers, meeting minutes, newsletters, newspaper clippings, photograph albums, photographs, posters, reports, resolutions, scrapbooks, sound recordings, surveys, videotapes, and a building plaque. If you are interested in this subject I would highly recommend looking at this collection.

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