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Nick Fish

Commissioner, City of Portland

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

'Remembering the Power of Words' tells Avel Gordly's story

February 24, 2011

Portland native Avel Gordly encountered significant obstacles as a young person, but supportive family members and a connection with school helped her shape a path for herself first as a Portland State University student, community organizer, and young political activist, then as an Oregon State Representative, and finally as a State Senator, a position she held for 12 years.

In "Remembering the Power of Words," co-authored by Nick's wife, PSU Professor Patricia Schechter, Gordly recalls her experience growing up in Portland and as an influential figure in our state legislature.

Today, she is a Professor in PSU's Black Studies program, where she took courses decades ago. And she is once again a community organizer in North Portland, helping inspire a new generation of leaders.

In a story in today's Portland Tribune, Steve Law calls the book is "a compelling tale of Portland and of one woman who overcame the odds to make a lasting mark on her community."

Four upcoming readings will offer the opportunity to speak with Avel and Professor Schechter:

  • Sunday, Feb. 27 at the Oregon Historical Society, 2:30 pm
  • Wednesday, Mar. 9 at the Lloyd Center Barnes & Noble, 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, Mar. 27 at the Highland Christian Center Bookstore, 12:30 pm
  • Monday, April 4 at Powell's on W Burnside, 7:30 pm