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Nov-28-2007 18:12printcomments

Portland Woman to be Honored During AARP The Magazine 2008 Inspire Awards

Portlander Roslyn Hill joins other honorees such as Caroline Kennedy, Gary Sinise and Helen Thomas for AARP The Magazine 2008 “Inspire” Awards. Hill is the first Oregonian to be recognized.

Roslyn Hill works with Project Look Up student
Roslyn Hill works with Project Look Up student
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(PORTLAND, Ore.) - The neighborhood revitalization efforts of 61-year-old Portlander Roslyn Hill have earned her recognition as one of 10 recipients of AARP’s 2008 “Inspire”Awards, announced today by AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest-circulation magazine with 33 million readers.

The Inspire Awards (formerly called the Impact Awards) pay tribute to extraordinary people whose contributions inspire others to action through their innovative thinking, passion and perseverance. Hill, dubbed the “Urban Blight Fighter,” will be honored for her work to improve her Northeast Portland Alberta neighborhood.

“The Inspire Awards showcase people like Rosyln who are using their passion for action to make the world a better place,” said AARP The Magazine Editor Steven Slon. “These leaders who innovatively support and spark change within their communities are an inspiration to us all.”

The other 2008 honorees alongside Hill are: Caroline Kennedy, (Community Service Advocate), Gary Sinise (Fundraiser for Operation Iraqi Children), Gladys Knight (Champion for Diabetes Research), Barbara Morgan (Courageous Educator), Liviu Librescu (Virginia Tech Hero), Helen Thomas (Trailblazing Journalist), Cynthia Kenyon (Pioneer in Longevity Research), Ed Boyer (Founder of Air Transportation Aid), and Pete Garcia (Affordable Housing Advocate).

“People like Roslyn truly demonstrate how dedication, resolve and spirit catapult ordinary citizens to do extraordinary things that make a real difference and build better, more livable communities,” said Jerry Cohen, State Director of AARP Oregon. “Her work shows us that creating and improving our communities is more than just bricks and mortar.”

Hill’s Inspire Award write-up reads:

"Today they call her the Queen of Alberta – but in 1992, when Roslyn Hill set out to redeem a decrepit street in Portland, Oregon, her friends called her crazy. She started small, selling her own home to buy and rehabilitate a ramshackle building on Northeast Alberta Street. Unable to find a tenant, she opened a coffeehouse. It was an instant hit, including its special gallery for works by artists of color. Soon she was buying and upgrading adjacent properties and shrewdly combining commercial and residential spaces. Now 61, Hill presides over an Alberta Street that is one of the hottest locales in town thanks to what the Portland Oregonian calls a “racially diverse, edgy aesthetic that stands out even in a city known for its unique neighborhood commerce districts.”

Hill and the other nine recipients will receive their Inspire Awards during a private luncheon hosted by Barbara Walters at the New York Public Library on Dec. 3, 2007. Their profiles appear in the January/February 2008 issue of AARP The Magazine, released at the end of November, and online at

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