Celebrating FIRST! Students Sharing their Stories

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On May 17, 2016 six OSU students shared their stories of being FIRST. At OSU, this past fall term, 27% of students self-identified as being “first”, which most commonly means a first generation college attendee. While being “first” can have a variety of meanings, students who are “first” share many things in common as revealed through the student panel. The panel consisted of a variety of topics including a discussion of backgrounds such as small high school and community college experiences; whether or not they had parental, high school counselor, and/or teacher support; the process of navigating the college application process; the challenges and barriers of identifying campus resources and services, including access to financial aid; what their “first” identities mean to them; and the importance of “firsts” finding community at OSU. After the 45 minute student panel, the audience, which included about 30 attendees, had the opportunity to ask questions.

How It All Began and Plans for the Future:

In the fall of 2015, two OSU faculty, Allison Hurst and Rebecca Olson, who were first in their families to attend and graduate from college, approached Susana Rivera-Mills, Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Studies, to begin having conversations about how the university could better reach out to and serve “firsts.” During winter term 2016, a panel of faculty who were the first in their families to attend college, guided by two moderators who were also first-generation college students, spoke about their experiences in higher education. After this, Rivera-Mills formed a committee to begin the planning process for another panel, a student panel with a similar format and purpose: to share stories to raise awareness of the issues and challenges facing “firsts” and to build a sense of community among “firsts” to ensure that they have the resources, services, and support they need to succeed. The committee has plans for a Celebrating FIRST event once per term.

Student Panel Information:

Date: May 17, 2016
Location: OSU’s Native American Longhouse Eena Haws
Length: 01:13:01 (45 minute student panel and 28 minute audience Q & A)
Panelists: Racheal Croucher, Danielle Warner, Philip Rakowski, Kayla Davis, Christopher bertalotto, and Jesseanne Pope
Moderator: Racheal Croucher

Student Bios:

  • Racheal Croucher grew up in Montana and Oregon; at 12 years old she moved to the Siletz Indian Reservation. She completed her undergraduate degree at Western Oregon University where she majored in psychology. As of the 2015-2016 academic year she is a 4th year graduate student at OSU in the Human Development and Family Studies program.
  • Kayla Davis grew up in Sutherlin, Oregon. Davis is a student at OSU in the Human Development and Family Studies program.
  • Philip Rakowski was born and raised in Torrance, California (the Los Angeles area), and later moved to Woodburn, Oregon. As of the 2015-2016 academic year, he is an undergraduate at OSU as was accepted into the College Student Services Administration (CSSA) graduate program.
  • Danielle Warner grew up in Spokane, Washington. She attended Washington State University in Pullman for her undergraduate degree in psychology. As of the 2015-2016 academic year, she is a 3rd year graduate student in OSU’s Human Development and Family Studies program. She is specifically interested in first-generation college students and how they find the resources they need.
  • Christopher Bertalotto is from Cypress, Texas (Eastern Houston). He began his college studies in Texas but transferred to OSU where he plans to study actuarial sciences, a program in the department of mathematics, as an undergraduate.
  • Jesseanne Pope grew up in Grants Pass, Oregon. Pope was very actively involved in a number of high school clubs and activities and continues to be very involved at OSU as an undergraduate studying sociology, after first spending a year at a community college.

Click Here for the Video Recording of Celebrating FIRST!

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Oregon Black Pioneers “Back Roads to Black History” Bus Tour

Oregon Black Pioneers (OBP) Bus Tour

Oregon Black Pioneers (OBP) Bus Tour

On May 14, 2016, the Oregon Black Pioneers hosted its second annual bus tour and the OMA was incredibly excited to attend! The OBP is an all volunteer nonprofit organization based in Salem, Oregon. It has an almost 25 year history of conducting research and educating Oregonians about African-Americans’ contributions to Oregon’s history. The purpose of the bus tour was to showcase the early settlement era and turn of the century places associated with Oregon’s African American history.

TOUR ITINERARY

8:30am     Unthank Park, Portland
9:45am      Salem Pioneer Cemetery, Salem
11:45am     Mt Union Cemetery, Philomath
1:15pm       Eliza and Hannah Gorman House, Corvallis
5pm            Helvetia Community Church, Hillsboro
6pm            Abbey Creek Winery, North Plains
8pm            Unthank Park, Portland

OBPs Tour Map

OBPs Tour Map

TOUR INFORMATION

Bus Tour Coordinators: Kim Moreland and Natalia Fernández, OBPs Board Members

Narrators and Guest Speakers

  • Gwen Carr, OBPs Board Member
  • Chetter Calloway, Professional Storyteller
  • Elisabeth Potter, Salem Pioneer Cemetery volunteer
  • Bob Zybach, historian and author
  • Pat and Tony Benner, owners of the Eliza and Hannah Gorman House, Corvallis
  • Ginny Mapes, Helvetia Community Church, Hillsboro
  • Bertony Faustin, Abbey Creek Winery, North Plains

THE TOUR

The history tour began at Unthank City Park in Portland; the park is named after the late civic leader, Dr. Denorval Unthank. At the next stop at the Historic Pioneer Cemetery, located in Salem, OR, we viewed of a commemorative heritage marker honoring 43 African American pioneers buried in the cemetery. The site’s special guest was professional storyteller Chetter Galloway who brought to life black pioneers featured on the tour. Our next stop was at the Historic Mount Union Cemetery located in Philomath. It is the resting place of several Black pioneers including Reuben Shipley. On May 11, 1861 Reuben and Mary Jane Holmes Shipley, former Black slaves, deeded the original plot for this cemetery. We then traveled back north to the early settlement home of Hannah and Eliza Gorman, a mother and daughter that came to Oregon via the Oregon Trail in 1844 and purchased a home in Corvallis, OR in 1857. On the way towards our next stop at Hillsboro, Bob Zybach, historian and author, shared the story of David (Irish-born) and Leticia Carson (African American), an interracial couple that settled in Soap Creek Valley located north of Corvallis. Once in the Hillsboro area, we traveled specifically to Helvetia, Oregon to the home of the Floyd and Annie Cash who settled there in 1890. We visited the Helevetia Church to the grave sites of Annie and Maragereth Cash. Ginny Mapes, Helvetia native shared her knowledge and research of a Black family that lived among the German Swedish immigrants. We ended the tour at the Abbey Creek Vineyard located in the historic downtown of North Plains, Oregon. Owner Bertony Faustan is the first African American winemaker in Oregon and is currently producing the a short film, entitled Red, White and Black, a documentary about minority winemakers in Oregon.

TOUR PHOTOS

Check out some highlights from the tour!

Salem Pioneer Cemetery, Salem

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Eliza and Hannah Gorman House, Corvallis

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Kim Moreland, OBPs, with Pat and Tony Benner, owners of the Eliza and Hannah Gorman House, Corvallis

Helvetia Community Church, Hillsboro

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Ginny Mapes, Helvetia Community Church, Hillsboro

Ginny Mapes, Helvetia Community Church, Hillsboro

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OSQA at NWA 2016

2016 NWA Seattle logo

On April 29, 2016, OSQA presented as part of a panel discussion at the Northwest Archivists (NWA) conference in Seattle, WA, and was delighted to share information about its work over the past two years!

This panel discussion, “Queering the Archives: Connecting with Your Local LGBTQ+ Communities”, focused on archival repositories dedicated to documenting and preserving the histories of LGBTQ+ communities. The panelists discussed queer archives theory as well as the challenges and best practices of queer history collecting initiatives from the perspectives of academic university archives as well as a community-based archive. The archives represented in this panel discussion included the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN), the University of Oregon’s (UO) Lesbian Land Collections, and the recently established Oregon State University Queer Archives (OSQA).

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Information on the Repositories Represented and the Presenters

GLAPN is a community-based archive established in 1994 in Portland, Oregon. Its partnerships with both the Oregon Historical Society to store collections and Portland State University to have students process and collect content, in addition to a number of other collaborations and initiatives, have enabled GLAPN to develop an extensive and in-depth collection. Robin Will, President of GLAPN (the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest). Currently serving as both president and webmaster of GLAPN, Mr. Will holds a BA in Arts & Letters from Portland State University, and is retired from a career in the publishing industry.

OSQA is an Oregon State University initiative to preserve and share the stories, histories, and experiences of LGBTQ+ people within the OSU and Corvallis communities. OSQA was established in the Fall of 2014 through a partnership between an archivist and an OSU Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies professor. Bradley Boovy, Oregon State University Assistant Professor in World Languages and Culture & Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, is the co-founder of the Oregon State University Queer Archives. His research bridges cultural history, history of sexuality, queer studies, and gender studies and is informed by cultural studies and queer feminist perspectives. He teaches courses both in the World Languages and Cultures Program and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Boovy joined the OSU community in Fall 2012 after completing his Ph.D. in Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

The University of Oregon’s Special Collections and University Archives lesbian land collections comprise over 13 individual collections including the personal papers of women as well as records of specific communities pertaining to the lesbian separatist movement in America. Linda Long is the manuscripts librarian at the University of Oregon, where she has curatorial responsibility for developing manuscript collections and promoting their use. Long spoke about her efforts to develop the lesbian land community records at UO. Linda holds an M.A. in Archives Administration and History from Case Western Reserve University, and an M.L.S. from Brigham Young University.

The Panel Discussion

The panel began with the panelists answering the question: What does is mean to “queer the archives?” and then shared their thoughts regarding a variety of topics:

  • Best Practices When Beginning a Collecting Initiative
  • Collection Development Strategies
  • Project Successes & Lessons Learned
  • Ideas on How to Engage in Successful Outreach Efforts with LGBTQ+ Communities

We recorded the session and it is available online for you to listen!

“Queering the Archives: Connecting with Your Local LGBTQ+ Communities”

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The OMA at the 2016 OLA Conference with REFORMA OR

REFORMA OR Table at OLA 2016

REFORMA OR Table at OLA 2016

On April 20-22, 2016 REFORMA OR participated in the 2016 Oregon Library Association conference in Bend, OR! Chapter members presented a pre-conference workshop titled “¡Bienvenidos a la biblioteca!: Outreach and Engagement with Latino and Spanish Speaking Populations in Your Communities” and staffed a table to raise awareness about the chapter.

The table included chapter information, buttons, membership forms, and a beautiful poster featuring photos of Oregon REFORMISTAS in action, a map of current libraries associated with the chapter, and the mission of REFORMA which is to promote the advancement, growth, improvement, and implementation of library and information services for the Latino and Spanish speaking community in the state of Oregon. We had a number of conference attendees stop by our table who were very excited to learn that our chapter existed!

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The Pre-Conference: “¡Bienvenidos a la biblioteca!: Outreach and Engagement with Latino and Spanish Speaking Populations in Your Communities”

Workshop Description: “REFORMA Oregon is a professional organization for librarians and library staff who serve Spanish speaking and Latino communities. In this half day session, you will learn about REFORMA Oregon, what it has to offer and how you can become involved; hear stories of how librarians are building relationships with their Latino and Spanish speaking communities, their successes and lessons learned; and you will gain outreach strategies, program ideas, and information about resources specific to Latino and Spanish speaking populations. We will also include time for you to share your needs to better serve this diverse community, and together, we will develop ideas for an action plan.”

Workshop Agenda – Wednesday April 20th 8:30am-noon

8:30      Introductions and Agenda for the Morning
9:00      REFORMA OR History and Establishment
9:30      Stories of Our Work with the Latino / Spanish Speaking Community
10:30    Break
10:45    Challenges and Limitations as well as Action Items for the Chapter
11:45    Closing Thoughts and Next Steps
Noon    Workshop Adjourned

The workshop facilitators and presenters included:

  • Martín Blasco, Outreach Librarian for Latino and Youth Services Program, Washington County Coop. Library Services
  • Patty Lara, Outreach Specialist, Hood River County Library District
  • Natalia Fernández, Curator and Archivist, Oregon Multicultural Archives at the Oregon State University Libraries
REFORMA 0R Pre-Conference Workshop

REFORMA 0R Pre-Conference Workshop

One of the most important parts of the workshop was the opportunity for the chapter to hear from librarians across Oregon about their needs and how REFORMA OR could assist them. In small groups, the participants brainstormed ideas and then came together as a large group to share their thoughts. In the coming year, the chapter intends to address some of these needs; check out the full list of needs/ideas below:

REFORMA OR Action Items – Library Needs: Based on an activity by the participants of the REFORMA OR Pre-Conference April 20, 2016

Collection Development

  • Book lists of Spanish books
  • Collection development for academic libraries and public libraries
  • Collaborative collection purchasing tricks
  • List of grants for giveaway books
  • Collection development for all ages
  • Multimedia for kids
  • Music, DVD’s, audiolibros (audiobooks)
  • Create a survey to listserv asking; Survey asking (other) libraries collection development successes
    • Vendors used
    • Collections with highest circulation
    • How do you promote?
    • Best practices for Multimedia (DVD, CD’s, ABCD)
    • Finding culturally appropriate A/V
    • Other

Community Outreach

  • Ways to address misconceptions and policies that prevent patrons from coming in
  • Talking points to speak to Latino community
  • More ways on introducing the concept of libraries for a community
  • More ways to incorporate our Spanish community to our academic library
  • Templates for introductory emails
  • List of local/national (by county) organizations who work w/underserved populations
  • Ideas on how to bring Latino population into the library versus getting resources out to the community
  • Tips on how to bond with the community
  • Success stories of how to recruit Spanish-speaking volunteers
  • Ideas for getting students involved in using library resources (online and print) in a university setting

Advocacy

  • To publishers – bring them here (the materials)
  • Tips on advocacy for changing local government structure
  • Tips for advocacy unchanging city/political practices (culture)
  • How do you change the current culture in your city?

Programming Ideas

  • Cultural specific programming suggestions for adults.
  • Story time resources and easy picture books to read aloud
    • Books and book lists
    • Rhymes
    • What works/doesn’t
    • Help for those who don’t speak Spanish
  • Specific program ideas that libraries are implementing that are awesome
  • Resources for parents
    • Community resources and information on early literacy
  • Tips and tricks on incorporating Spanish into programs in public libraries as an English-speaking (monolingual) librarian
  • Program templates – form? Budget, materials, volunteers, what needs are you meeting, location, time, ages served, food/no food, community partners, PR, marketing materials
  • Programming Materials IN SPANISH! and in an editable format
  • Marketing materials in Spanish
  • Library card applications
  • Welcome to the library brochures [with illustrations]

Collaboration Among Libraries in OR

  • List of organizations working w/undeserved
  • Listing of people in Oregon that are attending FIL to help with/network, ask questions
  • Survival Spanish tips for library staff
  • List of Guadalajara participants/attendees
  • Grants: help with writing grants and searching for grants
  • Common struggles (lack of participating in programs, attending events, using collection, etc.) and how to address them, improve services
  • Spanish programs for librarians i.e. study abroad opportunities
  • Share collection development tips and presentation to listserv
  • Post on the REFORMA OR Blog!
    • Featured “Librarian“ to share your library resources success/failures, etc.
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Voices Without Borders ~ Stories of Latinx and Hmong Students

During winter term 2016, two OSU student activists Mai Xee Yang and Nicthé Verdugo worked with Charlene Martinez, Associate Director of Integrated Learning for Social Change within Diversity & Cultural Engagement, on a project entitled Voices Without Borders for their Arts and Social Justice Practicum course. The project began when Yang and Verdugo began sharing both their passion for art as well as their connections to their families’ immigration stories. Yang’s family is Hmong and Verdugo’s is Latinx and while their family stories are unique, they found they had many similarities. And so, they decided to embark on an arts/oral history project to gather together students of both communities to share stories about immigration, assimilation, journeys, and aspirations in connection to themselves as individuals or with their parents.

The stories are showcased in the format of a virtual diary and blog. The diary medium was specifically chosen since it enables individuals to share their experiences in a more personal and meaningful way. The goal of a virtual diary is to provide broad access to the stories so that there can be connections made between many more story circles that will help connect groups with each other or even re-connect members within a group.

Voices Without Borders website

The OMA was honored to be asked to record the student dialogues and make the conversation available online:

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Stories of OSU Hmong and Latinx Students
Arts and Social Justice Practicum Winter 2016
“Voices without Borders” Parts 1 and 2

Part 1
Date: February 23, 2016
Location: Oregon State University Native American Longhouse Eena Haws
Length: 00:32:02 (of 00:42:44 total)
Interviewees: Alejandra Mendoza, Lorena Ambriz, Guadalupe Garcia, Warren Wang, Gina Chang, and Nitché Verdugo
Interviewer: Nitché Verdugo

Part 2
Date: March 4, 2016
Location: Oregon State University
Length: 00:10:42 (00:32:03 – 00:42:44)
Interviewees: Mai Xee Yang and Natalia Fernández
Interviewer: Mai Xee Yang

Interview Audio and Transcript

Interviewee Bios

Alejandra Mendoza was born in Fresno, CA and raised in Boardman, OR, and is majoring in Mathematics; Lorena Ambriz was born in Mexico, raised in Eastern Oregon, and is majoring in Sociology; Guadalupe “Lupe” Garcia is from Salem, OR, and is majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences; Warren Wang is from Portland, OR, and is majoring in Biochemistry/Biophysics; Gina Chang is from Portland, OR, and is majoring in Psychology; Nitché Verdugo is from Southern California and Mexico and is majoring in Ethnic Studies with a focus on Chicanx/Latinx Studies; Mai Xee Yang is from Portland, OR, and is earning a Bachelors in Fine Arts. Natalia Fernández is from Tucson, AZ, and is an archivist. Mendoza, Ambriz, Garcia, Verdugo, and Yang are members of M.E.Ch.A. (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán). Wang and Chang are members of the OSU Hmong Club.

Interview Summary

Part 1 of the interview begins with project participant introductions and with Verdugo explaining the interview purpose and structure. The purpose is to bring together the Hmong and Latino/Chicano communities to speak about the stories behind their families coming to the United States. The interview structure is for each person to have four minutes to share their story, followed by an opportunity for artistic expression, and closing with a reconvening to reflect on the stories shared and artwork created. The participants Alejandra Mendoza, Lorena Ambriz, Guadalupe Garcia, Warren Wang, Gina Chang, and Nitché Verdugo then share their parents’ immigration stories, their connections to their race/ethnicity, and reflections upon their own identities. In Part 2 Mai Xee Yang and Natalia Fernández share their family immigration stories and how they have shaped their lives.

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Social Justice Tour of Corvallis II

In the spring of 2014 the OMA collaborated with the class Ethnic Studies 553: Ethnohistory Methodology taught by Professor Natchee Barnd. The students used archival resources both in the OMA and the Benton County Historical Society to showcase the histories of the Corvallis area’s traditionally marginalized groups including people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ community. The class researched and wrote the stories and complied them into a fantastic campus and downtown walking tour. This year, we were absolutely delighted to work with Professor Barnd and his students once again for the 2016 Social Justice Tour of Corvallis!

The class consisted of seven students who each researched and wrote about a different Corvallis area story:

Early in the term the class came to the OMA for a discussion about archival research and they soon began delving into the many stories within the collections. Through a peer-review process, the students complied a set of 15 stories and chose locations of significance around the OSU campus and Corvallis downtown area to highlight the histories based on 5 themes ~ land/voice, identity, resilience, legacy, and belonging:

The stories included in the tour bring to light and showcase the lives of the…

  • Kalapuya peoples who lived on the land prior to the establishment of OSU
  • Black Student Union protest against BYU in 1970
  • activities and (mis)representation of the OSU Cosmopolitan Club during the early 20th century
  • marriage of members of the LGBTQ+ community once same-sex marriage was legalized in Oregon
  • story of Pedro Duarte, a student from Guam who played as part of OSU’s baseball team during the early 1910s
  • Collins brothers, the first Native American students to attend and graduate from OSU, then known as Oregon Agricultural College (OAC)
  • Tibet House mural in downtown Corvallis
  • OAC student Ray Yasui and his resilience in the face of prejudice and non-inclusiveness due to his Japanese heritage
  • community of Corvallis area Chinese immigrants who are not well documented
  • Julius “Caesar” Taylor Short who during the 1870s lived part of his life in Oregon as a domestic servant after being freed from slavery
  • Chung Kwai Lui, the university’s first female PhD graduate in 1941 with physics degrees
  • legacy of the Corvallis Black Boots, African American men who worked as shoe shiners during the 1920s-1940s
  • Laura Cornutt, a College of Forestry applicant who in 1957 was rejected on the basis of her gender
  • Peggy Jo Nulson, a student who in the early 1970s fought back against homophobia on campus

At the end of the term, the class invited a group of OSU community members to take part in a student led tour and the OMA was there!

Here are some photos from the March 11, 2016 tour:

Also, if you are interested in more OSU stories regarding people of color, be sure to check out the campus tour guidebook Untold Stories: Histories of Students of Color at OSU

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RG 248 Centro Cultural César Chávez

RG 248 CCCC Collection

The Centro Cultural César Chávez (CCCC) collection is now available and open for research!

The collection documents the activities and events organized by the center such as staff retreats, open houses, César Chávez Tribute Month, holiday celebrations, lectures, and workshops pertaining to Latino/a community issues. Also of note are several marches and demonstrations that are depicted in the collection.

The collection consists of administrative records, information on events and community outreach, financial records, photographs, a small collection of films, and publications generated by the Centro Cultural César Chávez. Collection contents include administrative notes, meeting minutes, staff notes, agendas, maintenance documents, forms, staff bios, and files pertaining to the various cultural centers on campus. Also included are materials pertaining to events such as Día de Los Muertos/ Day of the Dead and the César Chávez Tribute Celebration, budget requests, invoices, pay roll, purchase requests, and statement documents. Photographic materials include undated color photographs and 16 digitized photograph albums that are available online. The albums include about 1350 photographs depicting the Center staff; Oregon State students, faculty, and staff who participated in Center events and activities; and numerous events and activities during the 1990s and 2000s. The original albums have been retained by the Center. The small collection of films and recorded events include 1 DVD and 4 digitized recordings (the original VHS tapes were not retained). Content ranges from a movie about the Los Angeles Chicano blowouts of the 1960s to UFW materials and a lecture. Publications consist of brochures, flyers, newsletters, and a number of newspaper clippings.

Centro Cultural César Chávez Records, 1973-2015

Daniel Loera, OMA student worker 2015-2016 arranged and described the collection; below is his reflection processing the collection…

This past term I worked on the Centro Cultural César Chávez collection and was able to go through the task of processing the material we received in the fall. I’d like to share with you my experiences of working on a collection and what it means to process a collection. To begin, I want to say this was a pretty rewarding experience because it felt like things were coming full circle for me; I’ve done research with collections in the past so being able to process one for researchers was the other side to what I was accustomed to. So what does it mean to process a collection? Well, the process of processing a collection is a multi-step process that includes organizing archival materials, creating a finding aid, labeling the folders and boxes, and using Archon to make the information accessible online (Archon is a program specifically for archival description and access). As you can see there aren’t too many steps to processing a collection, but it remains a time consuming process. First things first, you receive the material, usually in boxes, binders, or folders. You take note of what’s there and begin thinking of ways to organize the material. Since it was my first time I went ahead and made a list of what was there, trying to keep as many things as I could in their original place. There’s really no specific way to do this so it’s always a learning experience. Being a history major helped a lot because I was able to organize material into what I saw would make sense to a historian doing research. Then, as you move along, you start to see how things will fit and where they’ll fit. The following step is creating the finding aid based off what you know is there. In my experience, it’s always a good idea to have a physical and digital idea of what’s there; it makes it easier when moving material around. Creating the finding aid is usually the longest step in the process because you need to have a complete idea of how the collection will be organized; this includes the name of each folder, creating the different series, series descriptions, scope and content of the collection and then plugging the information into Archon. By this time, I had gone through a number of ways in which to organize the material, sometimes adding folders, other times merging material together. It was a time consuming process, but once you have all the main pieces in the right place, everything falls into place. After that, the finding aid is sent to be reviewed, you receive feedback, and you apply any last changes. The final steps include labeling the folders and then finding a shelf location where to store the collection. In my experience, I had a great time working with the additions to the Centro collection. At first, it was a bit daunting because the material was all over the place and I didn’t know where to begin. Once, I got my bearings it was smooth sailing from there. My favorite part of processing was being able to work with new material, having the opportunity to create a historical record and being able to see your work displayed in the finding aid. As a student of history, I feel archivists leave their imprint on the historical records they work with, be it in collecting this material or processing it for future generations of researchers. All in all, it was an enjoyable learning experience and I look forward to working on new collections in the term to come.

~ Daniel Loera, OMA student worker

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Loretta Milton and OSU’s 1969 BSU Walkout

Jeremy Davis and Loretta Milton

On February 19th as part of the OSU Lonnie B Harris Black Cultural Center’s Black History Month celebrations, the BCC hosted an incredible event that included Loretta Milton, along with the artist Jeremy Davis. Davis painted a magnificent mural entitled “Predicting a Movement” for the BCC’s gathering hall featuring the OSU Black Student Union Walkout of 1969 – a protest sparked in support of OSU student athlete Fred Milton, Loretta Milton’s husband. After the event, Loretta along with her daughter and grandson, shared a family oral history interview with the OMA.

Fred Milton Family Oral History Interview

Date: February 19, 2016
Location: Oregon State University Lonnie B Harris Black Cultural Center
Length:
01:04:02
Interviewees:
Loretta Milton, Zalika Gardner, and Isaiah Adams 
Interviewer:
Dwaine Plaza

Interview Audio and Transcript

Milton Family Bios

Loretta Milton grew up in Roseburg, Oregon, and attended OSU in the late 1960s. She met her husband, Fred Milton, at OSU. They married in 1969 and moved to Utah where she worked as a teacher’s aide at the Edith Bowen Lab School while Fred completed his degree at Utah State University. For a short time, while Fred Milton played for the Montreal Alouettes, a Canadian football team, Loretta worked as a waitress. Loretta and Fred moved to Portland, Oregon, in the early 1970s, had several children, and were married until his death in 2011. Zalika Gardner, born 1973 in Portland, Oregon, is daughter to Fred and Loretta Milton. Isaiah Adams is Zalika Gardner’s son and Fred and Loretta Milton’s grandson.

Interview Summary

The Fred Milton family interview begins with Loretta Milton, Fred Milton’s widow, sharing her experiences while attending Oregon State University during the 1969 Black Student Union (BSU) Walkout, her relationship with Fred Milton, including their struggles as an interracial marriage, and their lives in Utah, Montreal, Canada, and eventually Portland, Oregon. Loretta describes Fred’s dissatisfaction with the Canadian football team and his subsequent jobs in Portland as a community liaison for the police, his employment at IBM, and his work for the city government. Zalika Gardner, Loretta and Fred’s first child, then shares some recollections of her father including: his wisdom, sensitivity, and sense of humor; his love to share stories; his talent as an athlete; his very humble personality; and his values. Gardner then describes her grandfather, a sharecropper who worked in Arkansas and then moved with his family to the West and worked on the railroad; his personality and influence on Fred’s life. The conversation then returns to Loretta who describes in more detail the circumstances and events of the BSU Walkout at OSU in 1969, the students who led the Walkout, and the campus reaction. Isaiah Adams, Loretta and Fred’s grandson and Zalika Gardner’s son, shares his perspective on his relationship with his grandfather, his admiration for his grandparents, and the values that he learned from Milton. The interview turns back to Loretta who describes some of the personal aspects of her marriage with Fred including his talent for letter writing, the evolution of their relationship with her parents, and his integrity. Loretta then shares her knowledge regarding the relationship between Fred Milton and football coach Dee Andros including their time while Fred attended OSU and their reconciliation during Fred’s candidacy for Portland County Commissioner. Both Loretta and Zalika describe Fred’s intellect and love of learning and the environment in addition to his athletic abilities, and Isaiah shares how those characteristics within his grandfather affected him. The family recollects on Milton’s many talents as an athlete and his passion for coaching. They conclude the interview by reflecting upon the positive impact that Milton had on the OSU campus and the significance of his story and legacy.

For more information about the 1969 Black Student Union Walkout, check out the 1969 BSU Walkout Flickr Set and, here are two links for the OSU Pauling Blog that also discuss the Walkout: The 1969 Black Student Union Walkout and A Lecture Interrupted and a Campus Torn Apart

“Predicting a Movement” by artist Jeremy Davis

And, to see the BCC event, click here for the video recording!

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The Color of Night: Max G. Geier Book Reading and Talk

Black History Month honors the significant role African Americans have in our society that is often overlooked in traditional history lessons. On Wednesday, February 17th, 2016, the OMA and the OSU Press hosted a book reading and talk by author Max G. Geier about his book The Color of Night: Race, Railroaders, and Murder in the Wartime West. The book highlights the murder trial of Robert Folkes who was charged with murder in rural Oregon. Folkes’ trial, controversial conviction, and resulting execution provokes thought about race, class, and privilege in Oregon.

And, Natalia Fernández, Curator and Archivist for the OMA, presented a new collection of Oregon African American railroad porter oral history interviews. The Oregon Cultural Trust awarded a $5,000 grant that will enable the OMA to transfer the histories to digital form. This grant project will include the creation of a website for the interview audio and transcripts, which will be made available to researchers, students, teachers, and the general public.

“The information gained through the interviews can be used to broaden the level of understanding of how African Americans played a significant role in the social and economic changes to the Portland area and the state as a whole during the 20th century. The stories shared have the potential to deepen public knowledge and appreciation of the African American experience and perspective in Oregon.” Natalia Fernández, Curator and Archivist, Oregon Multicultural Archives.

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Working, Race, and Homeland : Divided Lives in the Wartime West

By Dr. Max G. Geier, Professor of History, Emeritus, Western Oregon University

Professor Max Geier Book Talk

Murder trials, as one social critic famously observed, often reveal more about the community that stages them than about the case on which they are focused. This book (The Color of Night: Race, Railroaders, and Murder in the Wartime West) focuses on a murder and subsequent trial in the mid-Willamette Valley, and those events open a window on how wage-earning workers experienced life in the pre-war and wartime period in the rural northwest. Executioners working for the state of Oregon killed Robert E. Lee Folkes in January 1945, but in the process of killing Folkes, investigating officials working toward that end gathered and preserved information that helps us peer into the background of that man’s life as a common worker in a community of organized labor and political activists. Folkes first attracted public attention in Oregon as a murder suspect who faced trial in Albany during 1943 and then execution in Salem in early 1945. Before that, however, he was a wage-earning man who spent much of his life in Oregon as an employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Like many railroad workers, he lived with a foot in two worlds: a home life in the southern California community of South Central Los Angeles, and an away life on the road aboard trains travelling through northern California and Oregon, terminating in Portland, Oregon, and then returning via the same route. As a Black man born in rural Arkansas, he was a survivor of Jim Crow America. As a railroad worker in the early 1940s, he joined an organized labor movement that pushed back against legal segregation and demanded equal employment opportunities and better working and living conditions for people of color. As a young man who made a living cooking meals for railroad passengers and crew during a period of wartime mobilization, he was a service worker who was not considered a “serviceman” by the people of Linn County who sat as jurors as his trial. As a Black man working in a service job designated defense critical, he was protected from the military draft, but he was not protected from the suspicions of those who assumed he was a shirker or a troublemaker. As a member of a labor union local that was in the midst of contentious contract negotiations with the railroad at the time of the murder, he was a symbol of organized resistance to the wartime speedup and dangerous working conditions that he, and men like him, daily confronted. As a self-starting, accomplished young man with demonstrated success working autonomously and with minimal supervision, he was targeted for special treatment by railroad investigators who were engaged in an organized campaign to break the union and control worker unrest in a period of unprecedented profits for the company. In the campaign to make an example of Folkes, the railroad found ready support among state and county officials, and among local jurors drawn from the farm-owning families of Linn County, Oregon. In killing Folkes, however, they also brought African American men and women into the heart of the county seat. The experience of those men and women in that mid-Valley setting opens a window on race and labor relations at mid-century in and beyond western Oregon.

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OSU Pride Center Scrapbooks

Pride Center Scrapbooks

The OSU Pride Center scrapbooks are now available!

The Pride Center serves as Oregon State University’s resource center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) members of the OSU community and their allies. In addition to its roles in outreach and education, the center provides a safe space for anyone in the community to “explore aspects of sexual orientation and gender identity in an open and non-judgmental atmosphere.” The Pride Center was originally founded as the Queer Resource Center in 2001 and was initially housed in Benton Annex with the OSU Women’s Center. In 2004, the Queer Resource Center (QRC) moved to a permanent location on the south edge of campus at 1553 SW “A” Avenue. In that same year, the QRC was re-named the OSU Pride Center. The Pride Center works closely with the OSU Rainbow Continuum, SOL (LGBTQQIA People of Color Support Group), and the ASOSU Queer Affairs Task Force. It is administered by Diversity and Cultural Engagement.

The Pride Center collection (RG 236) includes 10 scrapbooks that represent over 15 years of the Pride Center’s history. All of the albums have been digitized and the physical albums remain at the Pride Center.

The Pride Center scrapbooks, PDF links and descriptions are below:

OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 1997
The OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 1997 includes flyers, photos, and news clippings about Queer Pride in The Daily Barometer; a dog wash fundraiser event; Pride Week 1997; Ka’ahumanu lecture on racial and bisexual issues; Evangelical Perv Association booth; Lesbian Avengers Performance; Queer Ball; Community News on Pride at OSU; “Did You See Ellen?” screening on her coming out; Asian Cultural newsletter; screening of “The Wedding Banquet” for Queer Pride and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month; Queer Pride week itinerary; screening of “Transsexual Menace.

OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 1999-2000
Description The OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 1999-2000 includes news clippings about the Rainbow Continuum in The Daily Barometer 1999-2000; Oregon State University Pride, 2000 The Newqueer Family Pamphlet; and Drag Show 2000 Poster.

OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 1999-2003
The OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 1999-2003 includes a call for Queer Resource Center; AIDs Debates; Military “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Controversy; Letters to the Editor of The Daily Barometer; numerous articles regarding queer involvement in The Daily Barometer; information on the death of former Justice Thurgood Marshal; Campus Republican Community vs. the Campus Queer Community; funnies and comics in response to Queer happenings on campus and in the nation; Defeat of Measure 9 celebration; Pride Week 2001 schedule; QRC funds controversy; National Coming-Out Day itineraries 2001-2003; American Red Cross Blood Drive homophobic controversy; Greek and Queer Groups connect; article “Military Dismisses 6 Gay Arabic Linguists Amid Translator Shortage”; “Queer Like Me” The Daily Barometer series by Katie Willson; Pride Week 2003 posters.

OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2001-2002
The OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2001-2002 includes news clippings regarding a call for the Queer Resource Center; proceedings of how the Queer Resource Center began and the progression of the center; the article “QRC Passes Unanimously as Fifth Cultural Resource Center”; the controversy over the proposed QRC budget and the inclusion of the Center at all; Ice Cream Social event; Coming Out Day celebration, 2001; Queer Resource Center lunch-in; Drag Show, 2002; “Ask the Sexpert” event with Kathy Greaves; Greek Hate from QRC Hoax; Cultural Centers’ End of the Year Reception; Queer Pride Week, 2002; Healthy Queer Relationships Informational; QRC’s First Birthday Celebration; Greek and Queer Communities Work Together in the Wake of Firework/Beer Bottle Attack at QRC Camp-Out; Intersections of Race/Ethnicity and Sexuality Informational; Free Bowling with Cultural Centers Event.

OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2003-2004
The OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2003-2004 includes photos and news clippings of advertisements to promote the three Queer Organizations on Campus (Rainbow Continuum, Queer Resource Center, Queer Affairs Taskforce); events of Queer History Month; National Coming Out Day, 2003; QRC Open House and Barbeque; “Outlines” the QRC’s Newsletter; the blood drive controversy in regards to AIDs; Trans Day of Remembrance; QRC Ice Cream Social; HIV in the Queer Community Informational; QRC and Rainbow Continuum Pamphlets; Lavender Graduation, 2004. News clippings include information on the equal marriage controversy and community responses; LGBTQ Terms; Queer Support and Milestones in other States; Drag Competition, 2003; Being Queer in a Native American Community; political comics and articles discussing sex education; FDA discrimination in regards to blood drives; Jeanette Jackson’s purchase of S&M clothing for a performance, and the comparison of homosexuals to predators; article on the Day of Purity; San Francisco Legalizing Equal Marriage and Ignoring Discriminatory Laws to Ink over 1,000 Marriage Licenses in four days; and George Bush Jr. denies support of same sex marriage.

OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2005-2006
The OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2005-2006 includes information on the Pride Center Covenant Signing Ceremony, Event Sponsor list, Event Guest Book; Drag Competition, 2005; Drag Clothing Swap; news clippings of Oregon Governor attempting to end discrimination; March 2006 Supreme Court ruling on military recruiting in universities; “Yeas and Nays” on the Brokeback Mountain premiere; Moonlight Breakfast with NAL, APCC, BCC, PC, and CCCC; poster for Pride Center’s brown bag lunch classes; political comics depicting George Bush Jr.; news clippings of gay student being dismissed from OSU; news clippings on Pride Center being vandalized; Drag Show, 2006; Queer Agenda Rainbow Continuum poster; Pride Week, 2006 Itinerary; Lube Olympics, 2006.

OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2008-2009
The OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2008-2009 includes photos of the Pride Center; profile pages on Pride Center staff; Connect Week, 2008; Ice Cream Social; news clippings on Cultural Centers’ Open House; National Coming Out Week; Equality U Premiere film screening; Faculty and Staff On Campus support list; panel on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Athletes, Speaker Estra Tuaolo news clippings; The Laramie Project screening and Candlelight Vigil, October 14, 2008; One Voice Recited by External Coordinator of SOL, Renee Roman-Nose; Sex Party with SHS; Transgender Awareness Week; World AIDs Day; Polyamory/Non-Monogamy & Relationship Diversity event; First Annual Cultural Wellness Stride; “Paris is Burning” film screening; Drag Show, 2009; various news clippings of Pride Center mentions in local newspapers.

OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2009-2010
The OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2009-2010 includes profile pages of Pride Center staff; Staff favorites page; Welcome Week Barbeque; Connect Week, 2009; Hot Coco Chanel Social, October, 2009; Progressive Feast; Queer Health Awareness Month; Tea at the Pride Center; Queer Sex 101; Puppet Plays for Trans Awareness Week; Gender Your Cookie Event; Queer Tree of Life Drawing; Pride Center Pamphlet Q-Connect.

OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2010-2011
The OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2010-2011 includes profile pages of Pride Center staff; Connect Week, 2010; Queer History Month; National Coming Out Day October 11th; staff retreat to Seaside, OR; Pride Center 10th Birthday Celebration 2011 in Women’s Center; Pride Week, 2011, Keynote Speaker Dan Savage, It Gets Better Project; Drag Show, 2011.

OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2012-2013
The OSU Pride Center Scrapbook 2012-2013 includes profile pages of Pride Center staff.

And, here is a link to All 10 PC Scrapbooks

Also, be sure to check out the archival collections of various other OSU cultural resource centers: the BCC and APCC and CCCC.

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