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Sat, Mar 11


Dr. Matthew Prophet Education Center

The Signage Unveiling

Join us for the unveiling of the new name and signage of the new Dr. Matthew Prophet Education Center

The Signage Unveiling
The Signage Unveiling

Time & Location

Mar 11, 2023, 12:00 PM

Dr. Matthew Prophet Education Center, 501 N Dixon St, Portland, OR 97227, USA

About the Event

In  April 2021, the Retiree Committee of the Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators (ORABSE) decided to request the PPS Board of Education to change the name of the Blanchard Education Service Center (BESC) to Dr. Matthew Prophet Jr. Service Center to commemorate the legacy of service to Oregon by Dr. Matthew Prophet Jr. He was longest serving and first Black Superintendent of Portland Public Schools, the largest school district in Oregon.

The Retiree group, led by Dr. Velma Johnson, reached out to numerous individuals who worked with Dr Prophet to help tell the story of his contributions. A clear theme was evident throughout: Dr. Prophet believed that “All children can learn.” Better yet, he placed the right human, capital, and financial resources in the right places to ensure that everything needed was available. No excuses. Just success! Educator morale improved. Families had greater trust in their schools, and children learned!

Director Michelle Depass put ORABSE on the agenda to present September 20, 2022. Kevin Bacon (President), Lurlene Shamsud-Din (Program Manager), and others including former Board of Education members gave testimony as to why BESC should be renamed in honor of Dr. Prophet.  Dr. Harriet Adair presented the formal request. Ken Berry (WorldArts, Inc) produced a short video of community leaders detailing Dr. Prophet's impact on their personal and professional lives which was shown at the end of our presentation.  The presentation, a  “village vision” led the PPS Board of Education to an unexpected move.  Without reservation, the Board moved to vote immediately and a unanimous decision was made to change the name to the Dr. Matthew Prophet Jr. Service Center.

We hope you join us at the unveiling ceremony of the new signage will be held on March 11, 2023 at Noon, at 501 North Dixon Street. 

The Virtual Tribute to Dr. Prophet aired on October 22nd was aired on October 22, 2022. It was sponsored by ORABSE, WorldArts, Inc and Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center and Rosemary Anderson High School (POIC+RAHS).

Read more about Dr. Matthew Prophet and his impact on Portland's Educational System by clicking here, or going to our news pages.

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