On Monday, June 3, the Portland Community College (PCC) Cascade Campus will host an official opening ceremony for the Evelyn Crowell Center for African American Community History. The opening and dedication ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. in the Cascade Library located at 705 N. Killingsworth St.
The center is named in honor of local African-American community leader Evelyn “Evie“ Crowell who was at the forefront of many pioneering firsts in the Pacific Northwest.
After earning her master’s degree in library science, Evelyn Crowell first worked at the Jefferson High School library before becoming the first African-American librarian at both Linfield College in McMinnville and Portland State. Evelyn Crowell was first Black Portland YWCA president and served the Portland Public Schools Board for one term.
“The Evelyn Crowell Center for African American Community History is a monument to both Crowell’s extraordinary life and to the generations of African Americans who breathed life, culture, and resiliency into the Albina Neighborhood of North Portland,” per a PCC release.
The exhibit was constructed in the PCC Cascade Campus library. Former PCC instructor and local historian, James Harrison, curated the Evelyn Crowell Center for African American Community History. The center includes a series of pictures, each depicting the history of Northeast Portland and inner North Portland, following the historic Albina neighborhood from the 1949 Vanport flood through the Civil Rights Era up to today.
“Evie was someone who truly lived what she preached,” said Karin Edwards, president of the Cascade Campus. “She believed in education as the means for people to live the life they want, and she put her own time and her own hard-earned money to work in service of this ideal and of her community.”