In April 1968, in the days following the murder of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, a group of middle school students at Highland School in NE Portland began organizing in honor of his death. In the week following Dr King's assassination, these students made a public appeal to PPS School Board and were successfully able to change the name of the school in Dr King's honor.
In the decades following this Black youth-led initiative, the name of the neighborhood and the nearby boulevard also changed to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..
Now, in 2022, Oregon Department of Transportation has federal funds to expand the Interstate 5 corridor which will force the need to move Harriet Tubman Middle School. Portland Public Schools short list of possible solutions includes moving Tubman into one of the feeder elementary schools which would displace the elementary.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School is deeply concerned for their community, and others, as there’s a chance of being negatively impacted by a decision to displace students. In this recording Tin Can Phone co-host Michael Stevenson, master artist and educator, interviews Tiffany Robinson and Tyler Brown, two former students of both King and Tubman and current PTA President and Vice President about the issue.