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Decade Strong in the Soul

MLK Dream Run to celebrate 10 years

The MLK Dream Run honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of social and economic justice for all. The 10th annual weekend celebration returns Saturday, Oct. 16 at Northeast MLK Boulevard and Alberta Street with a Roots Marketplace and Vendor Village, and entertainment. Race day is Sunday, Oct 17 from the same location.

It’s a milestone year for the Soul District Business Associations’ MLK Dream Run fundraising weekend celebration, returning Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16 -17 to the Alberta Commons shopping district at Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Alberta Street.

The 10th annual event celebrates a decade of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of social and economic justice for all, as he outlined through his timeless, “I Have A Dream'' speech.

This year’s celebration will kick off on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. featuring a Roots Marketplace, Vendor Village and entertainment through 6 p.m. Race day will be Sunday Oct, 27 from 7 a.m. to noon from the same MLK and Alberta location.

Donations raised for these events provide mentorship, coaching and workforce development training for small business owners and youth entrepreneurs in Portland’s historic African American community.

Funds raised over the years have been used to benefit the Soul District Youth Entrepreneur Training Programs, for example, which are designed to help low-income and minority youth (ages 16-24) improve and expand skills they need to operate successful businesses. These youth are able to leverage these skills to secure opportunities for better employment and pathways to higher education.

For Kyrell Bishop, a SDBA youth entrepreneur program graduate and owner of GKB Services, LLC, a company that provides transport, moving and professional cleaning services, the impact of the training he received from 2015-2018 was instrumental in putting him on a path to successful small business ownership.

“Summer internship programs through The Soul District Business Association gave me true insights into the daily operations and requirements of running a business. I learned and gained skills and connections that gave me universal qualities and capacities,” he recently shared with Soul District officials.

Bishop said he saw how things worked in real-world, real-time.

“This experience inspired me to launch my own business that supports myself and my family,” he said.

Everyone is invited to join the MLK Dream Run celebration and be a part of the Soul District’s ongoing work to uplift Black and minority communities. You can sign up to walk, run, vendor, volunteer or donate, as individuals or groups by visiting


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