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A Legacy Honored

Family members of the late civil rights champion Robert Phillips beam with pride for the placement of a new street sign topper that honors his lifetime of work advocating for economic and racial justice. The memorial was added last month near Phillips’ childhood home at Northeast Sixth and Fremont.

A new memorial street sign topper in northeast Portland pays tribute to Robert Phillips, a late member of Portland’s black community, for his lifetime of work advocating for economic and racial justice.

The sign was installed at Sixth and Fremont near Phillips childhood home last month, made possible by the support of Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, county managers of color, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and other community leaders, officials said.

Phillips, who died on April 15, 2020 at the age of 69, was known for his lifetime of work in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in Portland, Multnomah County and in communities across the state.

Robert Phillips

He served for decades as Multnomah County’s affirmative action officer and on several advisory panels, including commissions for the governor, the Port of Portland’s Civil Service Commission, Nike Corporation’s Minority Affairs Advisory Board and the Oregon State Commission on Black Affairs.

His tenure was marked by innovative and award-winning policy initiatives, plans and programs that promoted respectful work environments for diverse employees, officials said.

After retiring, he served on the Northwest Renal Patients Advisory Board, Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs Political Convention Planning Committee and the Port of Portland Fire Department Civil Service Board.

“Robert’s service to the community transformed the employment experiences, workforce development and the hiring practices of Multnomah County and other organizations. That’s why with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, we’re installing a street sign in his memory outside his childhood home in Northeast Portland,” a joint statement from the officials declared.



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