Communications from the Vice President


May 11, 2022
Jewish American Heritage Month 2022: Embracing the Rich History of Jewish American Activists
Over the last several years, we have witnessed a rise in white supremacist sentiment throughout the United States and as such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this has included a significant uptick in antisemitism. Our Eugene community hasn’t been exempt either. Most recently, several Eugene residents were targeted with anti-Semitic and anti-trans flyers in a clear act of intimidation.
May 3, 2022
Cinco de Mayo and Institutionalizing Equity at UO?
One of the most common misconceptions around Cinco de Mayo is that it is a holiday commemorating Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16. In actuality, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the Battle of Puebla, where Mexican forces defeated the French on May 5, 1862.
April 14, 2022
ADPI Heritage Month 2022: What We Can Learn from the Theory of Racial Triangulation
Two years ago, ‘Stop Asian Hate’ emerged as a rallying cry and social media hashtag in response to the spike in anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States. Not only have the hate crimes continued since, but national discussions questioning what people are actually doing to stop the hate crimes, besides talking about them, have become an annual tradition ironically commemorating the creation of the hashtag. People in ADPI American communities throughout the country are understandably concerned for their safety and frustrated by the lack of substantive action.
February 24, 2022
Women's History Month 2022: Celebrating and Building on 50 Years of Title IX
Women’s History Month 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which many see as the one of most important pieces of legislation in regards to women’s rights of the last century. Congress passed the law in June of 1972 and Rep. Patsy Mink, the first Asian American woman to serve in Congress, was the bill’s lead author and sponsor. This law targeted all education programs and activities receiving federal funding and mandated that they must protect students and employees from sex-based discrimination.
January 24, 2022
Black History Month 2022: Beyond Symbolism
Black History Month doesn’t exist in a vacuum. A year ago this time, we found ourselves wrapped up in the aftermath of two historic moments illustrating the competing visions for the future of our country. Many of us were recognizing the results of the historic 2020 general election, which included a number of Black firsts, while also sounding the alarm that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was not a culmination, but rather a sign of things to come.
January 14, 2022
A Call for Deeper Understanding and Action on MLK Day 2022
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” As the University of Oregon celebrates MLK Day 2022, it’s imperative that we dig deeper, both in our understanding of anti-racism and action, rather than finding comfort in the caricature of Dr. King that dominates American pop culture.
October 22, 2021
Native American Heritage Month 2021: Moving from Performance to Policy and Practice
The summer of 2020 brought a level of consciousness to American society that many haven’t seen in decades. This included increased attention to Indigenous issues. Among other subjects that finally broke into the mainstream, we are now engaging with concepts like “land back” and Indigenous sovereignty, integrating land acknowledgements into public events, removing offensive Indian mascots and addressing other issues that have long gone ignored in the name of Indigenous erasure.
October 7, 2021
Reflecting on National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2021
According to the United States Department of Labor, individuals with disabilities comprise the largest minority in the US at nearly 50 million people. Yet, when it comes to raising awareness of the systemic issues facing people with disabilities, never mind effectively tackling them, our institutions have an extraordinary amount of work to do. A small but important step towards improving these efforts is recognizing observations like National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
September 14, 2021
Latinx Heritage Month 2021 and Envisioning More Just Futures
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, 2021
A Reflection on Pride Month 2021 at the University of Oregon
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.