Five years ago today, OSU students gathered for a Solidarity March. Just a few weeks ago, Justin McDaniels shared his involvement in the March and the #ITooAmOSU campaign, and his interview is now available online!
In late February / early March 2014, anonymous acts of racism brought light to hate speech and bigotry on campus. Students rallied and the #ITooAmOSU campaign came together at the Memorial Union (MU) Quad on March 9th, and the Solidarity March occurred March 12th. To learn more about the events, check out the Untold Stories: Histories of Students of Color at Oregon State University website, specifically the entry on the 2014 Solidarity March.
Justin McDaniels was one of the Oregon State University students that mobilized the “I, Too, Am OSU” campaign and the Solidarity March in 2014. These movements were in response to the lack of response from university administration in protecting marginalized students.
Interviewee: Justin McDaniels
Interviewer: Natalia Fernández
Interview Date: February 19, 2019
Location: The Valley Library, Oregon State University
Summary: McDaniels begins his interview by sharing stories from his childhood growing up in Canby, Oregon, specifically his high school and early college experiences. McDaniels also shares his coming out story, as well as his experiences as a queer biracial cis-gendered man. He discusses, in-depth, his participation and leadership in the “I, Too, Am OSU” campaign and the Solidarity March in 2014 – he discusses the campus climate, the impetus for the campaign and march, the administrative response, the behind the scenes planning, and the impact of his activism, as well as his support group and mentors. As a student who took an academic break and returned four years later, he has the unique perspective of learning that despite how powerful these movements felt in the moment, the same racist undertones exist on the campus. He expresses his thoughts regarding racist complacency, the concept of diversity within a university setting, and the lack of meaningful actions taken by university administrators.