“LGBTQ+ Activism in Oregon: Then and Now” ~ an OSU Queer Archives Exhibit

"LGBTQ+ Activism in Oregon: Then and Now" Exhibit

“LGBTQ+ Activism in Oregon: Then and Now” Exhibit

Join the OSU Queer Archives in highlighting a newly acquired collection, the After 8 Records! After 8 was an organization that championed for LGBTQ+ rights in Benton County during the 1990s. The OSU Libraries and Press PROMISE Intern 2016, Cece Lantz, curated a small exhibit that features materials from the collection and showcases a number of current Oregon LGBTQ+ community organizations. Come see the display in person at the Valley Library and check out photos of the items featured through the Digital Display in Flickr

Exhibit Information:
What: “LGBTQ+ Activism in Oregon: Then and Now” ~ an OSU Queer Archives Exhibit
Where: Main Floor, OSU Valley Library, Display Case to the left of the Main Entrance
Who: Display curated by Cece Lantz, OSU Libraries and Press PROMISE Intern 2016
When: July – October 2016

Also, be sure to check out our many other displays: Oregon Multicultural Archives Heritage Month Displays as well as our Display Digital Collections in Flickr


When I began looking through the After 8 collection, I was immediately astounded at the amount of impactful LGBTQ+ activism the organization completed in such a short amount of time. Additionally, I was motivated by the idea that the organization began as an act of resistance against anti-LGBTQ+ bills that were attempted to be passed by a conservative queer-phobic organization. As I continued through the collection, I found myself increasingly frustrated that I hadn’t heard of After 8 prior, being that they existed in Corvallis and also made a lot of Benton County and Oregon legislative changes as well as worked to change the visibility of LGBTQ+ folks in Corvallis. As a queer activist myself and having been very involved in queer activism on campus during my undergrad, I found it unsettling that much of their own visibility didn’t exist much in current social justice circles and/or within LGBTQ+ resources on campus. Social justice work – especially when it involves working toward liberating communities in which you belong to – is exhausting in multiple ways and far underrated and underappreciated. For that reason, I really enjoyed curating this display because they truly deserve the recognition for the work they did and the emotional, physical, and mental labor it took in the making.

To further the importance of representation, I decided to showcase other groundbreaking organizations that partake in contemporary LGBTQ+ activism in Oregon. I chose the PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, The Q Center, and Basic Rights Oregon because all three organizations not only center LGBTQ+ activism at the heart of their work, but they actively strive for intersectional liberation. That is, they acknowledge and address multiple intersections of identities and the variety of diverse lived experiences that are a result of those intersections. I thought it important to not only showcase the collection of After 8, but to also include organizations that have continued the process of LGBTQ+ activism and liberation in Oregon.

Lastly, I included a list of the names of those whose lives were taken in the 2016 Pulse Orlando Shooting – a recent massacre at a LGBTQ+ club in Orlando, FL. Many of the victims were queer and trans people of color, which highlights the importance of assessing issues of inequality and prejudice from an intersectional perspective. I added in some popular books written by LGBTQ+ activists in color to act as resources if viewers wanted to further their learning.

Moreover, the experience for me was both empowering and impactful: giving recognition to the under-appreciated activists in our community was very rewarding, and I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that, in addition to the historical and personal connection I was able to make to the physical collection.

~ Cece Lantz, “LGBTQ+ Activism in Oregon: Then and Now” exhibit curator and OSU Libraries and Press PROMISE Intern 2016

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The OMA at RBMS 2016


RBMS 2016 Conference, Coral Gables, FL

This summer the OMA presented at the annual conference for the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

The OMA presented as part of the session “Short Papers Panel: Diversity and Cultural Communities.” The presentation was “Latinos en Oregón: sus voces, sus historias, su herencia ~ A Latino/a community oral history project.” In 2015 the Oregon Multicultural Archives began a Latino/a community-based oral history project Latinos en Oregón: sus voces, sus historias, su herencia. The project involves partnerships with Oregon State University’s Juntos program, the Canby Public Library, and various organizations within Yamhill County. The presentation focused on the importance of project partners and community liaisons, the relationship and trust building aspects of the project, the lessons learned and suggested best practices based on experience, as well as current models and ideas for the project’s sustainability.

Check out the Latinos en Oregón websites:

The “Latinos en Oregón” presentation is available online:

“Latinos en Oregón: sus voces, sus historias, su herencia ~ A Latino/a community oral history project”


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La comunidad latina en Canby, Oregón / The Latino/a community in Canby, Oregon

Canby Public Library

Canby Public Library

OH 32 Latinos en Oregón
sus voces, sus historias, su herencia / their voices, their stories, and their heritage Preservando y compartiendo las historias de la comunidad latina en Oregón /
Preserving and sharing the stories of Oregon’s latino/a community

Latinos en Oregón: Canby, OR
Un proyecto de entrevistas orales con la biblioteca pública de Canby / A oral history interviews project with the Canby Public Library

El Proyecto / The Project

Las comunidades latinas en Oregón tienen una historia profunda y diversa, y las nuevas generaciones continúan contribuyendo en gran medida a la identidad del estado. Latinos en Oregón es un proyecto dedicado a la recolección y a la preservación de las voces y las historias de comunidades latinas en Oregón.

Oregon’s Latino/a communities have a deep and diverse history, and new generations continue to contribute greatly to the identity of the state. Latinos in Oregón is a project dedicated to collecting and preserving the voices and stories of Latino/a communities in Oregon.


Latino Americans Grant Website

El proyecto de Latinos en Oregón: Canby, OR empezó con una beca que la biblioteca pública de Canby recibió en el 2015. La beca era Latino Americans: 500 Years of History. Como parte de la beca, la biblioteca organizó varios eventos para ver partes del documental Latino Americans y también se comprometieron para documentar las historias personales de por lo menos síes miembros de la comunidad latina en Canby. El Archivo Multicultural de Oregón grabó las entrevistas y ahora son parte del archivo.

The project Latinos in Oregon: Canby, OR began soon after the Canby Public Library received the scholarship Latino Americans: 500 Years of History in 2015. As part of the grant the library organized several events to screen parts of the documentary Latino Americans. The library also committed to documenting the personal stories of at least six members of the Latino/a community in Canby. The Oregon Multicultural Archives recorded the interviews and they are now part of the OMA.

Para aprender más sobre el proyecto, comuníquese con /
To learn more about the project, contact:

Angélica Novoa De Cordeiro, la biblioteca pública de Canby / Canby Public Library,
503-266-0657, anovoadecordeiro@lincc.org

Natalia Fernández, Archivo Multicultural de Oregón / Oregon Multicultural Archives,
541-737-3653, natalia.fernandez@oregonstate.edu

Las Entrevistas / The Interviews

El proyecto comenzó con siete miembros de la comunidad de Canby, OR – los participantes o son latinos o son anglos que están involucrados con la comunidad latina.

The project began with seven members of the community of Canby, OR – the participants are Latino/as or are Anglos who are involved with the Latino/a community.

Melissa Reid
Miriam Pastrana
Sabino Arredondo
Charlie Gingerich
Margarita Cruz
Gudelia Villán Ramos
Jorge Paz











Melissa Reid

Fecha/Date: el 24 de abril del 2016 / April 24, 2016
Entrevistada/Interviewee: Melissa Reid
Entrevistadora/Interviewer: Natalia Fernández  
Duración/Length: 00:53:26
Idioma/Language: español / Spanish  

La entrevista de / the interview (video) of Melissa Reed

Miriam Pastrana

Fecha/Date: el 12 de mayo del 2016 / May 12, 2016
Entrevistada/Interviewee: Miriam Pastrana
Entrevistadora/Interviewer: Natalia Fernández  
Duración/Length: 00:56:58
Idioma/Language: español / Spanish  

La entrevista de / the interview (audio) of Miriam Pastrana

Sabino Arredondo

Fecha/Date: el 12 de mayo del 2016 / May 12, 2016
Entrevistado/Interviewee: Sabino Arredondo
Entrevistadora/Interviewer: Natalia Fernández
Duración/Length: 01:20:31
Idioma/Language:  inglés / English

La entrevista de / the interview (video) of Sabino Arredondo

Fecha/Date: el 12 de mayo del 2016 / May 12, 2016
Entrevistado/Interviewee: Sabino Arredondo
Entrevistadora/Interviewer: Natalia Fernández  
Duración/Length: 01:09:20
Idioma/Language: español / Spanish  

La entrevista de / the interview (video) of Sabino Arredondo

Charlie Gingerich

Fecha/Date: el 25 de mayo del 2016 / May 25, 2016
Entrevistado/Interviewee: Charlie Gingerich
Entrevistadora/Interviewer: Natalia Fernández  
Duración/Length: 01:02:19
Idioma/Language:  inglés / English

La entrevista de / the interview (audio) of Charlie Gingerich

Margarita Cruz

Fecha/Date: el 25 de mayo del 2016 / May 25, 2016
Entrevistada/Interviewee: Margarita Cruz
Entrevistadora/interviewer: Natalia Fernández  
Duración/Length: 01:52:34
Idioma/Language: español / Spanish  

La entrevista de / the interview (audio) of Margarita Cruz

Gudelia Villán Ramos

Fecha: el 26 de mayo del 2016
Entrevistada: Gudelia Villán Ramos
Entrevistadora: Natalia Fernández  
Duración: 00:53:30 (audio)
Idioma/Language: español / Spanish  

La entrevista de / the interview (audio) of Gudelia Villán Ramos

Jorge Paz

Fecha/Date: el 26 de mayo del 2016
Entrevistado/Interviewee: Jorge Paz
Entrevistadora/Interviewer: Natalia Fernández  
Duración/Length: 01:32:27 (audio)
Idioma/Language: español / Spanish  

La entrevista de / the interview of Jorge Paz


Las siete entrevistas / the seven interviews

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OSQA and History Course Collaboration: An OSQA Oral History Project

HST 368 Oral History Project Interviewees

HST 368 Oral History Project Interviewees

This spring term, the OSU Queer Archives (OSQA) collaborated with the history class HST 368 Lesbian and Gay Movements in Modern America with Professor Mina Carson. Carson, along with OSQA co-founders Natalia Fernández, Curator and Archivist of the Oregon Multicultural Archives, and Professor Bradley Boovy, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, developed an oral history project for the students. Using Carson’s network of Corvallis area activists, in total, the students conducted 9 oral history interviews and added them to the OSQA oral history collection!

The Interviews

Judy Ball Oral History Interview

Judy Ball

Judy Ball

Date: May 4, 2016
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 00:42:46
Interviewee: Judy Ball
Interviewer: Kristiane Width

Interview Video & Transcript (forthcoming)

Julie Williams Oral History Interview

Julie Williams

Julie Williams

Date: May 5, 2016
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 00:46:37
Interviewee: Julie Williams
Interviewers: Alyssa Kauth and Kaitlyn Stephen

Interview Video & Transcript (forthcoming)

Jo Ann Casselberry Oral History Interview

Jo Ann Casselberry

Jo Ann Casselberry

Date: May 11, 2016
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 01:19:39
Interviewee: Jo Ann Casselberry
Interviewer: Stefani Evers

Interview Video & Transcript (forthcoming)

Karuna Neustadt Oral History Interview

Karuna Neustadt

Karuna Neustadt

Date: May 12, 2016
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 01:29:00
Interviewee: Karuna Neustadt
Interviewer: Esther Matthews

Interview Video & Transcript (forthcoming)

Lorena Reynolds Oral History Interview

Lorena Reynolds

Lorena Reynolds

Date: May 13, 2016
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 00:21:59
Interviewee: Lorena Reynolds
Interviewers: Francesca Lee and Trinh Duonier

Interview Video & Transcript (forthcoming)

Sara Gelser Oral History Interview

Sara Gelser

Sara Gelser

Date: May 16, 2016
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 00:43:39
Interviewee: Sara Gelser
Interviewers: Brett Bishop and Brittney Nicole Aman

Interview Video & Transcript (forthcoming)

Mary Renneke Oral History Interview

Mary Renneke

Mary Renneke

Date: May 21, 2016
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 00:25:31
Interviewee: Mary Renneke
Interviewers: Suheng Chen and Hangyi Zhang

Interview Video & Transcript (forthcoming)

Martha Cone Oral History Interview

Martha Cone

Martha Cone

Date: May 24, 2016
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 00:56:01
Interviewee: Martha Cone
Interviewers: Eugenia Rott and Jared Ziegler

Interview Video & Transcript (forthcoming)

Robin Frojen Oral History Interview

Robin Frojen

Robin Frojen

Date: May 25, 2016
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 00:36:21
Interviewee: Robin Frojen
Interviewers: Madeleine Selfors and Kevin More

Interview Video & Transcript (forthcoming)


On May 3rd OSQA hosted a 2016 Pride Week event for the HST 368 and the general public in which we conducted an oral history interview with OSU Alum John Helding – be sure to check it out as well!

An OSQA Oral History: John Helding

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Celebrating FIRST! Students Sharing their Stories


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.


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


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 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.


Check out some highlights from the tour!

Salem Pioneer Cemetery, Salem













Eliza and Hannah Gorman House, Corvallis



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

Helvetia Community Church, Hillsboro


Ginny Mapes, Helvetia Community Church, Hillsboro

Ginny Mapes, Helvetia Community Church, Hillsboro

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An OSQA Oral History: John Helding


To celebrate Pride Week 2016, OSQA hosted an event to share information on conducting oral history interviews. The event included an in-person interview with John Helding, an OSU alum who participated in a 1981 ASOSU vote to fund the Gay People’s Alliance. Helding shared his personal story, his experiences at OSU, and how 1981 ASOSU vote impacted and shaped this future, both personally and professionally.

Date: May 3, 2016
Location: Native American Longhouse, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 01:48:45
Interviewee: John Helding
Interviewer: Natalia Fernández

John Helding

John Helding

Interview Video and Transcript (forthcoming)

Bio: John Helding was born February 11, 1958 in Portland, OR, and his family moved to Spokane, WA soon after and lived there for about eight years. Helding grew up in Gresham, OR on the east side of Portland with his family, including his parents and two older sisters. Both of his parents were born and raised in Montana. His father worked in the timber industry; his mother was a stay at home mom during Helding’s early years but then received her elementary teaching degree and taught elementary school in the Gresham school district for 15 years. Helding lived in Gresham until he graduated from high school in 1976. He attended Oregon State University from 1976-1981 and graduated with a degree in industrial engineering. During his time at OSU he sang with the OSU choir all five years, was a resident assistant his junior year, and was an ASOSU senator during his fifth year. After graduating, he moved to Beaverton, OR to work for the company Tektronix for three years as an industrial engineer (1981-1984) – during this time he decided he no longer wished to be an engineer. He then attended Stanford Business School from 1984-1986. After graduating from Stanford, Helding began working for the firm Booz Allen Hamilton and worked for them until the year 2000. He worked as an Associate/Sr. Associate (1986-1990); Western Region Administrative Director (1990-1993); Group Director of Operations, Marketing Intensive Practice (1994-1996); and Senior Director of Global Recruitment (1997-2000). Helding’s other positions have included Chair/Member, Client Security Fund Commission, State Bar of California (1998-2002); Member, Founding Board, San Francisco Friends School (2001-2005); Senior Advisor, Great Place to Work Institute (2003-2006); Member, Board, American Friends Service Committee (2005-2012); Chairperson/Clerk, Board Audit Committee, American Friends Service Committee (2005-2012). As of 2016, Helding’s positions include Chairperson/Clerk, Board, Quaker Voluntary Service (since November 2011); Chairperson, Lopez Island School Board, Lopez Island School District (since 2009); Facilitator, Interpersonal Dynamics Program, Stanford Graduate School of Business (since January 2001); Member, Board of Directors, Marts & Lundy, Inc. (since 2013); Advisor, Helding and Associates (since 2008). After living in San Fransisco for a time, in 2005 he reconnected with an OSU choir alum, a widow with two teenagers, and he moved to live with his new family on Lopez Island, WA; they have been living there since 2006.

Summary: Helding begins the interview by sharing information about his family history and early childhood in Spokane, WA and later Gresham, OR – Helding describes Gresham at the time as a small middle class community. In high school Helding’s activities included participating on the debate team, singing in the choir, playing sports, acting in plays and musicals, and being co-editor of the student newspaper his senior year. He shares some of his memories regarding the lack of open discussion about LGBTQ+ issues and lack of support for LGBTQ+ peoples within the community; a community Helding describes as a complex mix of progressive and conservative attitudes. He notes that at the time, the only instances of discussion of LGBTQ+ peoples was when he and classmates made fun of the community – he describes the ways in which this occurred and his perspectives on why they did this and how it impacted the students who at the time were not openly LGBTQ. Helding recalls the memory of a classmate who committed suicide; he shares that in hindsight, he and other classmates have wondered if their classmate may have been gay and unsupported in that environment. He reflects that although his family was relatively progressive on civil rights and union rights, he notes the lack of discussion regarding LGBTQ+ issues, peoples, and rights. Helding was politically active and focused on issues such as Vietnam and political integrity, but not gay rights – he recalls the lack of language and even being unaware of the concept within his community, let alone being able to discuss it.

Helding then shares his recollections of his time at OSU; he lived in Poling Hall, was an RA in Cauthorn Hall his junior year, and sang with the OSU choir for five years. Helding describes the campus climate in terms of LGBTQ+ issues – he notes that although the issues were not discussed in classes or among his peers, the same jokes and crude attitudes from high school were not expressed. He recalls that instead, there were student activists on campus, including the Gay People’s Alliance, who were leading the conversations for visibility, recognition, and funding within a predominately white and conservative campus and town; one of the key OSU LGBTQ+ activists was Eddie Hickey. Helding also refers to articles and letters to the editor in the OSU student newspaper, The Barometer, about LGBTQ+ issues. And, he remembers being influenced by a subscription to the Atlantic Monthly which covered LGBTQ+ issues on the national level. During his time on campus, he recalls the “morale majority” movement and Evangelical Christian organizations that promoted anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and practice emerging at OSU. Helding then begins the story of the 1981 ASOSU vote to fund the Gay People’s Alliance. He explains that he was always very politically active during his high school years and that he was interested in representing independent students, especially the engineering program, rather than the students most represented by ASOSU, the Greek life affiliated students. Helding recalls that one of the main issues for the senate that year was whether or not student organizations could charge for attendance to film screenings as a way to fund-raise (the local private movie theaters were lobbying against the competition); Helding and other senators drafted a policy to address the issue. He notes that funding was largely the most common issue addressed via ASOSU. He explains that many student groups requested resources but that in his opinion, some received more than their fair share of funding. Helding recalls that he wanted to examine the inequity involved in funding legacy organizations rather than new groups – and he wanted to change that.

The next portion of the interview focuses on the April 28, 1981 meeting in which the ASOSU vote to fund the Gay People’s Alliance was discussed. Helding notes that he recently began to think about the issue due to the university’s diversity initiatives in these past few years – he began to think back on his time at OSU and began researching OSU’s LGBTQ+ history. He found Thomas Kraemer’s Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004 online, however, it did not include the 1981 vote that Helding recalled. In January of 2016 he came to the OSU Special Collections and Archives Researcher Center to look through the ASOSU meeting minutes for 1980-1981 in which he found the documentation he sought. He shows the meeting agenda and minutes with the information about the vote – he especially notes that while the documents are typed, there are some handwritten notes, most likely written by the faculty advisor, specific to the Gay People’s Alliance (GPA) vote. In the section regarding the student fees allocations, the notes say “GPA $150 18-13” and Helding recognized that as the Gay People’s Alliance vote. As this was the second to last meeting of the year, this was the meeting that student groups lobbied for their organizations to be funded. Eddie Hickey represented the Gay People’s Alliance since the student fees committee had denied them funds and they wanted the senate to overturn that ruling. Helding says that he did not know who they were as individuals or as an organization and that the group of individuals were the first openly gay people with whom he interacted. He says that he was interested in the GPA request because it was a new request and thought it should be more seriously considered. He also recalled that his beliefs had evolved over the course of his college experience and that by that time, he saw LGBTQ+ issues as a civil rights issue and that it was the right thing to do to fund the GPA the amount requested. Helding then describes the process of the debate on whether or not to fund the GPA – he goes into great detail explaining the discussion, which lasted over an hour, and the pros and cons to funding the GPA. The case against funding was that the LGBTQ+ community was immoral and that the university should not fund “a belief.” Helding, a seasoned debater, recalls that he was fighting for the concept, the principle of providing funding. He said that as a public, non-religiously affiliated university, the conservative Christian morality argument was not applicable. He also said that at the time there was research that said that 5-10% of the population was gay and that as a community, and especially at a university, students needed to learn about and discuss LGBTQ+ issues. And, one of the closing arguments he used was that the University of Oregon was already funding their GPA, and therefore, OSU needed to as well. At first there was a verbal vote and it appeared to have passed, but a hand vote was requested by the GPA’s opponents; the final vote was 18-13 in favor. He then reflects on the experience and says that he had no idea that such a debate would ensue and that the GPA request was unexpectedly approved. From his perspective it was a very civil and rational debate as by that time of the year, the group of senators were able to work well together. He also recognized that it was not a monetary issue, it was a symbolic one. Notably, Helding takes time to reflect on his interactions with the GPA members immediately following the meeting. The GPA came to him to thank him for his support, but he did not want to be associated with them as to potentially be thought of as gay himself. He recalls although he was more than willing to support the GPA, he remembers not having the courage or maturity to rise above what others may have thought of him. Helding then describes the aftermath of the vote. At that time, when the senate disagreed with the student fees committee, another committee was formed, an arbitration committee composed of the senior executive senators, the student body officers, a member of the administration, and the faculty advisor – and that they had the final say on the budget. The committee then presented the budget to the President, who at that time was President Robert MacVicar. The arbitration committee approved the entire proposed budget except for the funds for the GPA. And, there was just one short sentence in an article in The Barometer that simply stated that the GPA received no funding. At the next ASOSU meeting, and the last one for the academic year, Helding remembers protesting the decision. He notes that he can only imagine that the administration was against the vote. As Helding was graduating in June, he said he felt very defeated with the lack of the democratic process and that there was nothing he could do. He notes that the Queer Resource Center, now the Pride Center, was not funded until 20 years later, in the 2000-2001 academic year. Helding concludes this portion of the interview by reflecting upon lessons learned at OSU and how he evolved as a human being through his college experiences. He recalls the many diverse students and professors he met, classes he took, and his time on the ASOSU senate – and how his experiences and people he met all helped open and broaden his perspectives. He concludes by expressing that he wishes he had been less fearful to being associated with the GPA. He also surmises that if perhaps he had joined the senate sooner, he may have been in a more powerful position to take part in the arbitration committee and influence the final decision. He further concludes by acknowledging his progress in his personal evolution of knowledge and understanding of human diversity during his time at OSU.

Helding continues the interview with his post-OSU life story. He reflects on the importance of the ASOSU GPA vote and its impact on his career. He recalls that during his time working for the company Tektronix in Beaverton, OR, one of his co-workers was a transvestite – he notes his continued evolution in understanding and appreciating the diversity in the human experience. He also recalls writing about the ASOSU GPA vote as part of his business school applications; he ultimately chose to attend Stanford University. It was at Stanford that he met an even broader group of people from all over the world. In his second year he was in a class called “Interpersonal Dynamics” to develop communication and trust building skills. In the class, two of his classmates and friends were gay, one of which was Mike Smith, a co-founder of the Names Project which created the AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1987. He expressed that at Stanford he became friends with openly gay classmates and that he was part of a student group that organized a campus wide event to fund AIDS/HIV research – an act at the time that was controversial. The event was called “Standford Cares: A Community Response” and the administration became involved and was supportive. Helding connects his OSU experiences to his Stanford activities and credits his continued personal growth later in life to his undergraduate years.

Helding then shares his professional experiences. He describes his work for the firm Booz Allen Hamilton; a firm he worked for from 1986-2000. He was a consultant and later a manager on a variety of issues, including recruitment. At the time the firm included 15,000 people and had a presence in over 25 countries. To give a specific example of his work as an LGBTQ+ community ally, Helding describes an event at Harvard called “Out of the Closet and Into the Board Room” for gay and lesbian business school students. As the Senior Director of Global Recruitment, Helding took the lead to ensure that the firm was represented at the event, and he personally called the chairman of the firm to attend. He recalls the powerful impact of this act for the firm and for the students. He also shares the story of a group of Booz Allen Hamilton firm employees who created an affinity group called GLOBAL for LGBTQ+ employees. There was a backlash from other employees who expressed their objections, and Helding defended the group and advised the senior management should do the same – the chairman of the firm soon sent a company wide memo in full support of the group. Helding shares a story of the firm being in support of an employee who’s sex change operation caused a client to not wish to be served by them and the firm stood by its employee. 

Helding notes that the oral history interview process has enabled him to reflect upon “touch points in time” throughout his life and how each of his experiences built on each other and helped him be more open and more supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. He then reflects that over the years there has been much change within the OSU community and society as a whole. Helding says that it was the courage of LGBTQ+ individuals “coming out” and activities like The Names Project that helped to humanize the issues so that more and more people could feel a more personal connection to LGBTQ+ issues. He says that the fundamental change he has seen is that the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community are no longer conceptual, they are personal. And, he says that from a business perspective, its smart and good business to hire the best and be diverse in hiring practices. He connects this to present day issues faced by the transgender community.

In the last part of the interview, Helding reflects on his professional life post Booz Allen Hamilton; he shares some of his many positions, mostly independent in the last 15 years. He also talks about his personal life and his involvement in the Quaker faith community which began during his time in San Fransisco in the early 1990s – his group acknowledged gay marriage in 1970. He shares the story of meeting his partner and moving to Lopez Island, WA, to live with her and her two children; they have been living there since 2006. Helding concludes the interview by reflecting upon major moments in his life in the last 40 years, and he especially reflects on his feelings towards OSU and Oregon in general. He says that as a native Oregonian, he has a special connection to the university and the state. He notes how proud he is of OSU for the strides taken to ensure that the campus is inclusive and how it strives toward equity for all. His last thoughts are about his positive experience of sharing his story as an oral history interview and expresses the power of people sharing their stories.

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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).



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!












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


  • 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:

OH 18 OMA Oral History Collection
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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