Zachary Stocks, Oregon Black Pioneers executive director, said the anniversary celebration will help raise money in support of the organization’s educational mission. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Oregon Black Pioneers, the state’s lone statewide African American historical society, is marking its 30th anniversary with a celebration and fundraiser Sept. 17 in Portland, the organization announced.

The event will run from 3-6 p.m. at The Redd in Portland. The $125 ticket price includes a meal catered by Miss’ipi Chef and music and dancing to a performance by Ocean 503.

The celebration’s theme is “Shining a Light on Oregon’s Black History.” Since 1993, the organization has illuminated the seldom-told history of people of African descent in Oregon through exhibits, public programs and education. 

Last year, Oregon Black Pioneers was among the organizations that participated in the unveiling of a new historical marker in Philomath that recognized the Reuben Shipley family’s historical contributions.

Oregon Black Pioneers said it hopes to raise funds at the celebration to support its educational mission.

“This year’s event is especially important to us,” Oregon Black Pioneers Executive Director Zachary Stocks, who was one of the speakers at the 2022 Philomath event, said through a press release. “Our hardworking nonprofit has accomplished so much since 1993. Since our last fundraising event in 2019 we’ve grown to a staff of three, created new programs and exhibits, and launched a new website.

“Every donation helps us move one step closer to achieving our vision of becoming the preeminent resource for the study of Oregon’s African American history and culture,” he added.

Denyse McGriff, who in 2022 became the first Black woman ever elected as mayor of an Oregon town, will serve as the event’s keynote speaker.

More information and tickets can be purchased on the Oregon Black Pioneers website.