Communications from the Vice President

September 14
2020 was a Census year and as such, population numbers are at the top of many people’s minds. Oregon is no different. According to the Census Bureau, Latinx Oregonians make up the fastest growing demographic in the state, increasing from 11.7 percent in 2010 to 14 percent in 2020. This is exciting news for the future of our state. Unfortunately, a number of news outlets and commentators have chosen to frame this news as a cause for concern.
June 14
As the old saying goes, you can’t know your future without knowing your past. During Pride Month, this is especially pertinent. We can never forget that Pride was born from resistance. Specifically, it originates from the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. This tide-changing act of rebellion occurred when patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a queer bar in New York, fought back against police who were raiding the gathering spot, which was common at the time because “homosexual acts” were illegal in almost every state.
April 25
This time last year, we were still in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Daily life as we knew it was changing and many throughout the United States reacted in an unfortunate, but predictable way by engaging in racial scapegoating. The virus’s origins in China were used as justification for broad anti-Asian sentiment and many of us warned that this hateful, reactionary rhetoric would lead to increased harassment and violence in real life. Sure enough, anti-Asian hate crimes rapidly increased, but fast forward to 2021 and things have taken an even more grim turn.
March 19
A popular racist myth is that Asian Americans are the “model minority”, rising above the prejudice and discrimination that is baked into American history and contemporary life. Yet, recent spikes in anti-Asian violence -- including the recent tragic murder of six Asian-American women-- call for fresh eyes to see the familiar, but often unacknowledged story in America's ongoing drama of hate, coupled with the violence that it begets. Love, indeed, is a proven antidote to darkness and the brazen racial hatred that threaten to unravel our society.
February 16
Women’s History Month 2021 commemorates a particularly pivotal time in the American story. We have witnessed history being made at the highest levels of power with the election of Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman, Black and South Asian person to serve in the role. While that certainly gets much-deserved attention, the early months of 2021 have highlighted the contributions of women in a variety of areas.
February 11
]In Spring term of 2017, the UO launched the IDEALii framework, activating Diversity Action Plans (DAPs) in 35 units, with the audacious goal of implementing 657 tactics. Just 2.5 years later: • 58% of DAP tactics were met or in progress. • Our top DAP focus areas: improving departmental climate, student success, professional development and community outreach. • Our top three focal groups: undergraduate or graduate students, campus at large, and staff. Very few protected classes received targeted focus.
January 28
Just a month into 2021, we have already witnessed a number of defining moments that demonstrate the duality of where we stand as a country. On one hand, the elections of Kamala Harris, the first woman, Black and Asian American person to become Vice President of the United States, and Raphael Warnock, the first Black Senator from Georgia, represent major milestones in American politics. However, for many, the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S.
November 30
A long road leads to a new home for the UO's black students
November 2
2020 has been a year of clarity. One of the most important examples of clarity, specifically in regards to ignoring lessons from history, was the spread of wildfires up and down the west coast of the United States. This trend of both the fires growing every year and our collective society choosing to accept this reality seemed to have no end in sight. Then something both surprising and predictable happened. The fires got so bad and became so widespread no one could ignore them anywhere. For days, parts of Oregon recorded the worst air quality of any cities on Earth.
September 15
To many, history is merely an academic subject. Engaging with it is a task, if not an ordeal, and when we do, we often feel a need to oversimplify. Either we’re learning from cautionary tales or celebrating two-dimensional triumphs. In reality, history is never something we can truly separate from ourselves. We’re always influenced by it. We’re constantly contributing to it. History is complex. It’s expansive. Yes, it is about education and celebration, but also everything in between and outside.