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The Skanner News
Published: 22 April 2010

If you can get to Cascade campus by 5:30 pm tonight Friday, you have the rare opportunity to hear from civil rights scholar john a. powell, at an event presented by the Urban League of Portland. Powell,  who doesn't capitalize his name, is the executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the University of Ohio, Friday, April 23.

Powell is a professor, an internationally recognized authority in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties and issues relating to race, ethnicity, poverty and the law. He also is a friend of Ron Sims,  the former King County CEO, recently appointed Deputy Secretary of the Bureau of Housing and Urban Development. 

Powell will speak tonight, Friday, April 23, 5:30 p.m. at the Portland Community College Cascade Moriarty Building Auditorium, 705 N. Killingsworth St.

Friday morning, powell shared a platform with Deputy Secretary Sims. Speaking briefly to a small invited audience of policy and housing buffs, at an event hosted by the Coalition for a Livable Future, at METRO's offices,  he called for action to ensure housing credit markets serve poor people and minorities, along with a new push for mixed income development with access to a network of services, transportation, and schools. "The Black Community has lost 22 years of progress in housing," due to predatory lending and the foreclosure fiasco, he said. "I'm not saying the white community has not been hurt, but the scale is different."

Sims will push for equity in planning and development, powell said.  "Ron will push these ideas," he said. "And when people say 'Why?', he'll say 'Why not?'"

 Sims went on to give a powerful public speech at the First Unitarian church, then forward to the City Club of Portland to address its Friday Forum. (More to come on this!)

But tonight powell will be speaking about perspectives on addressing inequalities in Portland's African American Community using a Transformational Change approach.
-What should Portland's African American leaders' collective steps towards racial equality and justice look like?
-What is Transformational Change and how might it look in Portland's African American Community?
The event is sponsored by the Northwest Area Foundation in support of Portland's African American Leadership Forum.

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