The skanner. (Portland, Or.) 1975-2014, December 28, 2016, Page Page 6, Image 6

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    Page 6 The Skanner December 28, 2016
A Look Back At 2016
MLK Celebration
About 5,000 people participated in the 34th Annual Martin Luther King Jr Day march from Garfield
High School to the Federal building in Seattle Jan. 18. The annual celebration held on MLK Day
included workshops, a rally in the Garfield High School gym and the march.
Wake of Vanport
Freemason Lodge Repaired
The Skanner News held two screenings of its oral history project on the Vanport flood, “The Wake of
Vanport,” with each screening featuring new stories from survivors. “The Wake of Vanport” chronicles
the history surrounding the city of Vanport, a quickly-built workforce housing town that became the
most racially-diverse city in Oregon. The town itself was a model for racial integration during a time
where most of the nation — including Portland — was segregated.
Vanport went from being the second largest city in Oregon to completely destroyed in a matter
of hours. On Memorial Day, May 30, 1948, the dam protecting the city burst and a 10-foot wall of
water destroyed homes, shops, a hospital and a technical college. Vanport documentary storytellers
Betty Duelen, Ed Washington, Eleanora Larson, Dorothy Hadley, Hurtis Hadley, Henry Kaiser, Curnel
Walden and John Beverage at the Wake of Vanport screening at the historic Hollywood Theatre in
Northeast Portland Nov. 20. A previous screening was held April 3 at the Oregon Historical Society.
The Sons of Haiti Masonic Lodge – threatened with closure due to building code issues and fines –
held a community fundraiser and received assistance from the Portland Development Commission
and the Boise Neighborhood Association that enabled the building to keep its doors open. The space
– which is more than 3,000 square feet in size -- primarily functions as the meeting lodge for a
historically African American faction of the Freemason fraternity, it’s also used as space for kids’
karate classes and Sunday church services.
Clara Peoples, the mother of Juneteenth in Oregon, passed away in 2015 after witnessing the
150th Juneteenth anniversary celebration. Her granddaughter, Jenelle Jack, has chosen to keep her
grandmother’s dream alive by organizing and educating Oregonians about this too-often overlooked
part of history. This year’s celebration took place June 18, from noon until 7 p.m. at Legacy Emanuel
field at the corner of NE Williams and Graham streets. Juneteenth commemorates the events of June
19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas, when Union General Gordon Granger read a proclamation announcing
the freedom of all slaves. Every year after, the 19th was celebrated as Juneteenth Independence Day
or Freedom Day.
Civil Rights
Director Sues DOJ
Erious Johnson, the civil rights director for the
Oregon Department of Justice sued the DOJ in
October, saying the department has failed to take
corrective measures after learning an investigator
was creating profiles for Oregonians, including
Johnson, who used the #BlackLivesMatter
hashtag on social media. In October 2015, Johnson
learned a DOJ investigator had created a file
labeling him a potential threat based on his social
media use – and used a digital tool to search for
and gather information on other individuals in
Oregon who used the #blacklivesmatter hashtag.
On Tuesday Rosenblum said she had fired the
investigator responsible for tracking Johnson’s
social media messages. When news broke about
the creation of Johnson’s file last fall, Rosenblum
told the media the same investigator had been
placed on paid leave.