The Eugene/Springfield NAACP and community partners, including the City of Eugene, will host the annual Martin Luther King Jr. march and celebration on January 16, 2017. This year’s march and rally theme is “Standing United.”
Speakers at the beginning of the march and at the Shedd will include: Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis, Lane Transit District General Manager Aurora Jackson, US Representative Peter Defazio, State Senator James Manning, University of Oregon President Michael Schill, and Lane County Administrator Steve Mohrohisky.
Community Leader Awards Announced
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a perfect opportunity to remember the power that each community member has to make change right here in Eugene. The Eugene Human Rights Commission presents an annual award to local change makers to acknowledge the time and talents they give to our community.
This year, the commission recognizes two people for their contributions in the area of human rights and race relations in our community. It is with great excitement that the Human Rights Commission announces that the “Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leader Award” for 2017 will honor Phil Carrasco and Kevin Summerfield.
Kevin Summerfield, a native Oregonian, grew up in Portland, Oregon and for the past 17 years has called Eugene home. He began taking on leadership roles in social justice at Lane Community College as the Black Student Union president and as the Associated Students of LCC Multicultural and Campus Events Coordinator. His growth as a community leader continued during his time at University of Oregon where he graduated with a degree in Family and Human Services and a firmly cemented commitment to addressing issues of inclusion and equity. He brings his whole self to the task of building bridges and creating understanding. He accomplishes this with his warm demeanor, deep infectious laugh and using his natural love of people and sharp intelligence to build relationships.
As an employee of Eugene 4j school district, Kevin has gone above and beyond the scope of his job duties to create a school climate that is welcoming and equitable for all. In an educational environment where strained budgets and decreased staffing have made equity more of a goal than the reality, Kevin has steadfastly continued the course of providing support and advocacy for groups such as the Black Student Union, Native American Student Union, Pacific Islander Student Union, the Latino Student Union and the GSA even donating his time, money and willingness to use his community “currency” to provide his students with mentors and opportunities. His visibility as an equity leader has brought him other opportunities to work his magic at the long running LCC’s African American Rites of Passage program and numerous Coaching for Educational Equity trainings throughout the state of Oregon. In addition to his leadership in his job, he extends himself by participating on the board of Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC).
Phil Carrasco is a long time Lane County resident and graduate of Churchill High School, Lane Community College and the University of Oregon. He is dedicated to ensuring that historically underrepresented communities have access to spaces where racial and economic justice issues are discussed. He has been integral in generating equitable policies that enhance the lives of families through a human rights lens. He does this work by providing space and support for discussions led by impacted communities and works to increase political presence from these same communities.
Phil has helped in the creation and advocacy for meaningful policies like the City of Eugene’s Indigenous Peoples Day, Sanctuary City, increasing community oversight for the Multi Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) and was part of the Fair Shot For All coalition working to raise the minimum wage, end profiling, paid sick leave and prevent wage theft. Phil has served the community through his work on the Eugene Human Rights Commission, Oregon AFL-CIO, Grupo Latino de Acción Directa of Lane County, Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC), Catholic Community Services and many others.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join the celebration. Participants are asked to gather at the North Gate at Autzen Stadium beginning at 9 a.m. for free coffee and remarks by NAACP Eugene-Springfield President Eric Richardson, LTD General Manager A.J. Jackson and a representative of the UO Black Student Union. The march will commence at 10 a.m. and proceed to the Shedd Institute for a program highlighting solidarity between religious, civil rights and racial justice groups and the presentation of the Community Leader Award.