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

Combating Racism:
Listen. Learn. Act.
October 2020

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 towards 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 year as we know this is a journey our community and society as a whole must continuously walk.


1619 Project from New York Times Magazine

Common Reading: The 1619 Project

In response to the Black Lives Matter movement and requests from campus colleagues, the UO Common Reading Program will dedicate this year to Blackness, the Black experience, and dismantling racism under the theme “Listen. Learn. Act.” Fall term is dedicated to listening, focusing on the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, based on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in North America. The project creator, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, comes to campus virtually February 19.

Travel to 1619

“The 1619 project had really opened my eyes to what true democracy looks like through a historical lens that is often ignored in our history books. Black folks have and will always be the image of what a true democratic American is supposed to be.”
Emily Borchardt, Class of 2021

Ear icon (listen)


Black Panther rally

Voices Unite to Address Racism

Speaking out during this chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center, the UO Black Strategies Group, and the UO Black Academic Excellence Team address the overwhelming bigotry, hatred, and racism that we continually face.

Hear the Call

“UO Black Students, we encourage you to speak your powerful truth while remaining safe. When you can, employ your talents as an outlet for your frustration and find ways to hold your governments accountable.”
Letter to Black students, faculty, and staff from the Black Strategies Leadership Group, Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center, and Black Academic Excellence Team

Brain icon (learn)


Romario Garcia working at a computer

Explore Cultural Histories

New minors give students the opportunity to explore the history and complexity of Black and Latinx cultures.

Black Studies offers “routes” and “roots” for those who want to understand power, the realities of racism, and the achievements of Black history.

LatinX Studies draws on the expertise and community connections of nearly 40 faculty members across departments to examine the many facets of the Hispanic and Latinx experience.

Black Studies Minor   Latinx Studies Minor

“True excellence in education and scholarship is only possible when we engage with a diversity of perspectives, especially underrepresented perspectives. Creating a prominent home in the College of Arts and Sciences to study, learn, and honor Black and Latinx cultures, histories, and peoples is imperative as the ongoing national struggles against racism make tragically clear.”
Bruce Blonigen, Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences

Icon of a fist (act)


Andrew Colas

Ideals and Courage Lead to Action

In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests in 2015, the Black Student Task Force presented a list of 13 demands. Many members of the community came together to address these issues. While significant steps were made, much work was, and is, left to be done.

Almost five years later, trustee Andrew Colas urged the UO board of Trustees to revisit the issue of removing the name of Matthew Deady from the university’s oldest building due to the racist views he held. The board voted to remove the name in June 2020.

Stepping Up

“My goal is for the UO to become a national leader and model for other universities’ intentional investment in the success of Black students, and I am encouraged by the commitment I see from our community to that end.”
Andrew Colas, member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon