Economic Justice: Carrying Forward Dr. Kings Poor People’s Campaign

On January 24, 2019 as part of OSU’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, students, faculty, staff and community members came together at the HSRC for Economic Justice: Carrying Forward Dr. Kings Poor People’s Campaign.  In addition to providing access to basic needs resources, the HSRC also serves as a community space for dialogue around social justice issues such as class(ism), poverty, and food insecurity.

Participants of Economic Justice spent the afternoon sharing a meal while discussing the lasting relevance of the Poor People’s Campaign and its guiding values. The Poor People’s Campaign was a movement organized in 1968 by Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The campaign brought together multiracial poor and working class people to advocate for the “abolition of poverty” through the creation of an Economic Bill of Rights. The proposed Economic Bill of Rights included: a meaningful job and living wage for every employable citizen, a secure and adequate income for all who cannot find jobs or for whom employment is inappropriate, access to land and capital to secure full participation in the economic life of America, and for people to play a significant role in determining how government programs are designed and carried out.  Source: https://www.crmvet.org/docs/68ebr.htm

Dr. King and campaign organizers called for a mass mobilization of an “army of the poor” to Washington D.C. to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience and petition the government to take action towards eradicating poverty. Tragically, Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, a day after he marched for economic justice with striking sanitation workers in Memphis. While Dr. King’s vision of “a radical redistribution of economic power” was not realized, 50 years after his assassination, the “evils of racism, poverty and militarism” remain as relevant today as they were then. Our group discussed the vision laid out in Dr. King’s Economic Bill of Rights, and updated it to reflect the needs of today.

Economic Bill of Rights for 2019

  • Free/Universal Education
  • No borders/requirement of citizenship to access rights
  • Universal healthcare
  • Access to mental health care and time to self-care
  • Give program power to people for whom the government is working for
  • Those most affected should have the right to determine how assistance programs are designed and administered
  • Votes for prisoners
  • Redistribution instead of “access”
  • Extra-low income housing/access to good housing
  • Meaningful jobs should be beneficial for humans and the ecosystem
  • Universal Basic Income
  • Political processes
  • Who determines what is “meaningful” and “adequate”?
  • Job should be expanded to calling/vocation/passion
  • Access to land as a means of livelihood=unplugging from capitalism

Specific to OSU

  • Increased funding for higher education from the state so students don’t feel the blunt of tuition
  • Lower tuition and book costs
  • Having accessible and environmentally friendly course materials
  • Universal meal plans
  • Free housing
  • Cap top administrators salary to a percentage of average employee salary
  • Students have a real seat at administration table
  • Freedom to teach/to express speech that critiques government and OSU
  • Livable wage for all faculty (specifically adjunct faculty)
  • Instructors treated like real employees-not second class
  • Unionization and organization beyond labor lines
  • More community gardens

In the poor people’s campaign, King advocated for nonviolent direct action that pushed America toward a social revival of morals grounded in love. He believed that systemic injustice and exploitation dehumanized people, both the oppressed and the oppressors, preventing them from truly loving each other. He understood that by expressing love through acts of nonviolent resistance to specific structural injustices–we are ultimately practicing love by eradicating systems that prevent people from seeing each other as fully human.

In order to realize our hopes and dreams for a more just future and society, our group discussed and shared actions we can take today to carry forward Dr. King’s values of racial and economic justice. 

Actions for Carrying Forward the Poor People’s Campaign

  • Organize poor people as an equal partner in our community
  • Welcome folx into the womxn & gender space by putting on events about self-care and love
  • Engage more with others by talking, smiling, hugging, etc.
  • Keep an eye out for individual suffering & work to support the victim more
  • Vote in local elections
  • Choose a committee on campus to bring the voice of economic justice to the conversations
  • Focus research on equity concerns
  • Show up and lobby
  • Be brave in teaching–ask tough questions, paint the big picture, challenge students to reflect on how they are now part of the problem and can be part of the solutions–despite precarity of employment
  • Approach others with a mindset of charity (assume the best of others)
  • Go outside more–more face to face connections
  • #TrySocialism
  • Listen to others with non-judgement and an open mind
  • Share my wealth
  • Volunteer to help those in need
  • Be the change we want to see!

The issues of racism, poverty, economic inequality, and militarism are as much of an issue in 2019, as they were in 1968. An Economic Bill of Rights rooted in the values of Dr. King and the Poor People’s Campaign in needed now more than ever. Despite the injustice that persists today, people left feeling a sense of hope in what we can accomplish together as a collective.

Here to help

Navigating college as a first-generation college student can feel like making your way through a maze with no map, filled with “learn as you go” lessons, and “crap, I wish I knew this then.” When you combine that with being low-income, it can feel like you’re navigating the same maze blindfolded, on a tightrope, balancing multiple responsibilities. It should not be like this.

I started OSU in 2008 and graduated with my masters in 2014. Recently, I returned to OSU to serve as the first ever Basic Needs Navigator at the HSRC. My role boils down to connecting students to resources that help ensure basic needs are being met. I also support students as they navigate institutional policies and procedures in search of resources.

At the end of the day, I am most concerned with connecting students to resources (this often means $$$), so they may only worry about studying for midterms, not about how they will eat or pay for rent. Since July, I’ve helped students access over $161,500 dollars in resources. Keep reading to learn how I can help alleviate financial stress.

 Above are some common ways I help students access $$

I know firsthand how difficult it is to navigate college on your own. Of seven siblings, I was the first one to attend college. I have one memory in particular about my transition to OSU, no matter how far removed I am from it, I feel what I felt then by just thinking about it. 10 years ago, I was walking across from where my office is now, Champinefu Lodge, eating cheerios out of the box- it was the only thing I had eaten that day. I had no money to buy anything else. Out of the blue, I began to sob as I stuffed handfuls of Cheerios into my mouth. It was 10pm, dark with no lighting, I assumed no one would see me cry. I had never felt so alone in my life. Not knowing where to go or who to turn to for help, I felt like I had no choice but to get through this experience alone. “Who else would be experiencing this in college?”I thought to myself.  

The reality was that I was not alone in my experience. Of the 970 OSU students who applied to the Food Assistance Application in the Fall of 2018, 54% percent were “very-low food secure” as determined by USDA’s Definition, with 18%  of applicants reporting to have gone an entire day in the past 12 months without eating because of financial concerns. That is 172 students, 42% higher than last year when 117 students reported that!

I was not alone in my experience back then, and you are not alone in your experience today, WE SEE YOU! The HSRC is here to help.

What can I help you with?

Almost anything! I’m kind of like a generalist who is pretty savvy about finding things out and navigating resources. I get paid to navigate, it’s literally in my title! If I do not know the answer to your question, I  know the person who does & I will walk you over to meet them (unless it’s raining. I can’t do wet socks). Here are some common things I can often help with:

      • Access to  food & groceries
      • Unforeseen emergency expense causing barriers to enrollment
      • Tuition refund due to an extenuating circumstance
      • Lost scholarships due to unforeseen circumstances
      • Finding help paying for utility bills
      • Signing up for Oregon Health Plan
      • Grant money!- parent lost a job/financial situation does not reflect that of 2016 tax year?
      • Financial Assistance with a medical bill/emergency
      • Pell/financial aid running out a few terms away from graduation!
      • Hard time making ends meet
      • Feeling like you are a bill away from homelessness
      • Place to stay- homeless or housing insecure
      • Financial stress!

Why should you come see me?

“Miguel came in clutch when I needed help with resolving a hold I had on my account.” – HSRC student fall 2018

I helped 120-ish students access over $161,000 since I started in July. You might be missing out on resources that you would otherwise be receiving. Looking back at my college experience, I identified over $10,000 dollars that I missed out on because of bad advising or not being aware of resources. I will do everything I can to try to make sure that you will leave our meeting with knowledge of at least one new to you resource ($$) that you have access to, if not more.

Don’t take my word for it. Here are what your peers have to say:

I will try my hardest to figure things out together

“I took your advice… and I was awarded a scholarship of $1360 to cover my balances. As of right now, I have been able to sign up for a few of my classes…. I am forever grateful”

“Miguel’s best quality is empathy, he connects with the student in a way that he feels the student’s pain and stress, this leads him to want to fight and resolve the issues!…”

You might leave with a lot more than what you came in for

“Miguel has your back. Not only will he help you with what you’re seeing him about, but if he overhears another concern he will help with that too.”

“…Meet with Miguel about financial aid, food stamps and finding other financial help. He helped me so much!!! I really appreciate him”

Wrap around support in a supportive space

“Going into these types of meeting can be difficult because suddenly you are talking about yourself and the difficulty of your situation, which is hard to talk about in itself…Miguel works with you to meet you in a spot that you leave with a plan or next move and is focused on your overall well-being and your individual needs.”

“Miguel is very understanding and knowledgeable. He’ll ask you questions to get a full understanding of your situation without prying for any personal detail. He’s really pleasant and easy to talk to.”

I am here to support you!

You should not feel alone in your experience. College and academics are hard as it is- financial stress is the wrong kind of rigor many student face. Let me work alongside you to make it a little less stressful by connecting you to resources.

If you would like to find a time to meet or have questions, please email me at miguel.arellanosanchez@oregonstate.edu.

 

Black Bean Chili with Acorn Squash and toasted pumpkin seeds

 

Serves 6

  • 1 teaspoon Chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 acorn squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 cans (15-ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 cans (14-ounce) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds, for topping

Directions

1.In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add acorn squash and onion. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add black beans, vegetable broth, tomato paste and fire-roasted tomatoes.

2.In a small bowl, combine spices and mix. Add to chili pot.

3.Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

4.Top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

 

Students: Come work at the HSRC!

Please help us spread the word about this opportunity at the Human Services Resource Center: We are looking for three students to help us with various projects through the rest of the academic year – our existing staff is overwhelmed and overstretched and we need more students to help us serve students!

We are looking for the following:

A Food Pantry Assistant

A Textbook Lending Program Assistant

An Event and Program Planning Assistant

 

All positions will be cross-trained heavily to help where needed. For the first term or two, all of these roles can expect to do a lot of the following:

 

  • Working at our front desk, learning how to assist students with basics, answer common questions
  • Basic food pantry operations: how to make a food box, helping with deliveries, helping with food pantry nights/shopping days
  • Cross training and basic collaboration with other HSRC student team members

 

These three positions will also fall into one of the following three individual roles:

 

  1. Food Pantry Assistant: This person will provide additional support to food pantry projects, assisting the Food Pantry Organizer with needed tasks, but generally mostly supporting the HSRC Food Pantry. This would be a really great role for a student interested in food justice, food sovereignty, nutrition, food security, health promotion, retail/merchandising, non-profits, etc.
  2. Textbook Lending Program Assistant: the student who currently oversees the HSRC Textbook Lending Program will be graduating in May and we are hoping that the student hired into this role can work alongside current staff to learn processes and help make a transition to a new student staff as seamless as possible. This role is one of the most technical we have – it involves some database work, pulling some reports, and some skill with Microsoft excel (more than your average student may know). This would be a really great role for a student interested in technology, engineering, business/operations, etc. Any other student, interested in justice or educational access, and who isn’t afraid of learning new, somewhat intimidating computer skills/processes would also be well suited to this role.
  3. Events and Programming Assistant: This person will help plan events and workshops at the HSRC as we built out having more conversations about socioeconomic identity, classism and as we provide more skills workshops for our students (cooking classes, budgeting etc). This would be a good role for any student who wants to plan events and is interested in economic justice, social justice and/or topics related to food security, housing affordability and the challenges of being under-resourced while in college.

 

We hope and anticipate that students hired into these roles, if successful will be asked to return in subsequent years, possibly in other staff roles pursuant to the student’s interests and strengths.

 

The HSRC anticipates paying these students $11.75 to start and if they return to their role next year, it’s likely that they’ll then be earning $12.75.

 

Students must apply though the OSU jobs page for each position they are interested in. First priority for review of applications will be Dec 1 – we are hoping to hire and have these staff in place by start of Winter term.

 

Thanks,
Nicole

Inside the HSRC – Breonna

My major is Liberal Studies, with the theme of Human Rights and Government. Liberal Studies is a program where you can design your own major by creating a plan with 2+ majors in it. I’m currently studying Ethnic Studies, Women Gender and Sexuality Studies as well as Political Science. I bring this up because my major is an intersectional lens on how government systems can affect marginalized communities. The Human Services Resource Center is financially supported through Oregon State University, which is a federally funded institution that works with multiple minority groups, and identities unique to a university like first-generation students. In my major, I learn about textbook definitions of poverty, homelessness, race, gender, sex, sexuality and many other identities. At the Human Services Resource Center, I see these situations actually happen in front of my eyes. They don’t always appear the way classes say they do.

Since working at the HSRC, I’ve noticed that people from all walks of life come in to use the food pantry, the textbook lending program, laundry facilities, or meet with our Basic Needs coordinator. There is no uniform, cookie-cutter description for what food insecurity looks like. My position is the Food Pantry Volunteer Liasion, I work directly with volunteers and train them how to stock the pantry or how to work food pantry days. I work with university organizations to host food drives or bringing in more regular volunteers. I walk clients through the pantry and explain our point system and every time it’s a different experience. I make emergency food boxes for people who come in. The one huge lesson, I’ve really taken away is that struggling materializes in many different ways. It’s not always the people who’d think it is. Often times, especially with college students, food insecurity and houselessness are invisible. It’s sometimes easy to hide that you need help. This has taught me that there is never a wrong time to tell people about the Human Services Resource Center.

P.S. If you’re reading this, November of 2018, we have a surplus of all kinds of squash at Champinefu Lodge. Please come get some free squash.

Get To Know Our Staff: Kevin

Name: Kevin Schultz

Pronouns: He/His

HSRC Job Title: Partnerships and Outreach Graduate Teaching Assistant

Major/minor: Master’s in College Student Services Administration

Career Aspirations: I intend to work within higher education, focusing on gender equity, sexual assault/coercion, and male identity development. Where exactly and in what capacity, is yet to be determined.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC? I spent 6 1/2 years with Jackson Street Youth Services, working with youth and young adults facing basic needs insecurity in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties. I could not turn down the chance to continue this work, with students facing similar situations. I also believe that basic needs are a right and when students struggle with them they struggle with succeeding as students. I believe a solid education is the solution to most of the world’s problems, so I was excited to help students achieve that.

What will you be working on? I help supervise our student staff, assist with Poverty Action Week (formerly H&H Week), establish and maintain partnerships with community members from OSU and Corvallis, handle various office responsibilities regarding Champinefu Lodge, recruiting for our Advisory Board, etc.

What do you like to do in your free time? I spend as much time as possible with friends. But I also really enjoy TV and movies as well as playing video games. I try to find time to do homework as well.

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal that you like to make? I really like eating chips with tuna fish mixed with black beans and hot sauce. Treating it like a dip. Try it, thank me later.

Do you have any tips for students on how to save money? I grocery shop at WINCO, exclusively. Their bulk section is the best in Corvallis for the price. I try to walk or bike most days and utilize the FREE BUS SERVICE. I also share streaming accounts with friends so we don’t all have to pay for the entertainment.

What are you favorite things to do in Corvallis? I enjoy going to the movies, concerts, and the myriad of local events here in Corvallis.

Where is your favorite spot to relax on campus? I really enjoy the Student Involvement Lounge in the SEC, as well as the library. Also the student lounge in Bexel is quite cozy.

What is your favorite TV show and why? My list is quite long but my absolute favorites: Bob’s Burgers; Queer Eye; Scrubs; Parks and Rec; South Park; Shameless; and American Horror Story. Just to name a few. I really enjoy comedies and very layered dramas.

Get to know our Staff: Gloria

Gloria; Nutrition Education coordinator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Major: Food Science and Technology with a minor in Chemistry

Career aspirations: I keep changing my mind about this but, currently I would want to work in Food and Agriculture research, using science and technology to address the world’s food and agriculture challenges.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC?

I first learned about the HSRC when I had just transferred to Oregon State University. I wanted  a job that would give me the opportunity to connect with other students and the Corvallis community. I also wanted to be able to make a positive impact by joining the fight against hunger and poverty on campus, so HSRC was just right for me!

What will you be working on?

I will be working on cooking classes! I love cooking, and learning new things in the kitchen. I’m also looking forward to having more conversation and discussions about classism, food insecurity and several other topics during the classes.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am always down for a Netflix Binge. I  also really like cooking and trying to recreate some of my mom’s recipes (doesn’t always go well).

Favorite yummy and cheap meal:

Black bean Chili and rice. This is one of those meals that I grew up on. I think it’s always really easy to make,really yummy and filling. Also, for one of the cooking classes we had during Spring term we made a really quick and easy bread recipe! The bread always goes really with the black bean chili!

What are your favorite things to do in Corvallis?

I really like trying out new restaurants and walking around downtown especially over the summer!

Favorite TV show?

I have quite a couple, but my current favorite is Mr. Robot. It’s a show that follows a young man who is computer programmer by day but a vigilante hacker by night. He’s trying to bring down multinational corporate companies that he believes are running and ruining the world by hacking them. (He’s kind of like a modern day robin hood.)It’s easily one of the best things I’ve ever watched, the writing is really good and the actors do a really good job giving life to the characters.

Recipe Spotlight: Chicken and Orzo with Spinach and Feta

This is the recipe we prepared during our first cooking class this term; Cooking for 1 or 2. The goal of the class was to learn how to cook efficiently for 1 or 2 in order to cut down on food waste.

Recipe serves 2

Why this recipe works:

In order to make a simple skillet chicken memorable we made the side the star of the show. We used Orzo pasta, which is a small pasta that is easy to cook.

Image result for orzo

In order to add a  deep and complex flavor, we toasted the orzo until golden brown and then simmered it in just the right amount of turkey broth until it was perfectly tender.

Image result for toasted golden brown orzo

To give the recipe some flair we added garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and stirred in baby spinach, feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving.

You will need:

3/4 cup orzo

2 ( 6-8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded if necessary.

Salt and Pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano

1(1/4) chicken/turkey broth

4 oz (4 cups) baby spinach

2 oz feta cheese (1/2 cup)

1 (1/2 )teaspoons lemon juice

Directions

1.Toast orzo in 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until golden brown, 3-5 minutes, transfer to bowl.

2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in now empty skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Brown chicken lightly, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.

3. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil, garlic, oregano and pepper flakes to now empty skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and toasted orzo.

4. Nestle browned chicken into orzo add any accumulated juices, bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until chicken registers 160 degrees, 10-12 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken back to skillet, tent loosely with aluminium foil.

5. Continue to cook orzo until al dente and creamy, 2-5 minutes, stirring in additional broth, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to loosen consistently. Stir in spinach, 1 handful at a time, until wilted about 2 minutes. Stir in feta and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chicken with orzo.

(Recipe adapted from The Complete Coooking for 2 cook book)

 

Food Recall: Raw Beef Products

URGENT FOOD RECALL

JBS Tolleson, Inc. Recalls Raw Beef Products Due to Possible Salmonella Newport Contamination

Oct 4, 2018 – JBS Tolleson, Inc., a Tolleson, Ariz. establishment, is recalling approximately 6,937,195 pounds of various raw, non-intact beef products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

For more information and to view a list of the products please visit this site: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2018/recall-085-2018-release

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 267” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations and institutions nationwide. These products may have been distributed through the Oregon Food Bank Network.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F. Other cuts of beef should be cooked to a temperature of 145 °F and allowed to rest for at least 3 minutes. The only way to confirm that ground beef or other cuts of beef are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature, http://1.usa.gov/1cDxcDQ.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact the JBS USA Consumer Hotline at (800) 727-2333.

About Oregon Food Bank

Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and its root causes… because no one should be hungry. Oregon Food Bank believes that hunger starves the human spirit, that communities thrive when people are nourished, and that everyone deserves healthy and fresh food. Oregon Food Bank helps feed the human spirit of 740,000 people through a food distribution network of 21 regional food banks serving Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Oregon Food Bank also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through public policy, local food systems work, nutrition and garden education, health care screening and innovative programming. Find out how to feed the human spirit at oregonfoodbank.org.

Get To Know Our Staff: Mimi

Name: Mimi Monterrosas

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

HSRC Job Title: Events and Programming Coordinator

Major/minor: Biology with a pre-med option

Career Aspirations: My career goal is to become a primary care physician for low income and/or migrant working families.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC? I wanted to work with HSRC because the help they provide the community is inspiring. I believe everyone should have access to everyday needs. I want to help make a difference through the work I do and HSRC allows me to do that.

What will you be working on? I will be working on creating and planning events on campus that helps promote the work we do here at HSRC. I will also be working closely with other clubs, cultural centers, and organizations to plan these events.

What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy creating new makeup looks and doing makeup on others. Also, I collect hip hop albums and vinyls.

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal that you like to make? My favorite cheap meal to make would be grilled cheese sandwiches. I throw in some ham or spinach too.

Do you have any tips for students on how to save money? I am a huge fan of planning and budgeting. I have a journal that I use to calculate all my expenses and making sure I am within my budget. Also, when shopping I try to look for the best price possible, so take your time when shopping.

What are you favorite things to do in Corvallis? I enjoy going out to eat with friends and exploring new places around town.

Where is your favorite spot to relax on campus? My favorite spot to relax on campus would be Waldo hall because there are always treats out for people and it’s a great study area.

What is your favorite show and why? My favorite show is The Office because the zoom ins of the characters’ reactions always make me laugh!