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Speakers:     Greg Evans, Joseph Lowndes, Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Luhui Whitebear

Coordinators:          Jessie Ghiglieri; Kyle Shavere


Martin Luther King Jr is remembered and respected around the world for his passionate advocacy of unity, civil rights, equal opportunity, and nonviolent strategies for social change. On January 21, our national holiday honors King’s legacy and reminds us of his dream of a country free from the shackles of prejudice and discrimination.


We have taken many strides forward in realizing this dream, but we still have a long way to go. Tensions among racial, cultural, and social groups are still present, and they continue to impede development of our full potential individually and as a nation. Some recent polls show that most Americans feel that these issues are not easing but have in fact worsened in recent years. We do not need to look further than our own community to see this. Oregon reported 146 hate crimes last year. According to the FBI, discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity was the leading cause. Disturbingly, more than half of these incidents occurred in Eugene.


On Friday, January 18, four panelists will talk about some of the subtle ways a community with a reputation for being progressive may set up obstacles to full inclusion.



Eugene City Councilor Greg Evansis a teacher, lecturer, workshop facilitator, and consultant.  Mr. Evans holds a BS from Myers University in Cleveland, Ohio, and an M. Ed. from Oregon State University. He has earned numerous awards for his work, including five Martin Luther King, Jr. awards; the NAACP Thalhiemer Award; NAACP Eugene/Springfield Branch Community Leadership Award; and the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs Education Award. Joseph Lowndes is an associate professor of political science at the University of Oregon, where he teaches courses on U.S. politics, political culture, and American political thought. He is the author of “From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism,” and co-editor of “Race and American Political Development.” He earned a BA at Antioch College and a doctorate in political science at the New School for Social Research in New York.  Luhui Whitebear is an enrolled member of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation and the Assistant Director of the OSU Native American Longhouse, Eena Haws. She is a doctoral student in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality program at Oregon State University with research focuses on Indigenous life and natural resource protection. Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh is a political scientist and attorney who served on the Indiana University faculty for 18 years.  In March 2012, she joined the University of Oregon as Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, with the responsibility for collaboratively leading the University of Oregon’s efforts to embed inclusion, equity and diversity in its institutional practices, policies, and norms.