Portland Observer celebrates with service awards
Dedicated to cultural diversity, the Portland Observer has been an active participant in the community for more than 40 years, providing local people with responsible and in-depth journalism on issues often ignored by mainstream publications.
It’s fair to say that this newspaper and our portlandobserver.com website, humbly situated on Portland’s historic Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, has worked tirelessly with few resources to enhance community awareness and development while providing an excellent advertising source for local businesses.
In an acknowledgement of its diversity mission and to pay tribute to community service leaders, the Portland Observer Foundation cordially invites supporters to the first annual Community Services Awards Dinner on Friday, Nov. 9, at the DoubleTree Hotel in northeast Portland.
The formal event will honor outstanding young leaders by awarding six scholarships to students and recognize business and government leaders who are advocates for cultural development in disadvantaged and minority communities.
“This is our effort to award them the merit of their hard work for the community and to give support to the future leaders of our community,” said Portland Observer Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Charles Washington.
With a dedicated Portland Observer team, including Mark Washington, assistant to the publisher for public relations, circulation and photography, and Tony Washington, advertising manager and public relations executive, the Washington family continues to live out the legacy of their mother Joyce Washington, the late Portland Observer publisher, who died in 1996.
An expected 250 people will attend the awards dinner which will also feature live music by The Light Band and Ocean 503.
“We are thrilled and incredibly fortunate to have Ken Boddie from KOIN News as our Master of Ceremonies and the Honorable Darleen Ortega from the Oregon Court of Appeals as our keynote speaker,” Charles Washington said.
Participating as an event sponsor will directly contribute to the Scholarship Awards and Community Service Awards as well as demonstrate your support for the public service values behind one of Portland’s oldest newspaper publications.
In 1970, the Portland Observer issued its first publication. When Mr. Washington took reigns in the mid 1990s, the newspaper’s goal was to be both Afro-centric and focused on cultural diversity, including the Latino, immigrant and gentrified communities. As Portland grew in diversity, the Portland Observer grew.
The newspaper and foundation is guided by a small, but dedicated staff.
Lucinda Baldwin, assistant to the publisher and office manager, arrived to the Portland Observer two years ago tired of working in a business environment without a community service element.
“I wanted to give something back to the community, not just the black community, but everybody,” she said.
Baldwin said working with Mr. Washington can be a challenge, but called him fair. “He is a family-oriented man who gives back to the community whether they realize it or not,” she said.
Baldwin says there is a reason that Michael Leighton, Portland Observer editor, and Paul Neufeldt, creative designer, have both worked for the company for nearly 20 years.
“People depend on this paper,” said Baldwin. “It’s their outlet. They read it from front to back. They find our mistakes and they’re always encouraging us to do better.”
While a growing diversity has brought gentrification to the historically black community, the Portland Observer continues to maintain its strength in the community, Washington said.
If you have any questions about the Portland Observer Foundation Community Service Awards Dinner, or would like to help sponsor the awards, please feel free to contact event planner Tisha Stigler at 503-421-3746 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Charles Washington at 503-288-1897 or email email@example.com.