We hear more often “you have the right to remain silent” rather than “you have the right to speak” ~ members of oppressed communities — stated by Cupid Alexander, a member of the Urban League of Portland Young Professionals.
Empowering communities, changing lives was the theme for the evening of this year’s Urban League of Portland Equal Opportunity Day Dinner (EODD). Each year, for over a decade now, the OMA has participated as part of the EODD – for each one, the OMA brings a sample of materials from the ULPDX archival collection for attendees to view. We showcase the archival collection during the reception prior to the dinner and awards ceremony. Attendees are always excited to see the documents we have available and are eager to learn more about the organization’s history.
The EODD is an opportunity for ULPDX and community members come together to celebrate the organization’s work to help to empower African Americans and other Oregonians to achieve equality in education, employment, and economic security. The event always includes inspiring speeches – this year especially – with speeches made by the mother of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and Micah David-Cole Fletcher. Both were victims of an attack by a man yelling hate speech on a MAX train in May 2017. The man stabbed and killed two people who tried to intervene (Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and Ricky John Best) and severely injured Micah David-Cole Fletcher. Both spoke about the need to defend the innocent and to “stand with love” – their words were impactful and incredibly beautiful.