MLK Jr. Celebrations 2016

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” ~ Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from a Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963. This quotation is the theme to the 2016 OSU MLK Jr. celebrations as it still rings true for our society today. Within the context of the letter, Dr. King wrote about the “interrelatedness of all communities and states,” our shared commonalities, and that “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” The events from this year’s celebrations highlight Dr. King’s message and connect it to our own Corvallis area and OSU communities.

Two of the events as part of the celebrations included a lecture by Professor Joseph Orosco who spoke about “Places of Injustice” within the Corvallis community and the 34th annual Peace Breakfast that featured keynote speaker Jeff Chang who spoke about student activism. As part of his lecture, Orosco noted that there are a number of local places named after historical figures, specifically white men, with ties to racism and discrimination. He described the histories of the of these men and asked the audience to think about these locations and what it means to have them named after these historical figures – he expressed that how we name our community spaces (or when we leave places named as they are), such as parks, buildings, and geographic areas, is a reflection of our community values and who we are today. Jeff Chang’s keynote address at the breakfast complimented Orosco’s lecture by recounting the bigger picture of student activism and how communities are coming together to strive for equity for all.

And, the OMA’s “Untold Stories: Histories of Student of Color at OSU” campus tour guidebook is a perfect combination of the two topics – the significance of honoring student led social justice activism and their connections to physical locations on the OSU campus. The guidebook was featured at both events!

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Latino OSU: “Ideologías Lingüistas en los Estados Unidos”

During Fall term 2015, Professor Adam Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, used NPR’s program Latino USA as part of his SPAN 456/556 course “Spanish in the United States.” Latino USA is a weekly, hour long, radio program that showcases national Latino news and culture. Each week the producers and journalists focus on a new theme and interview a variety of guests. Professor Schwartz and his students were inspired by Latino USA to create their own one hour program as a collaborative class project. The result was: Latino OSU: “Ideologías Lingüistas en los Estados Unidos.”

Latino OSU: “Ideologías Lingüistas en los Estados Unidos” is divided into several segments all connected to the topic of linguistic ideologies or “ideologías lingüistas’ in Spanish. The students interviewed professors, students, and local professionals to discuss topics such as how linguistic ideologies are related to languages perceived as prestigious, how people speak differently depending on their social environments, how perspectives on language differs in an international context as well as how it is perceived in the United States, especially the idea of an “official language,” how language is taught in schools, how peoples’ identities are shaped by the language(s) they speak, and finally, perspectives on Spanish-language music.

Click here to listen to Latino OSU: “Ideologías Lingüistas en los Estados Unidos”

&

Click here for the Latino OSU: “Ideologías Lingüistas en los Estados Unidos” TRANSCRIPT

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“Histories of Students of Color at OSU” Campus Tour Guidebook, Fall 2015

The 2015 edition of the “Histories of Students of Color at OSU” Campus Tour Guidebook is fresh off the press! Two years ago, in the Fall of 2013, the OMA collaborated with the ALS 199 U-Engage class “Untold Stories: Histories of People of Color in Oregon” to create an OSU campus tour regarding the histories of the university’s students of color. We included 10 locations representing 10 people, places, or events significant within OSU’s history pertaining to the activism and accomplishments of students of color. This year we expanded the guidebook by including seven new stories and we updated the information for a few locations in the first edition.

Here are the 17 sites:

  • Carrie Halsell, OSU’s First African American Graduate
    Carrie Halsell Residence Hall
  • 2008 Honorary Degree Ceremony for Japanese American Students During WWII
    Reser Stadium
  • William Tebeau, OSU’s First Male African American Graduate
    William Tebeau Residence Hall
  • The Desegregation of the Men’s Basketball Team
    Gill Coliseum
  • Black Student Union Walk-Out of 1969
    The Main Gate
  • Native American Longhouse Eena Haws
  • Centro Cultural César Chávez
  • Women’s Center & Women of Color Coalition
  • Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center
  • OSU’s Anti-Apartheid Movement
    Sports Performance Center
  • Asian & Pacific Cultural Center
  • 1996 All OSU Boycott & March
    MU Quad
  • Pride Center & SOL: LGBTQ+ Multicultural Support Network
  • Ettihad Cultural Center
  • 2014 Solidarity March
    MU Quad
  • Black Lives Matter Movement at OSU
    MU Quad
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day
    Native American Longhouse Eena Haws

Check out the guidebook map!

On December 3rd, the last day of the course, the students posed for a class photo with the guidebook that they helped to author, and afterwards, they led a tour of the new sites.

ALS 199 Class, December 2015 at the APCC

The students and the OMA hope that you find the stories to be both educational and inspiring - enjoy the tour!

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There are two versions of the tour guidebook: one is the version to view digitally and the other is the version that when printed and folded in half becomes a booklet; and, both are available online.

Click Here for the Online Version of the Guidebook

For the print version of the booklet, click here for the print version of the file, then follow the instructions listed in the abstract.

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And, be sure to check out the article about the guidebook in the Corvallis Gazette-Times!

Tour offers chance to experience ‘Untold Stories’ of OSU’s students of color

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The OMA in Performing Arts Resources

PAR Vol. 31

The journal Performing Arts Resources is published once a year by the Theatre Library Association. For its thirty first volume, edited by Kenneth Schlesinger, the theme was “State of the Profession: Performing Arts Librarianship in the 21st Century” and the OMA was featured!

With an Oregon State University 2015 Individual Learning Innovation Grant, the OMA worked with several students to create two iBooks featuring the Obo Addy Legacy Project and Milagro archival collections. The Milagro theatre and Obo Addy Legacy Project are two Portland based performing arts groups – a Latino based theatre and a Ghanaian music and dance group. The article discusses the iBooks projects, lessons learned, and future plans. It also covers the overall process of building relationships with both groups, making the archival collections accessible, and curating a physical exhibit.      

“Archives and the Arts: Showcasing the Histories of Communities of Color” Performing Arts Resources Vol. 31, pgs. 38-49. 

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OSQA & NAL Event: Gender and Sexuality in Indigenous Communities

This week OSQA hosted its first-ever collaborative event with one of OSU’s Cultural Resource Centers! OSQA partnered with the Native American Longhouse (NAL) Eena Haws to put together an event as part of the NAL’s Native American Heritage Celebration Month. The event consisted of a discussion about gender and sexuality in Indigenous communities using short film clips and videos to act as conversation starters. Malik Ensley, OSQA Intern, along with NAL staff selected the viewing materials; Ensley facilitated the event and reported that it was very impactful for those in attendance! For more information on the topic, be sure to check out the film TwoSpirits as well as the book Gender and Sexuality in Indigenous North America, 1400–1850

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The History of Queervallis

Professor Qwo Li Driskill speaking at the History of Queervallis event

On Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, the OSU Pride Center organized the event ”The History of Queervallis” with guest speakers Professor Qwo Li Driskill and Assistant Head Advisor for the College of Liberal Arts Tristen Shay who shared  their knowledge of queer history on campus and in the Corvallis area – and OSQA was there to film their stories!

Professor Driskill discussed his research on queer history on both the national and local level. He gave context to the OSU Queer Studies program by talking about the connections between the feminist and LGBTQ+ movements, and spoke specifically about the intersections between gender, sexuality, and race. Shay shared personal stories of his childhood, his activism in high school and college in support of the queer community, and his journey to OSU along with his continued work here in Corvallis.  

“The History of Queervallis” is available online – check it out!

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OSQA! The OSU Queer Archives

OSQA was delighted to host an event featuring the 2015 OSU LGBTQ+ Community Film by OSU student Kiah McConnell! Professor Bradley Boovy, OSQA co-founder, along with Natalia Fernandez, introduced the event attendees to the history of the establishment of the archives and shared their thoughts for the future of OSQA. Malik Ensley, OSQA intern 2015-2016, shared his hopes for his work this academic year, and we all invited the attendees to get involved in OSQA and encourage others to share their stories. The event included a showcasing of materials from various collections out in the reading room for attendees to peruse ~ to see a list of OSQA collections, be sure to check out the OSQA website.  

We then screened McConnell’s film and had a reception afterwards – and many great discussions took place!

Be sure to check out the OSU LGBTQ+ Community Film

Do you want to learn more about OSQA and get involved? Please contact us!

OSQA email: osuqueerarchives@gmail.com

OSQA Facebook Page

And, here are a few photos of the event:

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Celebrating 40 Years: OSU’s Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center

Black Student Union President Bobby Hill and Oregon State University President Robert MacVicar cut the ribbon for the new Black Cultural Center on April 26th, 1975 (Oregon Stater, June 1975, vol. 9 no.4)

On April 15, 2015, Oregon State celebrated the grand opening of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, just 11 days prior to the 40th anniversary of the original ribbon cutting in 1975. Although built on the same ground as the previous cultural center, much has changed for both the building and the Black Student Union which created the original center. The origins of the cultural center are themselves not free from strife, and as their website says, it came about in the “same way as many Cultural Centers around the country; through student protests, sacrifice, relentless determination, and struggle” (BCC Website). In the late 60’s the Black Student Union was threatening to leave Oregon State due to acts of discrimination and many students were boycotting classes and sporting events. In 1970, the university established the Office of Minority Affairs, and in 1975, the Black Cultural Center officially opened (BCC Website). The creation of the Black Cultural Center followed that of the Native American Longhouse in 1971, and came right before that of the Hispanic Cultural Center in 1976 (now called the Centro Cultural César Chávez). In 1991 the creation of the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center resulted in four of the seven cultural resource centers that exist on campus today.

Black Cultural Center in 1978 (The Beaver 1978)

The grand opening of the Black Cultural Center was the culmination of efforts by the Black Student Union and funding provided by the Associated Students body as well as the Alumni Center and the Corvallis Community. The center sought to promote the retention of African-American students by providing facilities, events, services and opportunities that would help students feel comfortable and be successful. The building was also an opportunity for other people to learn about African-American culture (The Beaver 2000). In 1991, the Assistant Coordinator for the Black Cultural Center, Donald Pendleton Jr., said that while the center was originally constructed to help students feel comfortable, as the number of students, including minorities, had increased, the center began to diversify and cater towards more students who were not African-American but wanted to see the center and learn about its ideas (The Beaver 1991). Jason Dorsette, Associate Director – Cultural Resource Centers, characterized the cultural centers as “educational learning labs for everyone to learn about…black America,” and the ways it has tied into the “larger society.” He stressed the importance of the centers in allowing people to learn about each other’s cultures. Dorsette also noted that cultural centers like the Black Cultural Center are open to anyone, even if the agenda and events within them is representative of the population group it’s connected to.
 

Kwanza preparations in the Black Cultural Center, 2000 (The Beaver 2000)

Even after the ribbon-cutting had taken place, things were not easy for the Black Cultural Center. In 1976, a cross was burned in front of the cultural center in what the culprits would later confess was a “prank which got out of hand,” but African-American campus leaders asked for leniency towards the culprits after meeting with them (The Beaver 1977). In the fall of 1991 racial tension led to the temporary closing of the Black Cultural Center which opened up later that same year. The center persevered and in 1999 it renamed itself to the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center after the first director of the Educational Opportunities Program who helped “increase recruitment and retention of black students at OSU” (BCC Grand Opening). Racial episodes still persist today and in those times the role of the center can change. Mr. Dorsette noted that in cases both local and global of racial hostility or discrimination the centers transform into “spaces of dialogue,” that allow the discussion of difficult topics that “we as a collective community try to troubleshoot and unpack and understand some of these issues that are just not fair, not right, just plain wrong.” He also mentioned that through Oregon State Administration there was an opportunity to strategize and try to figure out the problems that existed, the solutions that could be reached and the necessary steps to take. 

From help with funding for the first Black Cultural Center to today, there exists a close relationship between the Center and the Corvallis Community. As Dorsette explains, the community has designated spots on the cultural center’s advisory committees so that they can “serve as advisors, coaches and to help us really make the best decisions regarding programming, events and things like that.”

The Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, 2015

In 2013, with design input from students, Oregon State announced the construction of the new Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center and center was temporarily moved to Snell Hall during the building process (Life@OSU June 4, 2013). Dorsette spoke of the renovated centers as an “additional point of pride for Oregon State University,” in showing that it can “offer up and tangibly demonstrate our commitment to diversity,” in the seven pride and cultural centers that it has, an unmatched number anywhere else in the states. Dorsette also highlighted the new center’s usefulness in research, events and even activities like barbeques and tailgating. Although visually distinct from the old building, the new cultural center is better equipped to help students and stay true to the goals of the Black Cultural Center: to allow students to feel comfortable, to give them the tools they need to be successful and to foster understanding of Black culture throughout the student body and the community at large.  

~ Christopher Russell, OMA Blog Guest Writer

To hear more Jason Dorsette’s interview, you can listen to it in its entirety via the OSU Cultural Centers Oral History Collection: Jason Dorsette Interview  

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The Urban League of Portland’s 2015 Equal Opportunity Day Awards Dinner

EOD Dinner 2015 Display

“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper,’” Martin Luther King Jr. (from “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” delivered 3 April 1968, Memphis, Tennessee). This was the quotation that framed Johnathan M. Holifield’s keynote address at the Urban League of Portland’s Equal Opportunity Day Dinner 2015. Holifield’s call to action for the state of Oregon reminded all in attendance of the work that has yet to be done to make Oregon truly diverse and inclusive, work that the Urban League does each and every day. This year, the OMA was in attendance with a small display to engage attendees with the Urban League’s history and let them know that the organization’s archival collection is open to all for research.

President and CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson

The dinner was, as always, incredibly well attended and the fundraising portion of the evening was a great success. The night also included remarks from the Urban League’s new President and CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson – she expressed her commitment to the organization’s mission and concluded with the simple yet powerful thought, “we are better together.” And, the evening concluded with Charles Wilhoite being honored as the Equal Opportunities Award Honoree for his tremendous service to the community.

 

The Urban League of Portland Archival Collection

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Nuestras Voces y Herencia: Yamhill County’s Latino Histories

The Latino community in Yamhill County has a rich and diverse history and has contributed greatly to the county’s identity. Nuestras Voces y Herencia is a project dedicated to gathering and preserving the life stories of Yamhill County’s Latino community. The Yamhill County Cultural Coalition and the Yamhill County Historical    Society & Museum are partnering with the OMA to share the stories gathered. The project is in its early stages – brainstorming ideas and spreading the word. 

On September 25th, the organization Unidos Bridging Community hosted the event “Celebrating Our Heritage: Yamhill County Embraces Latino and Anglo Histories”  the OMA was there to show support and record the evening’s wonderful speakers! The fully bilingual event began with Miriam Corona and Sally Godard of Unidos introducing the organization’s mission and services as well as its positive impact on the community, and they then invited four community members to share their family histories: Bob Applegate, Elva Salinas, Ramsey McPhillips, and Guadalupe Villaseñor (with translators Maria Sandoval and Valentin Sanchez). 

Video Recording of “Celebrating Our Heritage: Yamhill County Embraces Latino and Anglo Histories” September 25, 2015

(audio only recording of “Celebrating Our Heritage”

To learn more about the project Nuestras Voces y Herencia contact: nuestrasvocesyamhillcounty@gmail.com and, visit: facebook.com/nuestrasvocesyamhillcounty

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