The Skanner News is preparing for the 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast by calling for nominations for The Drum Major for Justice Award.
Open to individuals as well as organizations, the awards are designed to honor those who have worked throughout the year to fulfill the ideals the Rev. King stood for: equality, justice, racial harmony, civil rights and peace.
The 29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast will be held on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, from 8:30 am —10:30 a.m. at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Junior Blvd., in Portland.
Keynote speaker is the Rev. Benjamin Chavis, executive director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and a former assistant to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. At the age of 24, Chavis became one of the Wilmington 10, a group of teenagers and civil rights activists wrongly convicted of firebombing a grocery store in the city in 1971.
At the event, canned goods and boxed meals will be collected for the Martha Terrell Food Pantry, which is located on Northeast 8th Avenue and is available to any resident of that area. For the first time, we will also be collecting donations of newly purchased clothing, especially coats.
For individuals nminated for the Drum Major for Justice Award, the best candidates are people who have gone beyond excellence in their paid positions; we are looking for people who have been active above and beyond their day jobs in actively creating positive social change in our communities.
For organizations, we are looking for wide-ranging work with results that can be shown to impact the Black community – and the Pacific Northwest region -- in the areas of education, business, health, and more.
Nominations will be accepted through Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. Please send the name of your nominee with a description of why they deserve the honor. Please include your contact information. Send these to [email protected], or drop them off at The Skanner News offices, at 415 N Killingsworth St., Portland, 97228.
Past winners include:
Joyce Braden Harris, educator, community engagement manager of Education Northwest;
Joe McFerrin, Portland Opportunities Industrialization Council;
Karanja Crews, former Portland Public Schools teacher, founder of the Teaching With Purpose Conference, creator of the Journey to Freedom Project;
Sabin CDC Computer Training Center, Craig Fondren;
Rob Ingram, City of Portland Office of Youth Violence Prevention;
Portland Police Chief Charles Moose;
Imani Muhammad, Portland YOUTH Summit;
Former Sen. Avel Gordly;
Portland Youth Redirection Program, Bishop AA Wells; and Donnie Y. Griffin, Hate-Free Oregon Summit;
Retired Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justices Wallace P. Carson, Edwin J. Peterson, Judicial Department Task Force on Racial and Justice Issues in the Judicial System;
Walter C. Reynolds, MD, first Black graduate of University of Oregon Medical School;
Herman L. McKinney for civil rights work in Portland and Seattle;
Calvin Henry, Oregon Commission for Black Affairs;
Kevin Fuller, Bridge Builders founder;
Josiah Hill, III, president of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, advocated “zero tolerance” for child lead exposure; awarded posthumously;
AND MANY MORE.