“Occupying Margins” A Panel Discussion on Gender

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“This panel aims to spotlight the lived experiences of non-binary/genderqueer/gender non-conforming folx who live beyond the gender binary”

As part of Trans Awareness Week on OSU’s campus, SOL and the Pride Center hosted an event entitled “Occupying Margins: A Panel Discussion on Gender” in which three OSU students—Tara, Malik, and Vickie—spoke about their personal experiences with gender, as well larger impressions of the topic. During the event, the panelists answered pre-decided question as well as queries from the audience. A wide array of issues were addressed, including South Asian poetry duo Dark Matter and their argument that if you are a person of color, queer, differently abled, neuro-diverse, low-income, etc. you already do not fit the definition of “man” or “woman.” The three describe their vision for working towards a society that cherishes these trans and non-binary genders and relationships, rather than just “accepting” non-binary people. In addition, the group explores the ways in which the definition of gender can be expanded and improved by acknowledging histories and legacies of slavery and colonization. All of the panelists stress the need for difficult conversations, and interventions that make others question their harmful assumptions. They explain that this includes talking to strangers, standing up for your friends, and fostering dialogue with family members.

A longer summary of the panel, and corresponding time stamps for the video, can be found by scrolling to the bottom of this post.

Panelists: Tara Crochett, Malik Ensley, Vickie Zeller
Moderator: Samantha Wood
Date: November 14, 2016
Location: OSU Centro Cultural César Chávez

Link to Recording of “Occupying Margins” A Panel Discussion on Gender

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This event was part of OSU’s Transgender Awareness Week 2016

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As part of Trans Awareness Week on OSU’s campus, SOL and the Pride Center hosted an event entitled “Occupying Margins: A Panel Discussion on Gender” in which three OSU students—Tara, Malik, and Vickie—spoke about their personal experiences with gender, as well larger impressions of the topic. In the recording of this event, the panelists begin by introducing themselves, stating their name, pronouns, and what the last thing they posted on social media was. The first question asked of the panelists by the moderator was, “What do identities that fall outside the binary look like to you and what do they say?” (00:02:21) Malik begins by stating that these identities take many forms, and are expressed differently and uniquely by each individual, meaning that non-binary folks can look like anyone. Malik points out that there exists a misled assumption that non-binary and/or trans people are inherently white, able-bodied, skinny and fashionable. Tara adds that non-binary folks are not always visible, often for safety reasons, and the panelists discuss the various cultural barriers that can impact the way these identities are talked about.

In the second question, the panelists are asked, “How do you view non-binary identities in terms of ‘trans’?” (00:08:40) Vickie responds in saying that trans is an umbrella term, and explains the various identities that fall under that umbrella. However, Malik and Tara add that there needs to be critique of such umbrella terms, because it can often erase some of the identities it is meant to encompass, thus making it more difficult to identify as such. Malik outlines the ways in which many who identify as trans, or underneath the umbrella of trans, may not wish to transition, but how there is often pressure to do so. In addition to seconding Malik’s resistance to dominant trans narratives, Tara differentiates between gender identity and gender expression. Vickie wraps up the question by asking why they are pressured to present themselves in a certain way in order to have their non-binary identity validated.

For the third question, the panel moderator asks, “How do you feel about the way gender is defined in mainstream feminism? How can we improve and expand this definition?” (00:19:15) Malik begins by saying that for them, “mainstream” feminism and White feminism are one in the same, defining White feminism as a movement that is not intersectional. They stress the importance of asking who the categories of “man” and “woman” are made for, and who were they made around? The panelists discuss an argument made by queer South Asian poetry duo Dark Matter that if you are a person of color, queer, differently abled, neuro-diverse, low-income, etc. you already do not fit the definition of “man” or “woman.” The panelists discuss their vision that rather than working towards “accepting” non-binary people, we should instead work towards cherishing these relationships and these identities. In addition, the group explores the ways in which the definition of gender can be expanded and improved by acknowledging histories and legacies of slavery and colonization. Tara ends by providing an example of how mainstream definitions of gender hurt activist work, using a Trump protest they attended as an example of the ways gender non-conforming people get erased with phrases like “pussy grabs back” and “her body her choice” that prioritize the needs of white cis women.

In the fourth segment of the panel, the participants answer the question, “How does this ‘in-between’ identity complicate the other ways you identify?” (00:30:00) Tara explains that as someone who identifies as both mixed-race and non-binary, they have experienced feeling a sense of in-between or that they were a “watered-down version” of a particular identity. At the same time, they explain that they have begun to come to terms with their identities, but also recognize the simultaneous privilege and erasure that occurs with such “in-between” experiences. Malik expands on this, noting that because of the narrative of hyper-masculinity forced on black men, Malik sees that their relationships are complicated greatly by gender identity, sexuality, and romantic identity. The panelists discuss the need to ask themselves when they want to put themselves out there, when they can disclose their true identity, when do they come out with their gender pronouns, and how all of these questions are complicated by intersecting identities.

Next, the moderator asks, “Why are panels like these important? Why does sharing experiences have so much power?” (00:39:29) Vickie explains that panels of this nature give a sense of community, making a space to share experiences allows for growth and support. Malik agrees that panels can provide necessary connection, and can be helpful for people to understand the struggles experienced by others. However, they also explain that we need to get to a place where we don’t have to meet a physical person to feel connected to their pain, and want to do something to fix the structures that impact them. To prove why sharing experiences is so powerful, Malik describes interactions they have had with their young students, and how these conversations have challenged the binary ways of thinking into which children are commonly indoctrinated. The panelists also discuss the importance of visibility, and the need to recognize the QTPOC work that has already been accomplished which allows for panels like these today—making these conversations a way of honoring the hard work that has been done in the past.

Following this discussion, the panelists are asked to provide a call to action with the question, “How can we support identities that are beyond the gender binary? How do you want people to support you?” (00:47:45) All of the panelists stress the need for difficult conversations, and interventions that make others question their harmful assumptions. They explain that this includes talking to strangers, standing up for your friends, and fostering dialogue with family members. Importantly, Tara acknowledges that it is best to start these dialogues in spaces where one has privilege that can, to some extent, protect against potential backlash. Malik also mentions the need for everyone to always introduce their pronouns, regardless of the individual’s identity, and to respect other people’s pronouns in a number of different ways. Malik ends by advising the audience, and their fellow panelists, to always try to “do a little better than yesterday.”

In the last question, the panelists are asked, “Do you have any tips for people who are struggling with their gender identity, and how to explore that?” (00:58:14) Malik repeats the importance of conversation mentioned in the previous discussion topic. They suggest to talk about their struggles with others who will be supportive and to additionally focus on verbalizing what they do know, and spend less time grappling with what they don’t know. Tara draws on a quote they read in the Pride Center bathroom book in saying, “Know that you don’t have to fix the world” (01:01:20). Vickie adds to the discussion by explaining that not all people need conversation for support, and suggests listening to the stories of others and using the internet as a resource for those that are “internal processors.” The panelists spend the last 15 minutes responding to audience questions (01:05:11) and comments, and wrapping up the discussion. The panel ends on a positive note (01:23:15), with panelists and attendees articulating their gender in unique and creative ways (i.e. my gender is “masculine wild child”).

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The OMA and OSQA in the SCARC exhibit “Catching Stories: The Oral History Tradition at OSU”

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i-pad app featuring OMA and OSQA oral history interviews

This year the OSU Special Collections and Archives Research Center curated a new exhibit featuring its oral history program – and the hundreds of interviews within its collections – and the OMA and OSQA were highlighted!

Horner Collection and OSU 150

Horner Collection and OSU 150

Cultural Communities, Natural Resources, and History of Science

Cultural Communities, Natural Resources, and History of Science

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit Information:

Title: “Catching Stories: The Oral History Tradition at Oregon State University ”
Dates: November 2016 – March 2017
Location: Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center exhibit foyer
Curators: Tiah Edmunson-Morton, Chris Petersen, and Natalia Fernandez, OSU Special Collections and Archives Research Center

SCARC OH Program

SCARC OH Program

For more information about SCARC Oral History Program, check out the website below:

SCARC Oral History Program

Exhibit Special Features – Listening Stations with Clips of Interviewees’ Stories

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i-pad listening station

TV listening station

TV listening station

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Listening Stations!

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 OMA and OSQA

The Oregon Multicultural Archives (OMA) and OSU Queer Archives (OSQA) pro-actively reach out to African American, Asian American, Latino/a, and Native American communities, as well as LGBTQ+ people within OSU and Corvallis, to add their voices to the archives. In addition, both the OMA and OSQA collaborate with local community members and OSU students on projects to train them to conduct interviews and become active participants in creating a more diverse and inclusive historical record.

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The “Cultural Communities” aka OMA and OSQA section of the exhibit

Oral history collections within the OMA include the stories of Japanese Americans living in Lane County (OH 15); African American railroad porters who were employed in Oregon during the 1940s and 1950s (OH 29); staff members of the Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization Asian Family Center in Portland (OH 30); members of the Latino/a community in central Oregon, Yamhill County, and the town of Canby (OH 32); staff of the Milagro theatre in Portland (OH 31); and interviews with members of the Coquille and Siletz tribes (OH 12). Another OMA collection is the OSU Cultural Centers Oral History Collection (OH 21) that documents the work-related as well as personal experience of staff members from various cultural centers.

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The general OMA oral history collection (OH 18) interviews include, but are not limited to: an interview with a family who lived at Colegio César Chávez during the late 1970s/early 1980s; individual interviews with Rev. Alcena Boozer and Carl Deiz, two long time African American Portland residents; a three-part interview with Dr. Jean Moule, OSU College of Education Emeritus Professor; a student panel featuring the stories of first generation college students; and interviews with some of OSU’s first black men’s basketball and football team players. The OSQA oral history collection (OH 34), created in 2015, includes the voices of staff of OSU’s Pride Center and the organization SOL, as well as a set of interviews featuring LGBTQ+ 1990s and 2000s Benton County area activists and community members.

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Glitter in the Archives!

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Today, OSQA hosted its first ever crafting event as part of OSU’s Queer History Month celebrations. We supplied attendees with copies of archival materials, including images from the Pride Center records, old event flyers, After 8 materials, and of course, glitter! One of the main goals of this event was to use archival materials as a way to imagine queer futures, particularly as they pertain to OSU and the surrounding community. Some absolutely fabulous art was created, and many of the artists generously donated their pieces to OSQA.

A flickr set of Glitter in the Archives!

Event Photos! (Check out the flickr set for more images)

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Amazing art created by attendees and donated to the archive.

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Tables full of fun craft supplies!

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Attendees unleashing their creativity.

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Taste of the ‘Chives 2016: Obo Addy’s Hot and Spicy Cookbook

Taste of the 'Chives 2016Today was SCARC’s annual Taste of the ‘Chives! This year we used the Hot and Spicy Cookbook from the Obo Addy Legacy Project (OALP) archival collection – and the dishes were delicious. We also used the event as an opportunity to launch the Obo Addy Legacy Project i-book, co-authored by the OALP, the OMA, and Mike Jager, i-book creator extraordinaire. The i-book is available via the i-tunes store and is free to download. See below for event photos and lots of links to check out!

A flickr set of Taste of the ‘Chives 2016

More blog posts about the OALP

“Archives and the Arts: Showcasing the Histories of Communities of Color” ~ an article about the i-book project

Event Photos! (be sure to view the flickr set for more)

Taste of the 'Chives 2016

Taste of the ‘Chives 2016

Recipes from the Hot and Spicy Cookbook

Recipes from the Hot and Spicy Cookbook

Susan Addy with the OALP i-book

Susan Addy with the OALP i-book

Mike Jager, i-book co-author, showing attendees how to use the i-book

Mike Jager, i-book co-author, showing attendees how to use the i-book

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Hear the Stories: Oregon African American Railroad Porters Oral History Collection

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The OMA just hosted the first of SCARC’s 2016 Archives Month events and we have it recorded for you to view online! “Hear the Stories: Oregon African American Railroad Porters Oral History Collection” featured the oral historian, filmmaker, and educator, Michael “Chappie” Grice sharing the stories of Oregon’s African American railroad porters, including his personal experiences.

All of the oral histories are available online:

Oregon African American Railroad Porters Oral History Collection Project Website

The event was recorded and is also available online:

“Hear the Stories” ~ A presentation by Michael Grice

And, below are photos from the event:

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Michael Grice showing a photo of various railroad porters

Collection materials for event attendees to peruse

Collection materials for event attendees to peruse

Mr. Grice with Hope Glenn, the interviewer transcriber

Mr. Grice with Hope Glenn, the interviewer transcriber

An event attendee listening to one of the oral histories

An event attendee listening to one of the oral histories

Mr. Grice answering an attendee's question

Mr. Grice answering an attendee’s question

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The Urban League of Portland’s 2016 Equal Opportunity Day Awards Dinner

ULPDX EODD 2016

ULPDX EODD 2016

Another amazing Urban League of Portland Equal Opportunity Day Dinner! Each year the ULPDX and community members come together to celebrate the organization’s work to help to empower African Americans and other Oregonians to achieve equality in education, employment, and economic security. The event began with a performance by Okropong of the Obo Addy Legacy Project, continued on with great speeches, and concluded with the ceremony for this year’s award winner Maxine Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives. And, as we do each year, the OMA brought a sample of materials from the ULPDX collection for attendees to view.

Check out the images below!

Remarks by ULPDX President and CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson

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The OMA Display of the Urban League of Portland’s archival collection

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The Urban League of Portland Archival Collection

Okropong of the Obo Addy Legacy Project Performance

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The OMA and OSQA’s Oregon Archives Month Events!

Oregon Archives Month 2016 Events

Oregon Archives Month 2016 Events

It just so happens that all three Oregon Archives Month events are OMA or OSQA related – and all of them are free and open to the public!

Check out the details below:

Hear the Stories: Oregon African American Railroad Porters Oral History Collection
A presentation by Michael Grice, oral historian, filmmaker, and educator, sharing the stories of Oregon’s African American railroad porters.
Location: 5th Floor SCARC Reading Room in the Valley Library
Date: Wednesday, Oct 12th
Time: 3-5pm

Recipe Showcase “Taste of the ‘Chives”
Celebrate the legacy of Obo Addy at the launch of the new i-Book on the Obo Addy Legacy Project with a showcase of prepared selections from the organization’s Hot and Spicy Cookbook.
Location: Willamette Rooms, 3rd Floor of the Valley Library
Date: Friday, October 21st
Time: noon-1:30pm

Glitter in the Archives! Using History to Imagine Queer and Trans Futures
An opportunity for community members to participate in an evening of crafting using archival materials and, of course, learn about OSQA (OSU Queer Archives) and OSU + Corvallis area queer history.
Location: 5th Floor SCARC Reading Room in the Valley Library
Date: Wednesday, October 26th
Time: 4-6pm
This event is also a part of the OSU Pride Center’s Queer History Month

We hope you can attend some or all three events!

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Sabor Latino ~ a Yamhill County Celebration!

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On September 24th, in celebration of Latino/a Heritage Month 2016, Yamhill County hosted “Sabor Latino” at the Chemeketa Community College Yamhill Valley Campus – and the OMA project Nuestras Voces y Herencia was there to share the stories gathered so far!

“Sabor Latino” was a collaborative event presented by the Latino Advocacy Coalition of Yamhill County. The Latino Advocacy Coalition (LAC) gathers each month to work toward a vision of inclusive, diverse, and equitable communities in Yamhill County.

The event included music, dance, zumba, and food! Nuestras Voces y Herencia had a space to share information about the project and featured about 30 minutes of clips from a variety of oral history interviews. We shared the room with an exhibit of photographs of the Woodburn area Latino/a community. Check out all the pics below:

Nuestras Voces y Herencia

The Voces Project at Sabor Latino

The Voces Project at Sabor Latino

Voces Project Information

Voces Project Information

Voces Project Coordinator Rita M-S speaking with a community member

Voces Project Coordinator Rita Martínez-Salas speaking with a community member

Exhibit of photographs of the Woodburn area Latino/a community

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“Sabor Latino” Activities ~ Games and dance, including the Mexica Tiahui Aztec Dance Group and the Ballet Folklorico Tlanese

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And, be sure to check out our other blog posts about Nuestras Voces y Herencia!

September 25, 2015 and July 18, 2016 Events

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OSQA at the 2016 Pride Center Connect Event

PC Connect 2016

PC Connect 2016

It’s the beginning of a new academic year and the beginning of OSQA’s 3rd year! We were thrilled to be invited by the OSU Pride Center to participate as part of its PC Connect event. OSQA shared a table with the Queer Studies Program and spoke with over 50 attendees! Our table included OSQA flyers, printed blog posts of our many events and collections, and i-Pads featuring the collections’ digital content. Check out the pics below!

OSQA Table at the PC Connect Event

OSQA Table at the PC Connect Event

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PC Connect Event

PC Connect Event

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The OMA in NAME’s Multicultural Perspectives

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The OMA has been published in Multicultural Perspectives, the official journal of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME)!

The article is about the OMA’s collaborations with two OSU courses: TCE 408H “Sundown Towns in Oregon” 2012-2013 and ALS 199 “Untold Stories: People of Color in Oregon” 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Collaborations Between Multicultural Educators and Archivists: Engaging Students with Multicultural History Through Archival Research Projects

When multicultural educators and archivists collaborate to design projects that engage students with multicultural history through archival research, students can learn in-depth research skills with primary source documents, creatively share their knowledge, and, on a broader level, engage with their local community history. The projects shared in this article serve as examples of how partnerships between multicultural educators and archivists can occur, the types of projects that can be developed and how they are implemented, and students’ responses to their work. The three student projects, including a display, a history guidebook, and an oral history project, are intended to offer a variety of ideas to inspire multicultural educators to reach out to their local archivists to develop archival research projects of their own. And, to promote effective and fruitful partnerships, also included are lessons learned as well as tips for successful collaborations between multicultural educators and archivists.

Link to the article: Collaborations Between Multicultural Educators and Archivists: Engaging Students with Multicultural History Through Archival Research Projects

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