The Urban League of Portland went to Pendleton to participate in the Pendleton Round-Up festivities last week!
On the September 16th the Urban League staff were carried by a horse drawn wagon for the Westward Ho! Parade. The parade was followed by our 4th Urban League for All of Us Community Conversation. Together we enjoyed lunch with Pendletonians and honored the following community champions who are doing dynamic work that reflects our values.
- Leon Ransom
- Leon Ransom is a Native Pendletonian. His family came to Pendleton in 1952 from Inverness, Mississippi. His father worked for the railroads. He grew up knowing George Fletcher. Mr. Ransom is a historian for the Pendleton community and the famous Black cowboy George Fletcher. He has shared stories in various capacities. In the book Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo, Mr. Ransom shared memories he had about George Fletcher. In the book Let “Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion, he helped provide knowledge about George Fletcher.
- Pendleton Community Action Coalition
- The Pendleton Community Action Coalition (PCAC) started in May of 2020 under a different name, Occupy Pendleton as a response to the murder of George Floyd. Occupy Pendleton changed leadership to Briana Spencer in October of 2020 and was renamed the Pendleton Community Action Coalition. Since then, PCAC has grown into a cornerstone of the community. PCAC’s goal is to help individuals in marginalized communities grow and prosper by eliminating disproportional injustices that hinder BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, immigrants, disabled, working class, poor, etc. advancement. They have held events for BLM, racial injustices for communities of color, and women’s rights.
- Hermiston Culture Awareness Coalition
- The Hermiston Culture Awareness Coalition is a group of community members of diverse cultural backgrounds that support the Hermiston community. They are local friends and neighbors sharing a vision for greater equity and appreciation for all peoples and cultures making up their rural Eastern Oregon community. The Hermiston Culture Awareness Coalition puts on events for Juneteenth, BLM, and MLK Day. They have strong ties to the Eastern Oregon community as they live, work, and volunteer in this region.
- Color Our Community On Awareness (COCOA) (Walla Walla, WA)
- COCOA is a newly formed nonprofit that seeks to amplify melanated voices through joy, art, and literature in the Walla Walla Valley. Being that they are new, they are building their programming but had success this year when they hosted the Juneteenth celebration in Walla Walla. The leaders at COCOA are educators and focus on representation in schools and community spaces for Black and Brown people in the Walla Walla/Valley area. They try to avoid sources of controversy by not endorsing politicians or promoting religion. But they will have tough conversations about race, representation, and allyship "as educators they have no problem navigating difficult conversations and use them as learning opportunities.
On our trip, we were able to visit historic landmarks in Pendleton such as:
- Underground tour - "A Place Where Culture Is Kept, History Is Told, And Legends Live On"
- Historical Statue of George Fletcher - George Fletcher was probably the greatest African-American rough stock rider in early-day rodeo
- Triple Nickles- 1st all-Black paratrooper unit in U.S. history