Growing Leadership for African American and Black Oregonians
The Oregon Commission on Black Affairs (OCBA) and the other Advocacy Commissions statutorily work to grow the number and influence of diverse Oregonians within all branches of state government, its key initiatives, departmental leadership and policy work.
Gwendolyn Trice, Director of the Maxville Heritage Center, Justice Adrienne Nelson, Sharon Gary-Smith honored among inspiring leaders: Women of Achievement
As part of its leadership development work, the OCBA submits outstanding candidates for OCFW’s Women of Achievement Awards. In 2015, OCBA celebrated its nominee, Gwendolyn Trice, as she was honored among the 2015 Women of Achievement. Gwendolyn Trice, a native of La Grande, Oregon, has dedicated the past several years to uncovering and documenting her family’s migration to the West – African American loggers in search of promise in the early 1900’s. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center in Wallowa County and her efforts have rekindled an interest in eastern Oregon’s rural history.
In 2019 the OCBA celebrated the careers and leadership of Justice Adrienne Nelson and change agent and leader, Sharon-Gary Smith for their contributions to Oregon justice, foundation investment in social change, and elevating awareness of systemic racism and scarcity while changing the dialogue and the outcomes.
The OCFW hosts its Annual Women of Achievement Awards with Governor Kate Brown and with the help over the years of Secretary of State (SOS) Jeanne Atkins, SOS Bev Clarno, and Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum during their terms of Office. Friends and family members of those honored joined OCFW and OCBA Commissioners, legislators, community leaders, and students from area community colleges and universities come together to honor some of Oregon’s most inspiring women. Each honoree sharing her story of challenge and leadership with the attendees, and are honored before the Oregon legislature at the convening of the Senate at the beginning of legislative session. The Women of Achievement are individuals who have led in civic rights and social justice in Oregon, serving Oregon as leadership models for the next generation of diverse women and girls.