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Hattie Redmond apartments ribbon cutting
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 30 May 2024

Home Forward, Oregon’s largest public housing agency, Urban League of Portland and Portland-based national public affairs firm Le Chevallier Strategies were recently awarded the National Association of Government Communicators’ (NAGC) prestigious Blue Pencil & Gold Screen award in New Orleans last week for the Hattie Redmond Apartments grand opening event. The event planning team was awarded second place in the “Special Event or Conference” category as part of NAGC’s annual international awards program reception. 

hattie redmond apartments fullHattie Redmond Apartments
“We are grateful for this recognition because it again highlights Home Forward’s unique partnership with Urban League of Portland as the co-developer of Hattie Redmond Apartments,” said Home Forward CEO Ivory Mathews. “The grand opening also allowed us to raise awareness about promising solutions and policies that keep people exiting homelessness stably housed.” 

Each year NAGC selects a handful of communicators and projects across three dozen categories for the award program. This year the award program received 361 award entries nationwide. Project winners represented all levels of government, including federal, military, state and local public entities. Last year’s Event category winners were the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Texas Broadband Development Office of Community Engagement.

hattie redmond apartments ribbon cutting medLeor Beverly, Kelly Irish and Ariane Le Chevallier pose for a photo at the award ceremony (Photo/Home Forward)
NAGC Board President Tabitha Clark recognized the event planning team saying, “Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition from the National Association of Government Communicators. This achievement represents your exceptional talent, hard work and dedication to excellence in government communication.” 

More than 75 community members, residents, elected officials, funders, housing partners and members of the media attended the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 4, 2023. The community celebration also featured a self-guided building tour, music and catering from a neighborhood restaurant.

Event tells a story

“We used the opportunity of the grand opening of the Hattie Redmond apartments to tell a more accurate story about the root causes of homelessness in our region: historically racist housing policies alongside decades of political indifference affordable housing,” says Urban League of Portland President and CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson. “Our partnership with Home Forward also demonstrates the importance of public agencies to be part of the solution partnering with culturally specific organizations like the Urban League of Portland.”

Ariane Le Chevallier and Dana Freedenfeld of Le Chevallier Strategies worked with Home Forward to lead media outreach and event materials development and Urban League of Portland led event logistics. Event catering was provided by Miss’ipi Chef. Art Larger Than Me provided curation. News stories ran in dozens of media outlets, including The Oregonian, the region’s largest newspaper, a live Think Out Loud interview on NPR affiliate OPB and an in-depth follow-up storyPortland Business Journal, all major network TV affiliates, and The Skanner and Portland Observer, two publications serving the Black community.

“Community-driven events like this help change the narrative in the media about thorny social issues,” said Le Chevallier Strategies Founder and CEO Ariane Le Chevallier. “This event allowed us to tell a solutions-based story to counter negative narratives, stereotypes and stigmas about the unhoused community.”

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