Live Blog: The 26th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast
Presented by The Skanner Foundation from The Oregon Convention Center
By Helen Silvis Of The Skanner News
January 16, 201210:47 Bernie Foster: Let's remember our friend Rob Ingram, who did such a good job for youth in this town..He was our drum Major for Justice Recipient in 2008. he left us too soon, but he eft us with the right words. So in Rob's words; Let's get to work.!
10:32 Bernie Foster, Publisher of The Skanner News takes the stage.
Dr. King also left us with a challenge when he said:
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
So, in that spirit, I’m going to speak out about a few things that matter.
At The Skanner we strive to represent the voices of our community; voices that often go unheard. It goes back to our mission statement, and our set of declared values. Here’s one of our values:
“What you have to say is important and you deserve to be heard.”
– especially when those views are unpopular. That’s why we wrote an editorial, telling people in mental health crisis, ‘Don’t Call the Police.’
We’re pleased to see that mental health professionals will be involved in those 911 calls, when the problem is mental illness.
We know we didn’t make that happen, but we also know that our editorial gave Portlanders something to think about.
Last fall, we covered the Communities of Color report involving Native Americans. Who understands better than we do, that communities of color in the Northwest are still fighting for true equality? And that solutions won’t come until we listen to those voices in the wilderness.
By the way, that report would not have happened without Marcus Mundy's pioneering efforts while at the Urban League of Portland.
He commissioned the State of Black Oregon report in 2008, and out of that came the Communities of Color Coalition, which is now documenting the ugly race-based disparities in the Portland metropolitan area. Former President Mundy accomplished many good things. His mistakes were simply -- mistakes. We thank him and we wish him well in his future career.
This year, census figures told us that half of all Black children in Oregon are living in poverty. Gov. John Kitzhaber quoted those figures in his state of the union address before the City Club of Portland. Too many Black families -- and Native and Latino families too -- are in a desperate struggle for survival. It’s bad news for the future of those children -- and for us all. Unless we turn it around.
10:30 Lisa Loving introduces the Drum Major for Justice Award. This year it goes to an educator who follows in Kings footsteps. He has worked at Jefferson High School and at King Elementary. He invented the Journey of Freedom game that has become the inspirational Journey to Freedom Project. He works with yong black makes to increase their academic achievement, Karanja Crews is the Drum Major for Justice 2012.
Karanja Crews says "I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me." He mentions Dr. King and other civil rights leaders including many from Portland such as Ron Herndon and Avel Gordly. Passion for the work keeps him up late and up early. What we all can do is support Journey to Freedom. Crews asks that we support the project also financially. Journey to Freedom Project and Karanja Crews the Drum Major for Justice 2012. Cheers!
10:00 Bobbie Foster takes mic to introduce the scholarship awards.
Pacific NW Council of Carpenters, Doug Tweedy Presents scholarship to Darrell Keys, Hampton University Accepting for him Ralph Nickerson. Tweedy says he's not a venture capitalist or an economic experts. says while he is a middle aged white male he is not one who speaker Mike Green called anti-multicutural, Says the carpenters are pushing to increase diversity among their ranks. Wants to see business owners become more diverse. Says trades offer good middle class incomes and careers. Public works contracts are helping increase minority participation through apprenticeships and support.
Oregon Lottery, Steve Ungar presents 4 scholarships to:Marneet Lewis, Warner Pacific, Kaitlan Purkapile, Portland Community College, Kevin Jones, De La Salle (Natalyia Payne, Portland State University) Ungar talks about his son in the Portland Public School system who told him: Martin Luther King made it possible to have the great friends I have at school. Says $ 4 billion has gone to education from the lottery.
University of Oregon, Roger Thompson, Vice Provost of Enrollment Management, presents scholarship to Veronica Medhanie, University of Oregon. This year we welcomed the most talented class. As King said function of education is to teach people to htink critically. Freshman class is increasingly diverse. The Jefferson Middle School program will provide full tuition to students who graduate with 3.0 GPA or above.
Portland Development Commission, Patrick Quinton, Executive Director presents to Deanna Hartley, Georgetown University. Accepting is her sister Rachael. Quinton said the PDC is committed to supporting the economic goals outlined by speaker Mike Green. Thanks him for the frank remarks. Says as King got to later years he became more committed to talking about true economic justice. Jobs, opportunities, and welath creation are King's legacy too. Says PDC is committed to increasing those opportunities for people of color in Portland.
Achieving of economic justice requires intentionality; changing our priorities so that the least of our citizens have those oportunities. Says that is what the PDC's community development initiative plans to do.
Providence Health Systems, Greg Van, Pelt, Vice President/CEO, Christine Trinh, De La Salle
Oregon Health &Science University, Leslie Garcia, Assistant Diversity Office Allyson Knapper, Rice University, Accepting is her mother, Vicki Guinn
Safeway, Steve Frisby, Div. President, Arya Morman, Oregon State University, Her mother Rev. Rene Ward may represent her
Legacy Medical Center, Dr. Lori Morgan, Chief Administrative Officer Legacy/Emanuel Medical Center, Selam Wako, University of Oregon
Pacific Power & Light, Pat Reiten, President, Shikara Lowe, Georgetown University, Accepting is her mother
Family Care, Jeff Heatherington, President, Lorena Santiago-Hernandez, Graduating Senior De La Salle High School
Wells Fargo, Lisa Smalley, Market Integration Manager, Home Equity, Shantel Monk, Spelman College, Accepting for her is Lisa Gates
Home Forward, Lee Moore, Chair, Board of Commissioners, Jeremiah Moses, Graduating Senior Open Meadows
Turner Construction, Dan Harmon, Operations Manager, Rudy Rolon-Rivas, Portland State University
Multnomah County Purchasing, Rep Lew Fredericks presenting to Venasha Williams, Portland Community College
United Way, Shaniece Curry, De La Salle High School
United Way, Kelsey Haws, Open Meadows9:45 in honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, we ought not leave without recognizing the urgency of now!
The question I have for you today is: Are you ready to work together?
The America21 Project is ready to stand with you in building strong communities and connecting the disconnected to a vibrant Portland innovation ecosystem. If you’re willing to commit to working together then let me see you stand together.
Green asks audience. Shouts of Yeah we are ready to work together. Everyone stands claps.
We here today want to forge relationships that bring about real economic change in our community, Creation of Portland Innovation Round Table.
9:42 Mike Green says: Partnership with the University of Portland is designed to bring together Portlanders to create a wealth and innovation fund. Talks about Dreem digital a small tech company in Salem Oregon. One of the companies to receive investment through this effort.
"These efforts by The America21 Project have been funded by the blood, sweat and tears of three committed men. We didn’t wait for others to invest in us. Instead, we invested in ourselves. We dream of serving the needs of others nationwide to help achieve the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, whom we honor today.
Green talking about his Project 21 to expand investment in Black innovation and technology and to support Black entrepreneurs
Read Mike Green's whole speech in The Skanner's Opinion section
9:35 Mike Green: Today Blacks are severely underrepresented in STEM professions (science, technology, engineering and math). Black entrepreneurs and businesses are under-resourced and under-capitalized. And Blacks are less than 1 percent represented in the risk capital investment sector. In fact, there’s only one nationally recognized Black angel group that belongs to the Angel Capital Association. ...
In 2009, there were 1,394 full power commercial television broadcast stations in the nation. 29 of those were minority owned. Of those, only 9 had Black owners. That’s 0.6% market share.
I have filled your ears with a lot of troublesome information, history and factual data. But it is essential that we recognize what Dr. King deeply understood – that relationships help to define the problem and challenges we face, and that the solution lies within building stronger relationships.
Dr. King envisioned a time when America would invest in Americans of all races. When all races would be empowered to work together to create a strong nation that is not only economically strong, but also strong in its character, exemplified in the dignity it extended to all its citizens.
9:30 Green talks about the investment industry, angel investors and venture capitalists, but Black business and innovation has been left out. This entire industry of risk capital investment was established, nurtured and grown over the past five decades into a private sector economic engine that fuels job growth and creates wealth in White America. As it targeted regions and businesses around the nation, it somehow managed to miss most all of the Black and Hispanic urban communities in the nation.
This targeted investment and lack of inclusive relationships has resulted in today’s “islands of poverty surrounded by oceans of material wealth,” as Dr. King described the same situation in 1963.
9:25 Think about this for a moment. Dr. King was killed on April 4, 1968 in a Memphis hotel just days before he was to join 1,300 striking sanitation workers subjected to working conditions so bad that two of them had been killed by a malfunctioning truck and hundreds were relying on welfare and food stamps because the wages paid by the city were so low they couldn’t adequately care for their families. Four decades later, with Black entrepreneurship soaring and Black business owners seeking business relationships in the supply chains across industry sectors, the business productivity from all of Black America couldn’t reach 1 percent of GDP. That’s after more than four decades of presumed progress.
9:23 The standard pathway of helping Blacks was to donate to nonprofits that provided do-good social services rather than do business with Black business owners and support the rising tide of Black entrepreneurs. Today we see the economic consequence of decades of isolation and disconnect due to White businesses and majority corporations keeping Black businesses and entrepreneurs at arm’s length....
We can easily calculate the damage of decades of disconnect.
Of the 1.9 million Black-owned businesses in America, 1.8 million are sole proprietors with no employees. None. Zero. That leaves roughly 100,000 Black businesses with an average of 9 employees according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
9:20 I didn’t know White America. I grew up in a Black cocoon on the poverty-ridden south side of Houston, Texas.....What I did not learn was how valuable mentors and networks were. And I failed to establish either.
Dr. King understood the economic power in developing strong Relationships across racial boundaries.
I didn’t know it then, but the unemployment rate for Blacks in the 60s was twice the unemployment rate for Whites nationwide.
Today Black unemployment is near double that of White unemployment. If that sounds eerily familiar, it should. Black unemployment has been double or near double White unemployment every single year since President Barack Obama was in diapers and Dr. King was bemoaning the high jobless rate in the 60s. ....
9:15 Mike Green: The 60s tend to be remembered differently, depending upon which America you grew up in. I grew up in Black America.
By the time I was in the first grade, Dr. King was assassinated, racial tension in the nation was at a fever pitch, ...No one in my sphere of family and friends were wealthy or had any history of wealth. ...Everyone I knew was taught the same thing: You will have to work harder, be stronger, be smarter and more tolerant than your White counterparts just to stay even.
9:09 Mike Green: I will tell you a little bit about who I am and use Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic speech to guide us through today’s message.
My hope is you will walk out of this place more informed, more empowered, more energized and more determined to be an agent of change than when you arrived.
9:04 Jerry Foster introducing Mike Green, keynote speaker. He notes the diversity of the crowd. Talks about how Green was sailor of the year when in Navy. That Green writes about issues important to Black community, His work with Project21can change our world.
8:50 Sen. Jeff Merkeley, Congratualates the Skanner on the 26th Talks abolut King’s legacy of compassion for sick and poor, responsibility each of us has to make sure the Arc of the Universe tends toward Justice. Talks about Albina Opportunities Corporation credit union and lending to small businesses. Announces that starting next year the Albina Opportunities Corporation will offer a new scholarship. Without education we will not march forward.
Breakfast: Crab patties. Sponge Bob may be in the back of the house!
8:30 Bobbie Foster takes the stage Introduces the sponsors and others on the dais. They include: Pacific NW Council of Carpenters, Doug Tweedy, Steve Ungar of the Oregon Lottery, Roger Thompson, Vice Provost of The University of Oregon, Patrick Quinton of the Portland Development Commission, and more.
Madam Wendy Jackson leads the audience in Lift Ev'ry Voice.
8:00 Wrangling a Live stream that doesn't want to go up. Place is filling up.
7:30 People arriving and talking in the foyer. I see Judge Nan Waller, Derriel Ingram, Joe Johnson, Lakeitha Elliot.
Everything is ready Sunday, in the Oregon Convention Center, for the Skanner Foundation's 26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast
3 p.m. Sunday Jan. 15: At the Oregon Convention Center Everything is set up for tomorrow's 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast. Tables arranged with programs, and flowers. North Portland Multimedia Training Center staff ready to record the event. Rehearsal all complete. Last minute changes: Pastor Crayton Jackson of Daniels Memorial Church of God in Christ has stepped in to replace Pastor Julia Neufeld. Madam Wendy Jackson will lead the singing.