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Published on February 26, 2024
Multnomah County Board Celebrates February 2024 as Black History and Futures MonthSource: Multnomah County Official Website

In a significant nod to the contributions of African Americans, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners has designated February 2024 as Black History and Futures Month. The theme highlighted during this year's observance bridges the realms of Black creativity and environmental activism. Commissioner Jesse Beason officially launched the initiative alongside the Office of Sustainability, pointing to the influential strides made by Black women throughout Oregon's history.

`Recognizing the tireless efforts and groundbreaking work of Black women here is to understand how they have helped to utterly transform our region," Commissioner Beason noted as he referenced historical figures such as Mary Beatty, an early suffragist, and Gladys McCoy, the first Black Oregonian elected to public office, as reported by Multnomah County News. "For centuries, Black women like them have continued to relentlessly push our country to be better, yet they often remain unsung heroes of our society."

This move to celebrate both the past and future contributions of the Black community is marked by a series of events planned throughout the month, involving County staff and local artists who embody the pioneering spirit of their ancestors. The month-long celebration not only commemorates the achievements but also sparks conversations on the connecting roles of art, culture, and social entrepreneurship with civic causes such as environmental justice.

"It is no wonder that today we are joined by some amazing Black women who are carrying this tradition of leadership forward," Commissioner Beason said, acknowledging the present-day torchbearers of the local Black community, as stated by Multnomah County News. Their presence serves as a testament to a legacy that continues to shape Multnomah County and beyond, according to discussions at the board meeting.