Every month, the Equity and Inclusion Advancement Committee at MESD sends out a newsletter that includes relevant information on factoids; key figures in diversity, equity and inclusion; local restaurants and cafes owned by people of color in the community; and articles of interest. This is a list of information shared in newsletters sent during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.
Did You Know?
- In 1951 Oregon repealed its law prohibiting interracial marriages. Source: https://www.oregonhistoryproject.org/articles/historical-records/act-to-prohibit-the-intermarriage-of-races-1866/#.YSaxKY7YrD4
- In 2009, the annual incomes for White families nationally and in Multnomah County were $70k whereas Black families averaged $34k in Multnomah County, compared to $41k nationally. Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/07/racist-history-portland/492035/
- Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the US (18.1% of the population), making them the most common illness. Source: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics#:~:text=Anxiety%20disorders%20are%20the%20most,of%20those%20suffering%20receive%20treatment.
- In 1873, following a visit from national suffragist Susan B. Anthony, Oregon women founded Oregon Woman Suffrage Association to advance their right to vote. In 1908, Lola Greene Baldwin was sworn in as Portland’s first policewomen - and the first official female law enforcement officer in any US city. Sources: https://sos.oregon.gov/blue-book/Pages/explore/exhibits/woman-intro.aspx& https://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/baldwin_lola_1860_1957_/#.YSavgI7YrD4
- Women’s Day was first celebrated in Germany in the year 1911. Now known as International Women’s Day, March 8th is a day for celebrating and honoring women’s economic, political, and social achievements. Source: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Activity/15586/The-history-of-IWD
- 30 years ago, America was the leader in the quantity of high school diplomas. Today, our nation is ranked 36th in the world. https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-education-america
- Oregon’s birthday is Valentine’s Day, February 14th. This year Oregon turns 162! (2021) Source: https://www.thechiefnews.com/news/happy-birthday-oregon-state-turns-162-on-valentines-day/article_faf1c306-6b23-11eb-b6ec-c7380469b7e9.html
- According to federal statistics, one in four students reports being a target of ethnic or racial bias in a typical school year. Source: Marsh, Jason, et.al., Are We Born Racist?: New Insights from Neuroscience and Positive Psychology. Boston,MA: Beacon Press, 2010.
- On February 12th, 2022, the NAACP marked its 113th anniversary. Spurred by growing racial violence in the early 20th century, and particularly by 1908 race riots in Springfield, Illinois, a group of African American leaders joined together to form a new permanent civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Source: https://www.ksnt.com/hidden-history/black-history-month/naacp-celebrates-112th-anniversary/
- Oregon was the first state to pass hate crime legislation into law, in 1981. Source: Alongi, Brianna. “The Negative Ramifications of Hate Crime Legislation: It’s Time to Reevaluate Whether Hate Crime Laws are Beneficial to Society.”
Hall of Fame
- Sylvia Mendez: As the daughter of both Mexican and Puerto Rican immigrants, Sylvia Mendez was expected to go to a school for Mexican students. But when Mendez was in the third grade, her parents sued the all-white Westminster School District after they denied entry for Mendez and her siblings. The landmark case Mendez V. Westminster, was settled in 1947, successfully desegregating schools in California. The case was the first ruling in the U.S. to rule in favor of desegregation, becoming an example for future cases like Brown V. Board of Education.
- Fanny Jackson: In 1869, Fanny Jackson became the first African American woman to become a school principal. She was responsible for vast education improvements in Philadelphia.
- Raffi Freedman-Gurspan: Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is one of the most vocal advocates for the LGBTQ community in U.S. government and has a history of powerful activism, especially for transgender people of color. Freedman-Gurspan, who is a Latina and Indigenous transgender woman, now serves as the primary liason for the LGBTQ issues for the White House - the first openly trans member of staff at the White House. Throughout her time at the White House, Freedman-Gurspan has advocated for policy shifts supporting trans inclusion and beyond.
- Sonia Sotomayer: Appointed by Barack Obama in 2009, Sonia Sotomayer became the first hispanic (and third woman) to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. She is known for her calls for reform to the criminal justice system and her dissents on issues regarding race, gender, and ethnic identity.
- Cecilia Chung: Civil rights activist for LBTQ+ rights and HIV/AIDS awareness. Cecilia is a trans woman and has shared her story on many platforms including ABC’s miniseries When We Rise. She is the first transgender woman living openly with HIV to chair the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Cecilia has overcome a lot in her life and continues to provide advocacy and awareness to the LBTQ+ community. Cecilia made headlines by making San Francisco the first city in the country to pay for gender reassignment surgery for uninsured transgender patients through her appointment to the Health Commission.
- Beatrice Morrow Cannady (1890-1974): In 1922, Batrice Cannady was one of the first Black women to graduate law school in the country; within five years from graduating she succeeded in having some racist and discriminatory language removed from the Oregon Constitution. She also helped found the Portland chapter of the NAACP.
Local Spotlight: Restaurant and Cafes
- La Perlita: Coffee shop, now home to Reforma Roasters. https://reformaroasters.com/
- Assembly Brewing Company: First Black-owned brewery in Portland. https://assemblybrewingco.com/
- Dirty Lettuce: All vegan Cajun inspired food. https://dirtylettuce.square.site/s/order
- Po’Shine’s: A minority owned contemporary soul food restaurant with a Cajun flair. https://www.poshines.com/menu
- Clary Sage Herbarium: Located in Chinook Indigenous territory, this apothecary on Alberta street is owned by a Two Spirit womxn, member of the Karuk Tribe. https://clarysageherbarium.com/
- Doe Donuts: Women owned restaurant. http://www.doedonuts.com/
- Amalfi’s Italian Restaurant: Women owned restaurant https://www.amalfisrestaurant.com/
- Red Sauce Pizza: Women owned restaurant. https://www.redsaucepizza.com/
- Lauretta Jean’s: Women owned restaurant. https://www.laurettajeans.com/
- Shalom Y’all: Women owned restaurant. https://www.shalomyallpdx.com/
- Ding Tea: Located on Williams, Ding Tea has a variety of boba teas, juices, coffees and lattes. https://www.dingteawilliams.com/
Articles of Interest
- What a 16-Year-Old Learned in Three Months of Portland Protests - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/03/us/portland-protests.html
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack - https://psychology.umbc.edu/files/2016/10/White-Privilege_McIntosh-1989.pdf
- Decolonizing Thanksgiving: A Toolkit For Combatting Racism In Schools- https://medium.com/age-of-awareness/decolonizing-thanksgiving-a-toolkit-for-combatting-racism-in-schools-5d4e3023a2f8
- The Catastrophic Effects of Mental Health Stigma - https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/nurturing-self-compassion/201705/the-catastrophic-effects-mental-health-stigma
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