PORTLAND - Oregon State University's "relentless commitment" to equality and fairness was honored Monday as part of the World Arts Foundation's 25th-annual "Keep the Dream Alive Tribute" to the late Martin Luther King Jr.

OSU earned the "Best Equity Award" for its work around affirmative action, campus coalitions, cultural resource centers, lesbian and gay alliances, women's studies and gender inequities, organizers said. The university was among 25 Oregon individuals and groups honored as part of the celebration's silver anniversary. President Ed Ray accepted the award for OSU.

Other honorees included the Urban league of Portland, Washington County's Vision Action Network,  Oregon Action of Portland, the Avel Gordly Center for Healing at Oregon Health Science University and 20 individual community leaders from many different professions and organizations.

"The work that OSU has done over the years in living its commitment to equality, to communities of color and to educating all of the people of Oregon is what made Oregon State stand out," said Ken Berry, executive producer of the Keep the Dream Alive Tribute. Added Geoffrey Brook, vice president of World Arts Foundation , who nominated the university for the award, "I felt that OSU and President Ray deserved this visibility because I appreciate their relentless efforts and sustained commitment to equity. As a graduate of OSU, I felt that effort needed to be recognized."

"It's very gratifying to see Oregon State's current and historic work in this area honored in such an important and long-standing celebration," said Ray. "It was truly humbling to see our university recognized alongside such tireless community leaders and valuable organizations, and for that, I'm particularly grateful.

"This inspires us to keep on keeping on!"

Established in Portland in 1978, the World Arts Foundation promotes and preserves African-American contributions to the American culture and supports community education through the interface of arts and education in interactive, visual and performing media that showcase local and regional talent.

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Geoffrey Brook, (503) 333-3168