Communications from the Vice President



Celebrating 2024 LGBTQ+ Month and Juneteenth
As a UO community, June is an opportunity to celebrate our students as they graduate and move forward to achieve their next levels of success. June is also the month for celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride and Juneteenth.In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton declared the month of June as “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month”. In 2016, President Barack H. Obama used a presidential declaration to announce June as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month”, and indeed as a way of being more inclusive to a broader constituency. 

Bridging Histories and Shaping our Future: In Celebration of Asian, Desi, Pacific Islander American Heritage Month
The origin of the celebration of what we now describe as Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage dates back to the 95th Congress (1978-79) and a set of joint resolutions for a week-long celebration instituted by the Administration of then President Jimmy Carter in 1978. President George H.W. Bush expanded the celebration to a full month in 1990. On May 1, 2009, President Barack Obama signed Proclamation 8369, earmarking the month of May of each year as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Jewish American Heritage Month: A Salute in Memory of the Honorable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg
Very similar to all meaningful heritage and history commemorations, Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many contributions that Americans of Jewish ancestry have made to our country, our world and, indeed, our campus.

Welcome to Spring Term 2024: A Time of Light and Hope
Ultimately, Springtime in Eugene is beautiful, but that beauty only emerges after months of a dreary sky and rain. The fact that beauty can and, often does, emerge from the rainy seasons of our lives is an encouragement, as people across our world experience wars, conflicts, unnecessary suffering as well as death at home and abroad. 

Happy Women’s History Month!
The world-wide celebration of Women’s History Month began in 1917, when March 8 was initially earmarked as International Women’s Day. Under President Jimmy Carter, a 1980 proclamation recognized National Women’s History Week, which the U.S. Congress, in 1987, used a law to rename as “Women’s History Month” in March of each year.  Celebrating Women’s History Month on our campus is an opportunity to recognize and also celebrate the progress that the UO is making in leveraging equity and anti-discrimination as important tools in building a thriving and flourishing campus.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.