Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?

After months of hard work and planning, six rural communities will host conversation projects on Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?: A Hidden History, presented and facilitated by organizer and educator Walidah Imarisha. On September 4-9th, the tour will visit Grants Pass, Redmond, Astoria, Albany, Newport, and Bay City.  Several tour stops will also host follow-up conversations where participants will identify organizing next steps that take what they just learned and apply it to their human dignity group’s work locally. Scroll down for tour stops, dates and locations!

Have you ever wondered why the Black population in Oregon is so small? Oregon has a history not only of Black exclusion and discrimination, but also of a vibrant Black culture that helped sustain many communities throughout the state — a history that is not taught in schools.

With the recent murder of Mike Brown and the police backlash to the collective community outrage in Ferugson, attacks on Gazans, and refugee children traumatized at the border by racist mobs and inhumane detention centers fresh on our minds, several communities will dig in deep and explore what racial justice can look like in Oregon. For example, the Grants Pass stop will learn about and digest how several Southern Oregon communities were once “Sundown Towns” and had active local chapters of the KKK, then they will discuss ways that folks can begin to break down some of the obstacles they face when advancing work that seeks to the build the community local leaders want to live in — a community where everyone is able to live their lives fully with safety and dignity.

ROP is thrilled to be working with Walidah, the Oregon Humanities, and local leaders across the state to pull off this tour in rural Oregon, and we hope you’ll join us at one of the events near you!

See you there!

Thursday, September 4th at 6:30PM

Grants Pass, Josephine County

Taprock Northwest Grill, 971 SE 6th St.

Sponsored by the local Josephine County racial justice human dignity group, the Illinois River Valley Arts Council


Friday, September 5th at 6:30PM

Redmond, Deschutes County

Redmond Public Library, 827 SW Deschutes Ave.
Sponsored by Central Oregon Jobs with Justice and Social Justice Center, Recursos para Derechos Humanos, First Presbyterian Church Peace and Justice Team, First United Methodist Church, Immigrant Family Advocates, CAUSA Oregon, Center for Compassionate Living, Interfaith Network of Central Oregon, The Kilns, Nativity Lutheran Church, Trinity Episcopal Church Condega Sister City Project, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon and more!


Saturday, September 6th at 7:00PM

Astoria, Clatsop County

Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial

Sponsored by the Lower Columbia Diversity Council


Sunday, September 7th at 4:00PM

Albany, Linn County

Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Avenue SE

Sponsored by Occupy Albany, Albany PeaceSeekers, the Albany Human Relations Commission and Linn-Benton Community College Department of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion


Monday, September 8th at 7:00PM

Newport, Lincoln County

Oregon Coast Community College, Community Room, 400 SE College Way

Sponsored by Immigration Information Response Team


Tuesday, September 9th at 6:00PM

Bay City, Tillamook County

Bay City Arts Center, 5680 A St.

Sponsored by the Tillamook County Women’s Resource Center