Public Programming: History Pub: Women of the Civil Rights Movement

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Movement

Monday, March 26, 2018
7pm – 8:30pm

FREE Event

McMenamins Kennedy School

Event attendees will learn about the traditionally untold stories of the Civil Rights Movement, specifically the role of women of color. Speakers will share reflections on their work in the Oregon Civil Rights Movement — their struggles and greatest memories — as well as advice for young activists on how to get involved and what they can do to make a positive difference in their local communities. 

Featured panelists include

Joyce Harris

After 20 years as director of the Region X Equity Assistance Center (EAC), Joyce now serves as a manager with a focus on community engagement. Her career has been defined by her professional (and personal) work in making connections and meeting the needs of communities and educators. Before coming to Education Northwest, she served as an administrator at the Black Educational Center, a school she co-founded in Portland, OR from 1980-93. Her teaching experiences include serving a science teacher through OMSI and as an instructor in a Portland Public Schools program for racially and culturally diverse talented and gifted students. In a career with many highlights, Harris considers her annual presentations at the Leveraging Resources Joint Conference through the U.S. Department of Education and a presentation at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government as among the most memorable. Her off-hours work with survivors of Hurricane Katrina led to Portland Monthly recognizing her as one of the 25 people who most define Portland. Joyce’s passion is collecting books and memorabilia that document the history and culture of African Americans. Her personal library contains over 6,000 books.

Senator Jackie Winters

Senator Jackie Winters began her life-long interest in citizen involvement and public policy as she listened to her parents’ discussions around the table, first in Topeka, Kansas where she was born, and later in Portland Oregon where her family moved in 1943.  Throughout her formal education and early years of employment, she continued to personally practice her belief in the powers of “her voice” as well as her value for gathering “everyone” around the table.

She began her governmental service in 1959 at the University of Oregon Medical School in the medical records unit and later joined the staff of the Portland Model Cities Program.  In 1969, she was recruited to be supervisor of the Office of Economic Opportunity’s New Resources Program at the request of Governor Tom McCall. In 1979, she was appointed Ombudsman by Governor Victor Atiyeh.  During this service, she helped create the Oregon Food Share Program, the first statewide non-profit food sharing network, which continues today serving most of Oregon’s neediest families.

In 1985, Jackie opened her first Jackie’s Ribs restaurant, in Salem.  Over time, she and her family expanded operations to include three restaurants, two franchises, catering services, private parties and numerous appearances in national Bar-B-Q Cook-offs.  She closed the business in 2003 at the time of the first illness of her husband.

In 1998, voters of District 31 elected Jackie as State Representative, the first African-American Republican to achieve this honor in Oregon.  After serving two terms, she was elected as State Senator for District 10 and has served in that office since 2002. She has served on the Joint Ways & Means Committee since 1999 and chaired the Ways & Means Sub-Committee on Human Resources in 2013.  She is currently co-chair of the Ways & Means Sub Committee on Public Safety and serves on the Ways and Means Sub Committee on Human Resources. In November 2014, she was elected to a fourth term as Senator representing District 10. In November, 2017 she was selected by the Senate Republican Caucus to serve as Senate Republican Leader, the first African American in Oregon to be a caucus leader.

Senator Winters is also a past President of the Salem Chapter of NAACP, and one of the founders of the Oregon Northwest Black Pioneers.  Nationally, she is a former member of the Executive Board of the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women, (NOBEL Women), and currently serves as the Oregon State Director for Women in Government (WIG) and Vice-chair of the Committee on International Affairs of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL).

Jackie has lived in Salem for 46 years.  She was married in 1971 to Marc “Ted” Winters.  She has four adult sons, a stepson, stepdaughter, 11 grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.  Her beloved husband Ted passed on August 26, 2008.

Charmaine Coleman

Charmaine and her husband Professor Edwin Coleman dedicated their lives supporting the African American community in Eugene, OR.





Charlotte Rutherford


Rutherford worked for seven years as a civil rights attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in both Washington D.C. She also credits this position with giving her a better appreciation for feminism and feminist theory.

In 1992, Charlotte returned to Portland and works as an administrative law judge for Oregon’s Office of Administrative Hearings until her retirement in 2010.

In the late 1970s, while working as a compliance officer and civil rights investigator for the State of Oregon, Charlotte decided to become a lawyer. She completed her JD at Howard University School of Law in 1983 and her LLM at Georgetown University Law Center in 1985.

She contributed her family’s collection of black history Verdell Burdine and Otto G. Rutherford Family Collection 1880s-1980s to Portland State University Library Special Collections.

Joy Alise Davis will act as the facilitator.