2015 State of Black Oregon panel coming to UO Thursday

A panel of researchers, scholars and community leaders will gather at the University of Oregon to present and discuss one of the Urban League of Portland’s cornerstone research projects, the biannual 2015 State of Black Oregon Report.

The panel discussion will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 28, in the Knight Library Browsing Room.

The report is the culmination of two years of research that details how black Oregonians, from Pendleton to Astoria to Medford, are faring in the state’s job markets and schools. The report is a comprehensive look at rural and urban communities, including essays ranging in content from universal health care to gentrification.

The on-campus event features several speakers from around the region: Adrienne Lim, the UO’s dean of libraries, will provide the opening remarks, followed by the panel discussion, comprised of Eugene city councilor Greg Evans, Portland State University professor Dalton Miller-Jones, education justice advocate Inger McDowell and the Urban League of Portland’s chief executive and president, Nkenge Harmon Johnson.

The discussion “will be an opportunity for the Urban League of Portland to discuss the findings of the State of Black Oregon Report in another part of the state, here in the state's second largest city and at its flagship university,” said Jonathan Cain, the UO’s government information librarian.

Published for the first time in 2009, the State of Black Oregon Report utilizes personal essays, storytelling and data analysis to accurately provide a snapshot of black communities around Oregon.

However, the 2015 report is more than a simple snapshot; it also includes potential policy plans for the future, with a “Jobs Plan for Black Oregon” outline and proposals to improve health care access for black women and children.

“The State of Black of Oregon is an extremely important piece of work exploring the status of a vital community for Oregon,” Cain said. “Thursday’s event will be a unique experience, offering the campus and city community to interact directly with the creators of the report.”

The presentation and discussion is free and open to the public. Accommodations for people with disabilities will be provided, if requested in advance, by calling 541-346-3056.

The panel is co-sponsored by the University of Oregon Libraries, the Urban League of Portland and the UO Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management.

—By Nathaniel Brown, Public Affairs Communications intern