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Kennedy School Fete Raises $10 G's for PCC History Center

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PORTLAND — The Community History Center at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus received a big boost at a pre-opening party at McMenamins Kennedy School facility on Monday, Oct. 20. The event, where more than 1,000 people enjoyed free food, drink, music and tours of the newly renovated school at 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave., netted $10,559 for the year-old minority history center.

"It fit in perfectly with our community feel at the Kennedy School," said Melissa Groshong, project manager for the new McMenamins site. "Anything that lets us work closer with the community like this is something we like to do."

Groshong said she hopes the event will mark the beginning of an ongoing relation with Community History Center projects, as well as other Cascade Campus events, such as the annual Festival of African Films each February.

The Community History Center was created in 1996 in response to community requests to then-new Cascade Campus Executive Dean Mildred Ollee for a facility which would preserve the history of African American people in Portland. At that time Dean Ollee accepted the gift of the papers and personal library of Rev. John H. Jackson, a prominent local minister and civil rights activist, and this collection became the cornerstone of a significant community resource.

Last year, the Community History Center presented a symposium on the history of African Americans in Portland. Next March, it will present its second symposium, now known as the Jackson Forum, on the Vanport flood and its impact on the African American community in Portland. The Community History Center has also created a permanent display about the life and work of Rev. Jackson for the foyer of Jackson Hall.

People interested in the work of the Community History Center may contact Linda Elegant, coordinator and Cascade campus faculty member, at 978-5070 for more information.

McMenamins Kennedy School is a partnership between McMenamins, Inc., the neighbors who fought to keep the building alive and the Portland Development Commission. It will be a combination community center, lodging facility with 35 guest rooms, full-service restaurant and bar called "The Courtyard Restaurant," movie theater, brewery, gymnasium and community garden.

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