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Michael Leighton

Stories by Michael

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Remembering Charles Jordan

First black city commissioner inspired leadership

People from all over the city are remembering Jordan for his leadership, especially in his role as a former director of Portland Parks and Recreation.

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Change Agent

Issues of race and disability move into the spotlight

Issues of race and disability have moved into the spotlight at City Hall thanks to Portland’s first ever Office of Equity and Human Rights. Dante J. James, the office’s first bureau director, presented an annual report on the work accomplished by the department to the full City Council last month and recently met with the Portland Observer to help build public support for the mission.

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Through the Eyes of Africans

Cascade Festival of African Films to entertain and inform

Portland Community College's 24th Cascade Festival of African Films brings 19 films and two African directors

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Portland Leader Improving Lives

Honored by Concordia University

Kay Toran, president and chief executive officer of Volunteers of America, will receive Concordia University’s 3rd Annual Gov. Victor Atiyeh Leadership in Education Award.

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King Neighborhood Firehouse Demolished

Historic resource not protected

1924 building was of Colonial style with a portico and Tuscan columns.

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Decorated Veteran

Michelle Watson excels as career military leader

It’s been a long and rewarding journey from Harriet Tubman School in Portland to a distinguished career in the U.S. Coast Guard for Michelle Watson. The former Portland and Vancouver area resident has just finished a year in which she met President Obama and the First Lady; was promoted as the first African-American woman commander of a Coast Guard security unit in Virginia; and served as a deputy commander in security for the president’s second inauguration in Washington, D.C., last January.

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Remembrances Pour in for Lee Perlman

Neighborhood stalwart was a community champion

Accolades and remembrances are pouring in for Lee Perlman, a longtime Portland community journalist and activist who died this month at the age of 64.

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‘Moda Health’ Wins Arena Naming Rights

Rose Garden name goes away for sponsorship deal

The Portland Trail Blazers and Moda Health have unveiled a community partnership that changes the name of the Rose Garden to “the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter,” effective immediately.

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Summer African American Film Series Begins

First annual Summer African American Film Festival series begins

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Diversity Champion Remembered

Jerry Walker’s passion was working for a better world

A community leader for diversity, inclusion and equality dies at the age of 60