Social Justice Tour of Corvallis IV

For the fourth time, the OMA collaborated with the Ethnic Studies 553: Ethnohistory Methodology course taught by Professor Natchee Barnd. The students came to the archives to review OMA and OSQA materials, and visited the Benton County Historical Society archives as well, to conduct research regarding the histories of the OSU and Corvallis area’s traditionally marginalized communities. The 7 students researched and wrote 1-2 stories each, featuring various OSU and Corvallis area histories, and they complied them into a tour guidebook.

On Friday June 7th, about two dozen people, including the OMA and OSQA, gathered to attend an end of term tour given by the class. In addition to being impressed by the students’ excellent historical research and analysis, it was deeply moving to see how they interwove their personal stories into the narratives, thus bringing the archival stories even more meaning and impact for present day audiences. See below for information about the stories and photos from the tour. Additionally, be sure to check out the blog posts regarding the 2014 Tour and the 2016 Tour and the 2017 Tour.

The 7 authors and their stories:

The 13 Stories:

  • Queer Pride
  • April Waddy
  • Dear Black Girls
  • Black History Tours
  • Dave Mann
  • Aki Hill
  • Eugenics
  • The Tree
  • Mi Familia
  • Bill Maxwell
  • MEChA vs. Taco Bell
  • Pearl Spears-Gray
  • Women’s Equality

The 5 Tour Locations:

Photos from the Tour Led by the Students:

The tour began with the story “Dear Black Girls” about the lack of diversity within the OSU College of Forestry and the resilience of the Black women, including the author herself, who have been and are foresters.

The tour moved off campus to the corner of 9th Street and Monroe Ave to share the story of MEChA vs. Taco Bell ~ in 2004 the students of the organization in Corvallis, along with many from across the PNW, joined the national movement to boycott Taco Bell and support tomato pickers.

Professor Natchee Barnd at Crystal Lake Cemetery.

At Casa Latinos Unidos, the stories included Mi Familia, the annual OSU event to welcome Latinx students and their families,

the history of Dave Mann, the first Black football player at OSU,

and the history of Eugenics at OSU.

At the fifth and final location, the OSU MU Quad, the tour participants listened to a poem about women’s equality within athletics, and learned about Pearl Spears Gray, OSU’s Affirmative Action Director.

To conclude the tour, one of the students showcased the history of queer pride and activism in Benton County during the 1980s and 1990s, specifically the work of the Lesbian Avengers who advocated for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.


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