Social Justice Tour of Corvallis II

In the spring of 2014 the OMA collaborated with the class Ethnic Studies 553: Ethnohistory Methodology taught by Professor Natchee Barnd. The students used archival resources both in the OMA and the Benton County Historical Society to showcase the histories of the Corvallis area’s traditionally marginalized groups including people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ community. The class researched and wrote the stories and complied them into a fantastic campus and downtown walking tour. This year, we were absolutely delighted to work with Professor Barnd and his students once again for the 2016 Social Justice Tour of Corvallis!

The class consisted of seven students who each researched and wrote about a different Corvallis area story:

Early in the term the class came to the OMA for a discussion about archival research and they soon began delving into the many stories within the collections. Through a peer-review process, the students complied a set of 15 stories and chose locations of significance around the OSU campus and Corvallis downtown area to highlight the histories based on 5 themes ~ land/voice, identity, resilience, legacy, and belonging:

The stories included in the tour bring to light and showcase the lives of the…

  • Kalapuya peoples who lived on the land prior to the establishment of OSU
  • Black Student Union protest against BYU in 1970
  • activities and (mis)representation of the OSU Cosmopolitan Club during the early 20th century
  • marriage of members of the LGBTQ+ community once same-sex marriage was legalized in Oregon
  • story of Pedro Duarte, a student from Guam who played as part of OSU’s baseball team during the early 1910s
  • Collins brothers, the first Native American students to attend and graduate from OSU, then known as Oregon Agricultural College (OAC)
  • Tibet House mural in downtown Corvallis
  • OAC student Ray Yasui and his resilience in the face of prejudice and non-inclusiveness due to his Japanese heritage
  • community of Corvallis area Chinese immigrants who are not well documented
  • Julius “Caesar” Taylor Short who during the 1870s lived part of his life in Oregon as a domestic servant after being freed from slavery
  • Chung Kwai Lui, the university’s first female PhD graduate in 1941 with physics degrees
  • legacy of the Corvallis Black Boots, African American men who worked as shoe shiners during the 1920s-1940s
  • Laura Cornutt, a College of Forestry applicant who in 1957 was rejected on the basis of her gender
  • Peggy Jo Nulson, a student who in the early 1970s fought back against homophobia on campus

At the end of the term, the class invited a group of OSU community members to take part in a student led tour and the OMA was there!

Here are some photos from the March 11, 2016 tour:

Also, if you are interested in more OSU stories regarding people of color, be sure to check out the campus tour guidebook Untold Stories: Histories of Students of Color at OSU

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2 Responses to Social Justice Tour of Corvallis II

  1. John says:

    Do you know if they are making the content of the tour available online anywhere?

    • fernandn says:

      Thanks for your question! The entire tour guidebook is not available online at this time, but as soon as it is, we will be sure to link to it from this blog post.

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