Communications from the Vice President


February 12, 2024
Black History Month 2024: Education Is Freedom For All
Education has always played a pivotal role in Black History. As enslaved people in America, beginning in 1619, African Americans were either denied the ability to learn or to have any meaningful education. Individual slaves, who endeavored to read and also to teach others to read were deemed criminals, punishable by violent lashing and, in some cases, even death. Deemed properties of their owners, Black people were also prevented from either learning about their history or to utilize their native African dialects. 
November 1, 2023
Moving Beyond Land Acknowledgements at the University of Oregon
Equity work is constantly evolving. As institutions, we are obligated to continually update and investigate our policies and practices because systemic racism is deeply embedded in all facets of society and the process of building towards real justice requires just as deep of a level of engagement. This doesn’t mean just having hard conversations to tell people we had them.
September 15, 2023
Investing in Thriving Community Today as We Look Towards the Future
Part of cultivating a thriving campus is constantly challenging ourselves to better facilitate and nourish community. How are we affirming and encouraging all in our community to be their full selves, not just on an individual level, but in our systems? Latinx Heritage Month 2023 is as opportune a time as any to explore this question.
May 5, 2023
AAPI Heritage Month and Challenging Reactionary Solutions
It is becoming a grim tradition this time of year to review the Stop AAPI Hate data and acknowledge that the issue is continuing to get worse. When you factor in particularly tragic spectacles such as the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California in January where a gunman killed 11 Asian American people at a dance hall, it’s even more distressing. Frustrating but unsurprisingly, far too many people attempted to minimize this tragedy by implying that the fact that the gunman was an Asian American man invalidated any reasons to treat it as an instance of the systemic danger Asian Americans face. In many ways, this is a reflection of how the national discourse has been oversimplified and often weaponized to obscure and divert energy away from a glaring problem: increasing anti-Asian hate crimes.
March 21, 2023
Women’s History Month 2023: Uplifting Hidden Histories and Roots in Resistance
Women’s History Month, like many history month celebrations, seems to feel increasingly like a balancing act between celebrating the contributions of women to all aspects of life in the United States, while also acknowledging and resisting Draconian systemic attacks on women’s health and civil rights.
October 10, 2022
Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2022: From Symbolic Gestures to Substantive Action
Actor and activist Sacheen Littlefeather passed away at the age of 75 on Oct. 2, 2022 after battling cancer. Apache and Yaqui, Littlefeather made history as the first indigenous person to speak at the podium at the Oscars and drew national attention to the American Indian Movement’s Wounded Knee protests. She went on to found the National American Indian Performing Arts Registry.
September 26, 2022
Happy Rosh Hashanah from the University of Oregon!
The Division of Equity and Inclusion would like to wish a happy Rosh Hashanah to members of the Jewish community on campus and throughout Eugene and Lane County! Rosh Hashanah is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days, which comprise both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah begins on Sunday, Sep. 25 at sundown and concludes at sundown on Tuesday, Sep. 27.
September 22, 2022
Latinx Heritage Month 2022: Sending a Message
With so much happening in the world, many of us are looking for reprieve wherever we can find it. Yet, it is becoming increasingly impossible to separate our celebrations from the politics of the moment. Latinx Heritage Month 2022 is no different.
June 15, 2022
The Title IX Fight is as Relevant as Ever 50 Years Later
Title IX officially turns 50 on June 23. Congress passed the landmark piece of legislation in 1972 behind the efforts of lead author and sponsor Rep. Patsy Mink, the first Asian American woman to serve in Congress. The law prohibits sex-based discrimination in all education programs and activities that receive federal funding and mandates that they actively protect students and employees. To this day, Title IX continues to be one of the strongest deterrents of discrimination against women.
June 15, 2022
On Freedom Day, Reflecting on How the Second Amendment Became a Race War Proxy
Throughout Oregon and many parts of the country, Juneteenth celebrations are getting unprecedented visibility and recognition. Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas received the news of their freedom. It’s celebrated annually on June 19, but up until being recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, you would rarely see Juneteenth celebrations in Oregon outside of a few pockets of the state.