Icons of an ear (listen), a brain (learn), and a fist (act).

Combating Racism:
Listen. Learn. Act.
March 2021

The killing of Black men and women; the history of racism in our country, state, and university; the unkept promises and continued impact of systemic racism; and the current iteration of Black Lives Matter and its awareness by the general public have given rise to new fights and demands in an ages-long struggle.

Sharing the theme “Listen. Learn. Act.” introduced by the UO’s Common Reading Program for the year, the resources here provide opportunities for you to participate, contribute and move toward change. They also highlight and elevate work to help create greater understanding of the full heritage of African Americans and BIPoC communities who endure racial injustice and continue with courage, contributions and creativity. We will continue adding resources and highlighting work throughout the academic year as we know this is a journey our community and society as a whole must continuously walk.


Women's History Month 2021, "Let's empower one another"

Women’s History Month: An Intersectional Lens

Around the world and at the UO women are creating and demanding change and affirming their intersectional identities, which include gender, race, class, sexuality, and more. In our UO Women’s History Month feature, you’ll see these perspectives in stories about undergrad Minh Nguyen, majoring in human physiology and neuroscience, minoring in global health and chemistry; Samantha Polanco, working toward her master of business administration and serving as VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the MBA Student Association; Dayna Chatman, assistant professor of media and intersectionality in the School of Journalism and Communication, and others. Read their stories today, and throughout the months to come, listen, learn, and act for all women’s equality.

Women’s history month at the UO:
Listen to their stories

“Intersectionality, and critical race feminism more broadly, help us see the world the way our subjects and our bodies move through it: as multifaceted beings. No one wants to be confined to a box, and individuals should be celebrated for our abilities to inhabit multiple spaces, subject positions, and identities. That is, I believe, one of the intellectual gifts that we can celebrate during Women’s History Month.”
Michelle McKinley, Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law; director for the Center for the Study of Women in Society

Ear icon (listen)


African-American Workshop and Lecture Series zoom screenshot

Five years and going strong: African-American Workshop and Lecture Series

In 2015, one of the Black Student Task Force’s demands was to “Commit to conducting seminars and workshops by bringing in a Black faculty member from a peer institution who specializes in Black history and contemporary Black issues.” In response, the African-American Workshop and Lecture series was created. In this, its fifth year, the series has brought to our virtual environment authors, lawyers, sociologists, historians, a former U.S. attorney general and other national and international experts, including Ruth Simmons, a prominent advocate of equal opportunity education for students of color and women. Recordings for many lectures and speaker interviews of the last five years are on the Equity and Inclusion website.

African-American Workshop and Lecture Series videos  

“The initial BSTF request was based on the idea that education is a mechanism for change, and we are confident that the speakers will share inspirational information that will lead to change on our campus and beyond.”
Yvette Alex-Assensoh, VP for Equity and Inclusion

Brain icon (learn)


Sangita Gopal

Research, mentoring, support for and by UO Women of Color

Women of color at the UO often are the only one of their kind in their academic units. The Women of Color Project, part of the Center for the Study of Women in Society, is a research, mentoring, and support network for UO women of color faculty. The program provides grants, research and grant-writing workshops, fellowship opportunities, and sponsors events. It’s also an informal clearinghouse for archiving the particular structural and interpersonal challenges that women of color face in a predominantly white university. This spring they will present discussions of UO assistant professor Leilani Sabzalian’s book “Indigenous Children’s Survivance in Public Schools” and associate professor Tara Fickle’s “The Race Card: From Gaming Technologies to Model Minorities.”

Women in Society Events
Women of Color Project

“The value of the project lies not only in the concrete mentoring and professional support that we provide, which can be measured in terms of impact, but also in the very real benefits such an intergenerational, interdisciplinary network offers its members.”
Sangita Gopal, associate professor, Department of Cinema Studies, Director, Women of Color Project

Icon of a fist (act)


B-Boys and UO Dance

Dance of the African Diaspora prominent in new BFA

African, Jazz, and Hip-hop dance are some of the essential offerings of the new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance recently approved by the UO Board of Trustees. The new program is the only BFA degree nationwide to place equal emphasis on dances of the African diaspora and those of European roots. It’s also the first dance BFA in the state. One component is a performance ensemble that provides opportunities for living ethically: community service and outreach to inner-city youth in public schools, after school programs, and private studios across Oregon. This new program aims to attract more dance students and increase the diversity of dance faculty. It will be launched fall 2021.

Get dancing

“The UO Dance department is seeking students with fresh ideas and diverse movement backgrounds to participate in a new Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, which will require equal study in African diasporic forms, such as Jazz and Hip-hop, and those of European roots, such as Ballet and Modern dance.”
Brad Garner, Department head and associate professor, Department of Dance