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March 7, 2018

Justice Across Borders: Gender, Race and Migration in the Americas


A CLLAS symposium March 8, 2018, 9:00am-7:30pm

Full schedule HERE

or read below

Read below for Around the O ‘s article about Ethnic Studies professor, Alaí Reyes-Santos and the CLLAS symposium!

Free and Open to the Public!

Justice Across Borders: Gender, Race and Migration in the Americas


9:00 – 9:15 AM (Browsing Room)

Welcome from UO administration officials, CLLAS director, symposium coordinator.

9:20-10:30 AM (Browsing Room)

Race, Ethnicity and Diasporas
Rocio Zambrana, Claudia Holguín, Lanie Millar
Chair: Marta Maldonado

10:40-11:50 AM (Browsing Room)

Women and Gender in Latin America and U.S. Latinx communities
Vicky Falcon, Michelle McKinley, Kristin Yarris, Lynn Stephen, Gabriela Martinez
Chair: Vicky Falcon

12:00- 1:00 PM (Gerlinger Alumni Lounge)
Keynote Speaker/Lunch
“New Directions in Latinx and Latin American Studies: Archipelagos Across the Caribbean and the Pacific”
Guest: Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel
Chair: Rocio Zambrana and Lanie Millar

2:00-3:00 PM (Browsing Room)
Environmental Justice in the Americas
Judith Vega, David Vazquez and Sarah Wald, Analisa Taylor, Pedro Garcia-Caro
Chair: David Vazquez

3:10 – 4:30 PM Roundtable (Browsing Room)
“Art, Migration, and Political Activism: Caribbean and Pacific Islander Migrants in the Pacific”
[SPONSORS: Department of Ethnic Studies, the Wayne Morse Center for Law & Politics, and the Center for Asia and Pacific Studies (CAPS)]
Panelists: Judith Sierra-Rivera, JoAnna Poblete, Philipp Carrasco, Ileana Rodriguez Silva, Joyce Pualani Warren, and Jannes Martinez
Chair: Alaí Reyes-Santos

4:40PM – 5:40 PM Plenary Session (Browsing Room)
“Latinx Communities: Questions, Challenges, and Transformations”
Monica Rojas, Laura Pulido, Ramona Hernández, Edwin Melendez
Chair: Gerardo Sandoval

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (Gerlinger Alumni Lounge)
Riffiando: Dominican Artists in the House! A Talk/Reading/Performance
Josefina Baez, Ana-Maurine Lara, and Ernesto Lara
Coordinator: Ana-Maurine Lara

Sponsored by the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS); Wayne Morse Center for Law & Politics; UO College of Arts and Sciences; The Office of the Provost; Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS); Latin American Studies program; Department of English; Department of Romance Languages; Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Department of Anthropology; School of Journalism and Communication; Department of Philosophy; the Center for Asia and Pacific Studies (CAPS); the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA); Department of Ethnic Studies; and the Global Studies Institute.

Free and Open to the Public

Symposium organizer: Alaí Reyes-Santos

January 11, 2018

Professor Sharon Luk’s book release “The Life of Paper”

The Life of Paper, Letter and a Poetics of Living Beyond Captivity

January 26, 2018
Alder 111 in Alder Building (15th and Alder St.)
Questions or details on how to access the building : (541) 346-0900
Click HERE for interactive map

Please RSVP here before Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Department of Ethnic Studies is hosting a luncheon and book symposium highlighting the latest book release of Ethnic Studies professor, Dr. Sharon Luk.

The Life of  Paper, Letters and a Poetics of Living Beyond Captivity will be discussed in the symposium by Yale University’s Dr. Dan HoSang, UC Berkely’s Dr. Colleen Lye, and University of Oregon and Ethnic Studies Professor Michael Hames-Garcia.

Dr. Luk’s book, The Life of Paper, Letters and a Poetics of Living Beyond Captivity offers a wholly original and inspiring analysis of how people facing systematic social dismantling have engaged letter correspondence to remake themselves—from bodily integrity to subjectivity and collective and spiritual being. Exploring the evolution of racism and confinement in California history, this ambitious investigation disrupts common understandings of the early detention of Chinese migrants (1880s–1920s), the internment of Japanese Americans (1930s–1940s), and the mass incarceration of African Americans (1960s–present) in its meditation on modern development and imprisonment as a way of life. Situating letters within global capitalist movements, racial logics, and overlapping modes of social control, Sharon Luk demonstrates how correspondence becomes a poetic act of reinvention and a way to live for those who are incarcerated.

December 11, 2017

Ethnic studies professor, Dr. Laura Pulido featured in Cascade Magazine


Dr. Laura Pulido, a professor of ethnic studies and geography who joined the UO last year, has spent more than two decades examining why people live where they live and, as a result, what environmental hazards they face.  Pulido argued that geographers were overlooking ways that discrimination had permeated urban development in the United States for 150 years.”


Laura Pulido helped start the movement to protect minorities from health hazards.

In early 2014, lead-tainted water began to flow into taps of homes in Flint, Michigan. Despite complaints, city officials were slow to respond. The problem continued for more than a year and thousands of children were exposed to lead poisoning. At least 12 deaths from Legionnaires’ disease have been linked to the crisis.

Investigations were conducted, lawsuits were filed. The governor apologized and the state and federal governments rushed hundreds of millions of dollars to the city for supplies, medical care and infrastructure upgrades.

What went wrong? In managing use of the Flint River for water, officials at all levels of government were accused of ineptitude and neglect.

Two state bodies said another factor was also at play: racial discrimination.

More than half of Flint’s 99,000 people are African Americans, and the Michigan Civil Rights Commission came to the conclusion that “systemic” racial discrimination helped cause the crisis.

The commission said the crisis was the result of implicit bias that affected decisions made generations ago—decisions about how the city would develop, where industrial and suburban areas would be planned and who would live in those areas. These decisions, the commission said, effectively benefited people of one race over another—sometimes by design, sometimes subconsciously.

Nothing about the Flint crisis surprised Laura Pulido in the least.

Pulido, a professor of ethnic studies and geography who joined the UO last year, has spent more than two decades examining why people live where they live and, as a result, what environmental hazards they face. She believes that over the years, as cities across America were planned and began to grow, racial discriminatio—sometimes intentional, sometimes inadvertent—influenced where whites and minorities could live, and also resulted in the siting of polluting businesses closer to minority populations.

In the top five

The Flint problem, Pulido said, began in the 1970s. Officials cut back on maintenance of the water system serving the urban core as whites began migrating to the suburbs, which deprived the city of tax revenue. After years of funding shortages, Flint officials decided to cut costs by shifting from water provided by the city of Detroit to tapping the Flint River.

It was the latest example of a common problem, Pulido said: Residents in and around urban areas often don’t share equally in the area’s benefits and burdens.

Pulido is part of a decades-old movement for “environmental justice”—the belief that everyone should have the same access to clean air and water and the same protections from pollution and toxic threats. Thanks to her research, Pulido is nationally recognized as a founding member of this movement.

“She is considered one of the top five scholars in the country in this area,” said Julie Sze, chair of American studies at the University of California at Davis. “She connects race and space in a way no one had done before.”

Back to the 1850s

Today, social scientists studying environmental hazards routinely consider whether discriminatory practices have created different risks for specific groups. But it wasn’t always so, Pulido said.

In 2000, as an associate professor of geography at USC, Pulido argued in a paper that geographers were overlooking ways that discrimination had permeated urban development in the United States for 150 years. As a result, she wrote, the poor and people of color were exposed to unhealthy and hazardous living conditions.

To test her point, she used her native Los Angeles for a case study.

Pulido traced the movement of whites in LA, in the 1850s and after, to the cleaner suburbs, and the concentration of minorities in the dirtier industrial city center. The shift was due partly to the refusal of middle-class whites to live near immigrants and people of color, Pulido wrote, but there was more to it than that.

“A landmark paper”

Developers promoted the movement of whites to the suburbs while denying this housing to people of color. Some may have done so for no other reason than prejudice, Pulido wrote, while others may have realized that the presence of nonwhites would reduce property values.

Industry was also implicated. Choosing locations near railroad lines, manufacturers built plants that belched smoke in the urban core, where most minorities were forced to live. Employers promoted the suburbs as the perfect place for white industrial workers to live “with no Negroes and very few Mexicans and Chinese,” as the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce industrial department wrote in 1925.

Geographers, Pulido wrote, needed to expand their work to consider how racially discriminatory practices shape where and how people live.

The impact of the paper was immediate and widespread. (read her paper here)

“That was one of the most defining essays written in the journal over the last 100-plus years,” said Nik Heynen, geography professor at the University of Georgia and editor of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers.

David Pellow, director of the Global Environmental Justice Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara, credited Pulido with showing that the favorable living conditions historically enjoyed by whites have often been at the expense of the poor and people of color. That idea alone, he said, prompted scholars to revisit numerous studies.

Regarding matters of environmental justice, Pulido established that class, race and land must be considered together, said Manuel Pastor, director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California. “There had been a lot of work, including by me, trying to pinpoint the exact drivers of environmental inequality,” he said. “This was a landmark paper.”

It was strong praise for a high school dropout.

Academically uninspired as a youth, Pulido didn’t finish secondary education. She took her first real steps educationally in the early 1980s with a course on California geography at Golden West College, which inspired in her a fascination with people and places. She then went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geography, exploring the relationships between groups and the land they share. She added environmental issues to this investigation while completing her PhD in urban planning at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Hiring trifecta

At the UO, Pulido is the first joint appointment in ethnic studies and geography, a recognition of the intersection of race and place in issues such as climate change. She’ll teach courses this fall on environmental justice and the relationships among race, nature and people in positions of influence.

In the research arena, Pulido is exploring sites of racial violence in Los Angeles and the extent to which the histories of these conflicts have been commemorated. She plans to expand the project by producing a national atlas of sites of racial violence associated with the country’s founding.

Bruce Blonigen, dean of faculty and operations, said the hiring of Pulido amounted to a trifecta: “She will make major contributions to our university’s research, diversity and pedagogy.”

For her part, Pulido sees her training in ethnic studies as critical to everything she studies.

“My relationship to ethnic studies is especially important,” Pulido said. “It’s through that discipline that I can explain various issues related to race, the environment and geography.”

—Matt Cooper


November 7, 2017

#PuertoRicoRelief #PuertoRicoStrong Boricuas and Allies in Action in Oregon!

Resources for people in Oregon interested in aiding relief efforts for Puerto Rico: information, volunteering, and fundraisers



News reports gathered by Ethnic Studies 399: Race, Ethics, Justice course at University of Oregon devoted to Puerto Rico Relief Efforts: 



Fundraising Campaigns in Oregon:

Ethnic Studies 399: Race, Ethics, Justice at University of Oregon

This course has devoted itself to fundraising for rural communities in Puerto Rico and documenting the current issues impacting Puerto Ricans in the island and Oregon. They apply ethical principles to think about the meaning of justice for Puerto Ricans in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. In two weeks, three students and Prof. Alaí Reyes-Santos will travel to Puerto Rico on a documentation and relief effort project delivering water filtration systems, food staples, feminine products, medical supplies, solar powered radios, lanterns and cell phone chargers. We will create a digital archive with stories from Puerto Ricans in the island and Oregon. Sponsors: Department of Ethnic Studies at UO, ASUO (Student Government at UO), College of Arts and Sciences at University of Oregon, United Academics, and individual donors.


DONATE HERE! (in the comments section, please name “ES Puerto Rico Delegation” – Your donation is tax deductible.


 Donate using our ES 399 class gofundme campaign




Fundraisers in Oregon, Support PNW for Puerto Rico Relief –

a. Send packages to families from a growing list sent to us from people on the island and concerned families here in the states.

b. Adopt-a-family: anyone can select a family to adopt and send their needed items directly to them.

c. Adopt a Elder/Nursing Home that desperately needs blankets, twin sheets, food, Ensure, medicine, oxygen, medical supplies, lanterns, clothing, and many more items. One business would be able to supply 1 home with their needs for 2 months with $3,000.

d. Attend one of our fundraisers and help send supplies to the island to lessen the death toll, the starvation of millions and help shelter millions of homeless due to their homes being destroyed by two back to back hurricanes.



Center for Puerto Rican Studies E-Magazine: Puerto Rico Relief Efforts –


Center for Puerto Rican Studies Volunteer Pool: Join even from far away if you are volunteering in any way.


More opportunities to volunteer, support and donate in the horizon!

Thanks for all of your advocacy and all you do!


Alaí Reyes Santos
Associate Professor
Ethnic Studies
University of Oregon
Author of Our Caribbean Kin: Race and Nation in the Neoliberal Antilles
Follow on Faceboook:
Twitter: #ourcaribbeankin
September 28, 2017

“Why Oregon should care about Puerto Rico”

Ethnic Studies professor, and author of Our Caribbean Kin – Race and Nation in the Neoliberal Antilles, Dr. Alaí Reyes-Santos authored an opinion editorial in the Register Guard newspaper September 28, 2017, “Why Oregon should care about Puerto Rico”.

“Puerto Rico is an archipelago in the Caribbean and a U.S. territory since 1898. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, serve in the U.S. military and have contributed to the economic growth and defense of the United States. Yet most Americans on the mainland ignore Puerto Rico’s existence and its significant place in U.S. history.

This is dangerous at a time when Category 4 Hurricane Maria has left the island and the U.S. Virgin Islands devastated — without electricity or water; with limited access to food, water, medicines and transportation; with thousands of people displaced from their homes; and with floods and ruptured dams that threaten its most vulnerable populations. Public health and safety are compromised more by the minute.

As a friend stated: “I have supplies for a week for me, my mom and my grandmother who are elderly and require medical attention. Diesel is running out. I will have to go out in a week. But where? And will I find what I need? Everything is chaos and desperation.” Why should Oregonians care?

Why should we call our representatives in Congress to ask for urgent relief and multiyear commitments for the economic recovery of Puerto Rico? Here are a few reasons.

1) People’s lives are in immediate danger — especially children, the elderly, people needing medical attention, those who lost everything, and those who are trapped in their houses.

2) As Oregon representatives seek aid in the wake of damage produced by wildfires and climate change in Oregon, they may face roadblocks similar to those encountered by those advocating for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We can set precedents that support assistance to multiple locations at once.

3) A strong Puerto Rican community in Oregon contributes to the state’s educational, legal, medical, environmental and public service sectors. This community should be supported right now. We are Oregonians, too.

4) Puerto Rico has no voting representative in Congress, which means that it needs the advocacy of others. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens who can vote in presidential elections only when living on the mainland, not in the islands.

5) We owe it to Puerto Rico. Why? The current crisis is the product of long-term U.S. policies that have left the archipelago in dire economic circumstances and with serious infrastructure problems. Yet Puerto Rico has provided the United States with multiple opportunities to

grow economically, test foreign policy and further defense agendas.

Puerto Rico served as a strategic post of the U.S. armed forces during both world wars, as the testing ground for military interventions — including the Gulf War — and as an experimental site for explosives and weapons that have left significant sites uninhabitable and polluted.

U.S. health authorities initially tested the birth control pill on Puerto Rican women who were not aware of the experiment and at times were left infertile.

Puerto Ricans provided significant farm and factory labor in the northeastern U.S. and other areas in the mid-20th century. For most of the 20th century, U.S. textile, pharmaceutical and other companies were exempted from taxes and benefited from a workforce that had been displaced by U.S. economic development policies. For many U.S. corporations, Puerto Rico was the testing ground of sweatshop manufacturing models of production now employed throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia.

Today, Puerto Ricans continue to contribute — serving on the Supreme Court, in universities and in the armed forces, among other institutions.

After the federal minimum wage was guaranteed for Puerto Ricans in the 1970s and tax exemptions were lifted in the 1990s, factories began to leave the island at an accelerated pace. For more than a decade, an extraordinary economic crisis has entailed large layoffs by government agencies, and, in 2016, bankruptcy and a fiscal control agency to which the president has assigned all appointees with almost no input from Puerto Ricans.

Puerto Rico now has one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States (10.1 percent) and is seeing an exodus of young professionals seeking opportunities on the mainland. That exodus may increase as living conditions are becoming unbearable and dangerous for many.

Puerto Ricans continue to imagine other possibilities. Many are questioning measures that would disproportionately harm low-income and middle-class populations, such as the privatization of the public university system. There have been new investments in local agriculture by young people seeking sustainable ways of producing food, protecting natural resources and increasing food security. And eco-tourism has become a site of creative endeavors to support the local economy.

We owe those young people an opportunity to survive this natural disaster and succeed. We do not know when Oregon youth may need others to advocate for them.”

Alaí Reyes-Santos, an associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of Oregon, is originally from Puerto Rico and has been an Oregonian since 2005.

May 30, 2017


Friday, June 2, 2017 • 4:00–6:00 p.m.

Connect with fellow Ethnic Studies alumni, students, faculty, and friends at our first gathering of the entire department! Enjoy happy hour and hors d’oeuvres as you reconnect with classmates, professors, and expand your network of Ethnic Studies contacts. This event is sponsored by the UO Ethnic Studies Department and the UO Alumni Association.

The Ethnic Studies Department wants to hear from you! Please take this short survey to tell us what you are up to and how we can better connect with you.


White Stag Block
370 NW Couch St 
Portland OR 97209 


$5 admission
Price includes one drink ticket and hors d’oeuvres. 
Bonus for UOAA members: an extra drink ticket!

Click here or call 800-245-ALUM to register for this event. 


For additional information, please contact Daniel HoSang, Ethnic Studies Department head, or Camille Ogden, BA ’06, at

June 28, 2016

Congratulations Professor Daniel HoSang

Professor Daniel HoSang receives a teaching honor. He is this year’s recipient of the UO’s Williams Fellowship.

Known for his ability to “mobilize resources across multiple schools and departments”,  HoSang is praised for being a skilled and engaging educator by both his colleagues and his students. He led the charge for the Justice, Difference, and Inequality course cluster and has redesigned and created numerous classes, including the Hip Hop and the Politics of Race First-Year Interest Group, which uses hip-hop and rap music to offer insights into race, gender and sexuality and has earned a reputation as one of the “most popular and effective” interest groups.

“Professor HoSang’s lectures are consistently fun, intellectually challenging and original,” said Loren Kajikawa, associate professor in the School of Music and Dance.

In addition to being a skilled educator, HoSang is also known for his impressive accomplishments and reputation as a scholar. With more than a dozen notable publications, he’s recognized as a leader in American studies, critical race studies, ethnic studies, history and political science.

He is also known for his ability to secure interdisciplinary academic opportunities for students and faculty. HoSang has brought many lecturers, conferences and even a Grammy-award winning band to Eugene to enhance the educational offerings at the UO.

“The diversity and number of high-quality events that professor HoSang has brought to campus is truly breathtaking,” Kajikawa said.

The Williams program awards $5,000 to each recipient and $5,000 to their department to bolster the learning experience of undergraduates. The recipients are selected by a presidential advisory group comprised of faculty who have been recognized as “some of the university’s best teachers.”

The Williams Fellowships were established by the Tom and Carol Williams Fund for Undergraduate Education to recognize and support exceptional and collaborative professors. Williams Fellows are known for their commitment to undergraduate education and for their inventive and interdisciplinary approach to teaching.

By Emily Halnon, University Communications

May 23, 2016

Graduate Teaching Fellow

MeCherri was awarded the Underrepresented Minority Dissertation Fellowship at Middle Tennessee State University beginning fall of 2016.  The purpose of the Underrepresented Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program is to enhance diversity in research, teaching, and service at MTSU through the recruitment of underrepresented minority graduate students from across the country who are completing dissertation research.  Fellows will teach one course each semester in an area related to their academic preparation and the need of the department hosting the fellow. Fellows will be expected to devote significant time to the completion of the dissertation. This fellowship also provides fellows with a faculty mentor.  Support for research, professional travel, and other related expenses is provided, along with a comprehensive benefits package that includes health, dental, and life insurance, retirement savings programs, employee assistance programs, educational assistance programs, and sick leave.

Congratulations Anna Nakano-Baker

Ethnic Studies Alumni Anna Nakano-Baker was admitted to the University of Washington’s Library and Information Science 2016 graduate cohort at the Seattle Campus. Anna expects to graduate in the winter of 2018, at which point she will seek e-1mployment in the Portland area, Oregon, or the larger NW region.

Anna hopes to specialize in historical archival or academic librarianship. She is excited by Washington’s course offerings regarding diversity and cultural inclusion in archiving, as well as the number of scholarships encountered,  focusing on promoting the inclusion of under-represented ethnic groups in archival and librarianship. Library and Information Science is currently and traditionally a very white practice, and I am encouraged to see the school and regional professional groups concerting efforts to change that.
April 27, 2016

What is Racism?

ES 101 Summer Flyer-2

ES 101 Intro to Ethnic Studies

Summer Term


This class is designed to introduce students to the important concepts, theories, andframeworks central to the study of race (and other intersecting identities such as gender, class, and sexuality) in American life.  We will explore concepts such as racialization, the development of race a s a social category, the deep history  of contemporary racial formations, and social movements of various individuals and communities that have challenged the status quo in a racist society.


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