Learn about the traditionally untold stories of the Civil Rights Movement, specifically the role of women of color. Speakers will share reflections on their work in the Oregon Civil Rights Movement — their struggles and greatest memories — as well as advice for young activists on how to get involved and what they can do to make a positive difference in their local communities.
Joyce Harris’s career has been defined by her professional (and personal) work in making connections and meeting the needs of communities and educators. She currently serves as a manager with a focus on community engagement at Education Northwest. Previously, she served as an administrator at the Black Educational Center, a school she co-founded in Portland, from 1980-1993. Harris presents annually at the Leveraging Resources Joint Conference through the U.S. Department of Education and has presented at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Her off-hours work with survivors of Hurricane Katrina led to Portland Monthly recognizing her as one of the 25 people who most define Portland. She is currently finishing a doctoral program in community college leadership from Oregon State University, and she also has degrees from Portland State University and Reed College. Joyce’s passion is collecting books and memorabilia that document the history and culture of African Americans. Her personal library contains over 6,000 books.
Jackie Winters represents District 10 in the Oregon State Senate. She began her life-long interest in citizen involvement in public policy listening to her parents’ discussions around the table in Topeka, Kansas, where she was born, and later in Portland, Oregon where her family moved in 1941. She began her governmental service in 1959, at Oregon Health Sciences University, and later joined the staff of the Portland Model Cities Program. In 1969, she was recruited to be supervisor of the Office of Economic Opportunity’s New Resources Program at the request of Governor Tom McCall, and she was appointed Ombudsman, by Governor Victor Atiyeh, in 1979. In 1985, Jackie opened her first Jackie’s Ribs restaurant, in Salem. Over time, she and her family expanded the operations to include three restaurants and three franchises. In 1998, voters of District 31 elected her as their State Representative, the first African-American Republican to achieve this honor. She was re-elected to this office in 2000. In 2002, 2006 and again in 2010, she was elected as State Senator for District 10.
Charlotte Rutherford is a community activist and former civil rights attorney, journalist, administrative law judge, and entrepreneur. She was born in 1947, the third child of Verdell Burdine and Otto G. Rutherford. Rutherford grew up in Portland’s Albina District and attended Highland Grade School and Jefferson High School. She attended Los Angeles City College, arriving in the city during the Watts riots, and witnessed the rise of the Black Power movement. In 1967, she returned to Portland and wrote for the Oregon Advance Times, a local Black newspaper. Rutherford attended the University of Washington before enrolling at Portland State University, where, in 1976, she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Administration of Justice and a minor in Black Studies. Rutherford completed her JD at Howard University School of Law in 1983 and her LLM at Georgetown University Law Center in 1985. She worked for seven years as a civil rights attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in both Washington D.C. and New York City, and served as director of the NAACP’s Black Women’s Employment Program. Rutherford credits this position with giving her a better appreciation for feminism and feminist theory. In 1992, Rutherford returned again to Portland and worked as an administrative law judge for Oregon’s Office of Administrative Hearings until her retirement in 2010.
Joy Alise Davis, M.A., is an interdisciplinary design strategist who has held support and leadership roles in various social justice organizations for over eight years. Joy is a Cincinnati native and graduate of Miami University with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Parsons The New School for Design with a Master of Arts in Theories of Urban Practice. Mrs. Davis is currently the Executive Director of the Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) where she works to helps our Black community imagine the alternatives we deserve and build our political participation and leadership to achieve those alternatives.
About the Oregon Black Pioneers
The state’s premier Black heritage organization is dedicated to illuminating African Americans’ contributions to Oregon’s history through research, publications, exhibits, and community outreach. The organization's newest exhibition, Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years, directly builds on three highly successful collaborations with the Oregon Historical Society and reflects the all-volunteer organization's increasing capacity to create meaningful opportunities for community dialogue and learning.
About History Pub
Join us for beer and history, sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society, Holy Names Heritage Center, and McMenamins, in which you'll hear lively local or regional history while you enjoy a frosty pint or two of handcrafted ale.