Mercy Corps celebrates official opening of new global headquarters and more in Old Town with series of public events

October 2, 2009

Portland, OR – Mercy Corps invites Portland to share in the celebrations of the opening of its new global headquarters at 45 SW Ankeny St in Old Town Portland. October 9th at 10am marks the official opening of the agency’s headquarters, the Mercy Corps Action Center, Mercy Corps Northwest, Design for the Other 90% exhibit, and the new home of the Lemelson Foundation.

Events open to the public to celebrate this important moment in Mercy Corps’ 30 year history include:

Thursday, October 8th

5:30pm – Edwin Schlossberg, Principle, ESI Design – Portland Spaces Bright Lights Discussion Series
Mercy Corps and Portland Spaces magazine present Ed Schlossberg, principal of ESI Design, the firm that designed Mercy Corps’ Action Centers (in Portland and New York City). This speaking event will be held in the Mercy Corps Community Room on the ground floor of our headquarters at 45 SW Ankeny St.

Friday, October 9th

10am – Mercy Corps Global Headquarters Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Presented by Mercy Corps and the Lemelson Foundation, the ceremony in Ankeny Plaza marks the official opening of the building to the public. Speakers include Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carol Smith, Lemelson Foundation Chair Dorothy Lemelson and more.

11am-2pm – The Mercy Corps Action Center Open House
The Action Center welcomes the public to take a tour of the center designed to engage the public in issues of global hunger and poverty and get a first look at Design for the Other 90%, featuring some of the most inspired inventions to improve the lives of low-income people around the world. Design for the Other 90% will be displayed in the Mercy Corps Gallery on the ground floor of 45 SW Ankeny St. from October 9, 2009 through February 28, 2010. Visit for more information.

Saturday, October 10th

10am-5pm – Mercy Corps Action Center Activities
Family-friendly activities and workshops, including African dance and drumming, a creative design workshop and an afternoon Rock For Action concert featuring the bands Still Pending, Meet Your Monster, Goodbye Harrison and 5 Car Pile Up. Activities held in and around the Mercy Corps headquarters at 45 SW Ankeny St.

Tuesday, October 13th

7:30pm – Speaker Series Featuring Author Tracy Kidder
Presented by the Oregon Council for the Humanities and the Mercy Corps Action Center, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder will present his new book entitled Strength in What Remains. This speaker event will be held in the Mercy Corps Community Room, enter through the Action Center at 28 SW First Ave. Tickets are $20 and include a copy of the book. Call 503.896.5701 to reserve tickets.

Friday, October 16th

7pm – Author and New York Times Columnist Nicholas D. Kristof Speaking Event
Presented by Powell’s Books, the World Affairs Council and Mercy Corps, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and New York Times columnist presents his new book, Half the Sky. Event held at the Bagdad Theatre. Tickets available at the Baghdad Theater, Crystal Ballroom or Ticketmaster for $28 and includes a copy of the book.

For more information on all these events visit">

About Mercy Corps:
Mercy Corps helps people in the world’s toughest places turn the crises of natural disaster, poverty and conflict into opportunities for progress. Driven by local needs and market conditions, our programs provide communities with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives. Our worldwide team of 3,700 professionals is improving the lives of 14.5 million people in more than 40 countries. For more information, see

About Mercy Corps Northwest
Mercy Corps Northwest assists low-income individuals- including minorities, women, refugees, and immigrants- in the Portland-Vancouver metro region to increase their economic self-sufficiency through microenterprise development and self-employment.

About the Mercy Corps Action Center
The Mercy Corps Action Center is a highly interactive public space, dedicated to educating and activating visitors – especially young people – around issues of global poverty, hunger, and conflict.

About Design for the Other 90%
Of the world’s total population of 6.5 billion, 5.8 billion people, or 90%, have little or no access to most of the products and services many of us take for granted; in fact, nearly half do not have regular access to food, clean water, or shelter. Design for the Other 90% explores a growing movement among designers to design low-cost solutions for this “other 90%.” Through partnerships both local and global, individuals and organizations are finding unique ways to address the basic challenges of survival and progress faced by the world’s poor and marginalized.

About the Lemelson Foundation
The Lemelson Foundation uses its resources to inspire, encourage and recognize inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs to support invention-led economic, social and environmentally sustainable development. It has donated or committed more than $150 million in support of its mission to improve lives through invention in the U.S. and developing countries. For more information, please visit