A Night of Pride and Inspiration
I was so proud of the Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators (ORABSE) for Hosting the Black Community Science Night last Friday. I got chills thinking about how this group could be inspiring new black doctors, entrepreneurs, astronauts, bio-techs, electrical engineers, etc, etc. For sure Carlton Hart the black architect was in the house inspiring folks and so was the NAACP ACT-SO program Dr. Sheryl Means and others.
Here again, the omnipresent Michael Chappie Grice was a participant and had this to say:
“On the evening of Friday, October 13, the Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators (ORABSE) convened, for the second consecutive year, a Black Community Science Night at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry. Guided by the vision of Kevin Bacon, president and community stalwart and executive board member, Renee Anderson, some 680 Black parents and their children and grandchildren descended on the magnificent OMSI facility from 6 PM to 9 PM. Hundreds of children explored the OMSI exhibits and science-focused, hands-on activities. A local band provided a rich tapestry of jazz and African Music in the background while the children danced and played during excitement about the chemistry, physics, robotics, mathematics, and science wonderland. ORABSE was very proud to have such a “full house“turnout and guaranteed not only that it was worthwhile but shall be continued in future years. The rainy weather seemed to add an authentic Portland signature to the event and did not deter attendance nor mute the spirit of enthusiasm and adventure that filled the facility for the entire three hours. OMSI sponsors and investors can’t help but see that such a partnership only amplified people’s enthusiasm to bring their children into the OMSI arena. We look forward to more collaborations between the NAACP and organizations like ORABSE for the benefit of the community and its children. The need is great, in these times. Of particular note was the obvious mutual benefit of encouraging access to established cultural and educational institutions as partners like the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. With OMSI’s leading example of sponsoring hundreds of admissions, there are dozens of “win-win” opportunities awaiting birth and nurturing in Portland and beyond that encourage diversity and equality in real-time community investment. Thanks to all that promoted this culturally specific experience to “embrace the worth of all.”
We all need to get RADICAL about the education of black youth.
Symbolizing radicalism at any age Angela Davis was in town last Friday thanks to Karanga Crews “Teaching with a Purpose” and company aka Imani Muhammad.
Here’s what Michael Grice who participated said about the event:
“The fall professional development day on Friday, October 13 featured “Teaching with Purpose” at the newly designed Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon. Conceived and delivered by Karanja Crews, the highly regarded professional development conference showcased university professor and renowned author and intellectual, Dr. Angela Davis. Primarily aimed for teachers and administrators, the event was attended by approximately 400 education professionals, including district level administrators as well as its featured Speaker Dr. Angela Davis who was introduced by the newly appointed Director of Oregon Department of Education, Dr. Charlene Williams, the first African-American to hold that position. The all-day conference featured workshops in the morning and afternoon with a tasty supply of box lunches. The afternoon concluded with a panel discussion led by Dr Charlene Williams and featuring the world-famous author and activist Angela Davis in a living room setting that was described as a “conversation” between Angela Davis and three high school student “Ambassadors” for the convention. They presented a series of questions that gave Professor Angela Davis an opportunity to offer insight and clarity to her highly regarded career as both an activist and an author. The “Teaching with Purpose” convention guided veterans and young professionals alike a unique opportunity to expose the intelligence and mindful compassionate approach to problem solving in public education that was diverse, inclusive, equity-centered, candid, and robust. The attendees were likewise treated to keynote presentations by Dr. Adrienne Dixon and Dr. Sandy Watson, whose articulate and incisive analyses drew several standing ovations. in all, the attendees were as enamored with the “purpose” and content of the event as they were with the progressive architectural accomplishment of the new school facility. In all, attendees appeared to be very proud to have shared in the celebration of the pursuit of “pedagogy” as a key ingredient in any solution to achieving the “excellence” in public education for “children with the greatest need. ”
The chemistry at last night’s AFO (Architecture Foundation of Oregon) event was exploding. While Herman Colas, as usual, was classic Cool Hand Luke as he accepted the Honored Citizen award, the emotional fireworks were spectacular. I said to myself if only we could clone and replicate Herman’s DNA the world would be healed and prosperity would be the norm in the black community.
Lisa Chan invited my beautiful wife and me to this event and she is another hidden gem employed by the Convention Center.
I was also overjoyed to see Daryl Jones whom I trained 30 years ago to go to work at the Convention Center. He rose to the rank of Maintenance Supervisor and just retired after 30 years of service. It is nice to know your work has not been in vain and has borne excellent fruit.
And I have to give credit to NAMC-Oregon, Nate McCoy/Cinnamon Williams and his crew who did an outstanding job highlighting the life and achievements of the Colas family. It was all good and a signature event and night in Portland.
Our future is their hands.
I was privileged to attend the networking event hosted by the Oregon Association of Black School Educators on Sunday (ORABSE). I had to leave early. However, I was there long enough to appreciate the awesome work and accomplishments of this group. Renee Anderson and Michael C. Grice represented the Portland Branch of the NAACP very well.
All I can say is that unless we begin to truly recognize these folks, celebrate their accomplishments, and the value of what they mean to our future, God help us.
These black people who are in a position to ensure the education of black youth are the key to black prosperity and the survival of our race. All of a sudden that hit me while I was in that room.
Pay special attention to Nicole Watson, their new President. She is a superstar working on behalf of our black youth as is Paul Coakley Jr. and Dr. Charlene Williams. Everyone in this photo is a major contributor to the success of black youth and stewards of our future.
Thank God for them.
Wake up Black America. Mike Green nails it.
Don’t be confused runing around chasing rabbits. Mike Green will help keep us focused. Thank you Mike
For those who think Trump is an authoritarian leading a cult following, perhaps this piece I wrote will change your mind. Before Trump became POTUS, I argued that Trump was the logical choice by a growing movement that isn’t interested in so-called “democracy” but rather defending, conserving and protecting white power, domination and supremacist ideology that fuels the national narrative of a Great White America.
There is no other Republican candidate who comes close to Trump’s overt and covert defiance of all presumed political ideals to prioritize the defense of white supremacy and the taking back this nation from those who seek to change it … at all cost.
Trump was recruited by the supremacist wing (aka “far right”) of the GOP to achieve the goals that a majority of White Christian Conservatives established and fought for with a century of violence (starting in 1868 – backlash to the impeachment of white supremacist President Andrew Johnson … to 1968 and the assassinations of MLK and Bobby Kennedy followed by a landslide election of white supremacist President Richard Nixon).
Today, despite Trump’s lifelong background of corruption and criminal-minded collaborations, he stands alone as the Republican Party frontrunner because, as he continues to remind us all, he alone can salvage the hope his supporters have in putting the brakes on the encroachment of multiculturalism and preserve the domination of white power and control over America’s institutions of power, wealth and influence. This message, and none other, is why Trump remains today the favorite candidate among a majority of White voters … both White men AND White women.
Sadly, the only way to stop this movement is to persuade a majority of White women to align their voting support with the majorities of all nonwhite populations. White women are the nation’s largest voting bloc and they serve as the fulcrum upon which the 2024 election will balance.
IT WAS ALL GOOD
Fantastic Trifecta can best describe the events occurring in the last few weeks in the black community. First, came the Juneteenth celebrations and they were outstanding, That same Saturday came the 8-second Black Rodeo. That Black Rodeo thing was a surprisingly great success. Then came the Good in the Hood and Wow was it poppin’. I mean, was it just me ?, or was black people saying “Let us just be free to kick it”? It seems to me that black people were saying “Free at last, thank God almighty, Free at last from COVID and all that mask stuff. It was such a pleasant sight to watch Black people on all occasions just enjoying themselves together.
I can’t say enough about all those who organized these events. I was so proud of Vince Jones, Ashton Simpson and their folks at the Black Rodeo, Jenelle Jack and her crew at the Juneteenth events, and Simone Carter, Deborah Roache, Angela Harris, and all their crew making the best “Good in the Hood” I have ever seen.
Of course, I was doing my NAACP thang at all events. I was soliciting my butt off but I was so proud of Black people. Did I mention unless I am mistaken, with few exceptions, no measurable incidents of violence were reported? Hallaluha, Praise God.
A warrior is gone
Jerry Tyler, Robert Andrews and Bond (Jerry’s brother)
A warrior is gone. A couple of weeks ago Jerry Tyler passed but I am not sure he understood that he was a warrior (he might have thought he was just a hard-working Black man). He was the “J” in J&R Trucking, part of the TRIAD of the Black dump trucking firms working on the NE Interstate Light Rail project (NE Urban Trucking Consortium 2001). Jerry Tyler and Robert Andrews of J&R Trucking were on the team of black truckers who endured the racist attacks by white truckers and a system that tried everything to exclude us from working in the industry. Work Horse Construction, Rock and Road Construction, and J&R Trucking were Black firms forming the base of the consortium.
They called us “Niggers” in raggedy trucks on the CB radios and tried to tear up our trucks in the loading and dumping process. They did everything to discourage us from working on that project. But thanks to Fred Hansen the TRI-Met administrator, and Bill Bruce, a white Stacey &Witbeck project manager at the time, we not only survived, but we eventually thrived. This is the point where TRI-Met becomes the region’s premier public agency promoting true economic equity and inclusion for Black contractors.
The consortium dissolved after the project and most of us are now retired but racism throughout the region remains. A new generation of Black construction businesses is now on the scene. But keep your eye on the procurement process involving the remodel of Jefferson High School if you want to see a case study of modern-day racism. More to come on that project.
Funding for the Black Community: No Excuses
Watching Portland City Council today 4-12-23 in determining how monies originally dedicated to empowering the black community with investments were characterized and maligned in the discussion. One thing for sure is that when allocating resources to help black people it seems like there is always a controversy. I don’t imagine that kind of controversy allocating funding for a dog park would conjure up that kind of controversy. What is starkly clear, is that the City has been criminally dysfunctional when it comes to moving any positive agenda for black people.
Commissioner Rubio was emphatic about the original intent and purpose of the disputed resources. She outlined when, who, and why the money was allocated. She was spectacular in her defense of retaining the resources for Reimagine Oregon and Imagine Black. Even the Mayor attempted to be creative in finding a way to honor the city’s commitment to doing something right for the black community. His longevity and experience on City Council was a sign of his political maturity. The commissioners who voted to redirect the money didn’t seem to understand the real and symbolic harm and impact of their decision to redistribute promised black dollar commitments. Nevertheless, the black community has more work to do to emphasize the catastrophic damage inflicted on the black community and the need to find every avenue to remedy past harm and hurt.
Of course, the black community bears some responsibility to move initiatives aimed at supporting and restoring black livability and economic growth. We can’t afford to think the system will automatically respond and take of us. We need to step up to the plate and get it done, no excuses.