Portland’s Black Professional Brain Drain

Portland’s Black Professional Brain Drain

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Dr. Rosco Shields

Today, I shed several tears about the departure of Sharon Seven Day Adventist church Pastor Rosco Shields. Not just because he was the Chair of our NAACP Religious Affairs committee but because I recognized an unmistakable pattern of black professional talent leaving Portland in what seems like droves. We have experienced, for some time, a defacto African American brain drain. Dr. Rosco Shields and his family are the latest. My point is that these people are not only valuable assets to our community in a general sense, but they also are our best hope for solving critical problems and creating an ecosystem essential for developing black prosperity and healing. If we are ever to change the negative black community paradigms, we must stop the unfettered exit of our best and brightest.  

Several other recent losses:

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Biko Taylor Chief Procurement Officer-City of Portland

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Latrica Tillman Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer in Washington Co.

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Dr. Markisha Smith Director of Equity and Human Rights City of Portland

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Danielle Outlaw Portland Police Chief

On the Mend

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Thank God the Billy Webb Elks Lodge is on the mend. Finally, it seems they are beginning to handle the business of getting this beloved building and its programs back up and running. Some know that this is one of the few black-owned and operated buildings in Portland and Oregon.

They are not home yet, but thanks to the efforts of folks like Deborah Roache, Lou Mclemore, and Debora Hutchins things are beginning to move. There are others involved but these are the key people and they need your help. This is where community support means something.

Reportedly the building caught fire by transit homeless people smoking on the back entrance during the height of COVID. Black people again feeling the devastating consequences of COVID.

The original restoration started back in 2008:



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Riding on our shoulders

As a grandparent, I am acutely aware of what is riding on my shoulders. We need you to step up for the future of our Kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. We need your help at the NAACP to foster a “Kids First” agenda focused on what Byron Allen has tried to tell us.

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Byron Allen at the Grio talking about closing the achievement gapRiding on our shoulders 19

Join us at the NAACP to demand canceling student loans and closing the Achievement GAP. pdxnaacp.org

Asleep at the Switch

The Portland branch of the NAACP can be accused of being asleep at the switch if we don’t get the word out. Attached is our poster and flyer about this coming election process. Please be patient with us as we try to make up for lost time in this critical election season.

If you are not registered yet it is almost too late!!!!!!! Get busy and register everybody and their mother.

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