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PCC remembers MLK

Photos and Story by

Benjamin Hardy

Benjamin "Flooney" Hardy

On the evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tenn., about to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city. In a matter of moments, he was assassinated.

Portland Community College honored his life with several events that were open to the community during Dr. King’s birthday. At the Cascade Campus, the 22nd Annual Gospel Music Extravaganza took place on Saturday, Jan. 14 in the Moriarty Arts Building Auditorium. The theme of this year’s event was “35 Years of Diversity: Weaving an American Tapestry.”

More than 10 gospel choirs entertained at this year’s extravaganza. An auction was also well-attended and benefited the Eddie Barnett Foundation, which will fund defibrillators for local high schools.

“It went well,” said Helen Warren, resource specialist in workforce development at PCC’s Portland Metro Workforce Training Center.” The Jefferson High School choir performed several numbers and people were really pleased. We had one of our employees, Lorene Wilder, render several selections. The community really supported this year’s event. Everyone enjoyed the music.”

At the Rock Creek Campus, in conjunction with the Inter-Religious Action Network of Washington County, The Baha’is Community, and the City of Beaverton, PCC celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday, Jan. 15 in the Event Center.

Festivities included a reading of Langston Hughes poetry by Benjamin “Flooney” Hardy, music by the Joyful Noise Choir and a presentation honoring the contributions of Rosa Parks to civil and human rights. Both the Mayor of Beaverton Rob Drake and PCC District President Preston Pulliams welcomed guests.

The City of Beaverton also showcased the winners of the 2005 Beaverton Student Human Rights essay contest while the Inter-Religious Action Network of Washington County presented its annual “Everyday Hero” awards recognizing works of reconciliation in the community.

Another event included Leroy Haines, who gave a presentation about Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 12 at the Cascade Campus as part of his fourth annual lecture on MLK. Haines is a pastor at North Portland Bible College and a former Black Panther.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »