Introduction

ALS 199 “Untold Stories: Histories of People of Color in Oregon” was a Fall Term 2014 OSU U-Engage class. The purpose of a U-Engage class is for first-year students to explore and study an area of interest and learn about campus resources available to them. For this course the topic was the histories of people of color in Oregon and one of the campus resources discussed and used was the Oregon State University Libraries’ Oregon Multicultural Archives.

In “Untold Stories” one of the main learning outcomes was to “engage in inquiry including developing a research question and collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing information.” In small groups students worked to research, interview, and write about faculty and staff of color at OSU. The students learned what oral histories are, used critical thinking and research skills, and gained firsthand experience conducting oral history interviews.

While historically the state of Oregon and OSU have had a tumultuous relationship with people of color, learning about that history can act a method of reconciliation and a mechanism to move forward in partnership. The stories included in this book begin to highlight the impact and contributions that faculty and staff of color have had on the OSU campus. The ALS 199 class and the Oregon Multicultural Archives invite you to listen to these stories and encourage you to take an active role in your community and make your own histories as well.

If you would like to share your story, please be sure to see the “Everyone has a story to share…” chapter of this book!

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