Benson High School Principal Curtis Wilson Jr. (top, center) is joined by his wife Yushonna, and son Andrew, as he receives a Lifetime Achievement Award at The World Arts Foundation’s annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. held last Monday at the Highland Center on Northeast Glisan Street. Portland Observer Publisher Mark Washington (bottom, second from right) enjoys the festivities of the 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute with his children and grandchildren, where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award. TOP PHOTO BY BETH CONYERS
Two longtime members of the African American community, Portland Observer Publisher Mark Washington and Benson High School Principal Curtis Wilson Jr., were among the over a dozen individuals and organizations to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 34th consecutive Tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Wilson was recognized during the MLK holiday celebration for his efforts of achieving a high graduation rate and low dropout rate at the majority-black Benson High School. Washington was recognized for carrying the torch of Oregon’s oldest, continuous minority publication, the Portland Observer, now in its 49th year of operation.
The program, which was held at Highland Center at 7600 N.E. Glisan St., also honored former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, former City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Dr. Rosa Colquitt, Bill Deiz, Mary Harvey, Aneesah Furqan-Peace, Laverne Davis, Angela Jenkins, Stefana Berceanu, Michael Sweeney, Bernard Brian Quinn, Calvin Walker, and Jimmy “Bang Bang” Walker (posthumously).