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(Photo by Antonio Harris)
Saundra Sorenson
Published: 18 January 2023

The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual MLK Breakfast on Jan. 16 was a mix of celebration and rumination on work left to be done to secure the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision. (View the video below.)

Spirits were high as the sold-out event was held in-person at the Holiday Inn, Columbia River, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, with hundreds of elected officials and community leaders mingling and enjoying gospel performances by Trenelle Doyle and Dr. JerMichael Riley, alongside inspiring speeches and the presentation of The Skanner Foundation scholarships to 34 high school seniors and renewing college students.

mlk23 scholarship recipients bernie foster photo by antonio harris full2023 Scholarship recipients with The Skanner Foundation President Bernie Foster (Photo by Antonio Harris)
“The students are so inspiring,” Gov. Tina Kotek told The Skanner, adding the scholarships ceremony was her favorite part of the yearly event. “There’s always a great speaker, but hearing all the great stories from the students as they get their awards – it’s very impressive.”

Kotek, who was sworn into office last week and enthusiastically welcomed by the audience, said the breakfast was her first large public event as governor.

“This audience, this dream team for justice, doesn’t come together by osmosis.

"It comes together because two wonderful people right here, Bobbie Foster and Bernie, put this together,” U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told the crowd.