Legacy Emanuel's commitment to the community
As Legacy Emanuel began its second century of service to the community, it was past time for us to formally address the demolition of the North Albina neighborhood and the relocation of residents and businesses as part of an urban renewal program in the 1970s. While the hospital did not conduct the demolition or relocation, it was done largely on its behalf.
This process, and the way in which it was carried out, is one of many injustices that were inflicted on the African-American community in years past. The 100th year of service of Emanuel to the community has been a fitting time to reconcile this unfortunate chapter in its history with its present and future of service.
Today, we operate what was then called Emanuel Hospital. We are not the same organization, but we now own both its name and its legacy. It falls to us to acknowledge what happened. We certainly cannot fully understand the pain and sense of loss of those affected, but we have heard it and we are saddened by it. We are saddened by the loss of what was once a thriving and diverse community. We honor the generosity of spirit of those who shared their stories with us so that we might better understand.
We cannot undo what was done, and we cannot restore the lost neighborhood. We are determined, however, to honor the memory of the neighborhood and the lives of its people.
- We have created a comprehensive, thoroughly researched, detailed history of the events and the disruption caused to those who were relocated. You can view the report here. Also, historical source materials are available to historians and researchers.
- We have established an exhibit commemorating the neighborhood, in a publicly accessible space on our campus.
- We pledge to continue to be the good neighbor and community partner that present-day Emanuel has been.
- We are offering and committing to a process by which the community can be involved as we consider the future development of the Legacy Emanuel campus.
We do this because it is the right thing to do. Part of healing is acknowledging past wrongs and and ensuring that they are never repeated. By reconciling with the past, we can create the future ─ together.