By Nancy Tannler

The 2019 Spirit of Portland Ceremony was celebrated in a grand style. It was held at Redd event space, 831 SE Salmon St. and hosted by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and the Office of Community & Civic Life. 

The evening began with music by Son De Cuba and an art show by Nayely Perez and Patricia Vazquez. The MC, Kevin Cook aka Poison Waters, warmed up the audience with humor and a fabulous outfit. Steven Paul, Nez Percé and members of other Native American tribes performed ceremonial songs that set the tone for the evening. 

For thirty-five years, the City of Portland has hosted the Spirit of Portland Awards to highlight meaningful individual and organizational leadership. Eleven recipients were honored this year for their work to make Portland a safe, fun and meaningful place.

Photo: Sunrise Movement PDX, is the local chapter of a national movement of young people working to make climate change an urgent priority across America and create millions of good jobs in the process. They are currently empowering their generation to become active and take leadership in advocating for a Green New Deal which addresses injustice and inequity while also fighting the climate crisis.

Other recipients are:

• Oregon Native American Business Enterprise Network – a nonprofit dedicated to meeting the many needs of Native American communities

• Urban League Community Health Department – addressing the health needs of Portland’s African American community.

• Columbia Land Trust –  conserving and caring for the vital lands, waters and wildlife of the Columbia River region through sound science and strong relationships

• Angela Harris – for her dedication to the Portland community.

• Portland United Against Hate – a coalition of eighty neighborhood groups, non-profits and municipal partners committed to tracking, responding to and preventing acts of hate

• Wm. Steven Humphrey – Editor-in-chief for the Portland Mercury, committed to informing and entertaining readership with stories of the Portland community.

• OPB Senior Management Team – a nationally recognized leader in public media, providing news, information and entertainment to the Northwest.

• Kaira Sand – executive director of Street Roots, the publication addressing homelessness and poverty

• Donal Dixon – Madison High School basketball and football coach and the founder of the citywide Boys to Men and Girls to Women conferences