The University of Oregon’s president has chosen a finalist for the namesake of the campus’ new Black Cultural Center. Now, the Board of Trustees will decide whether the BCC will be named after UO alumna Lyllye Reynolds-Parker.
Born and raised in Eugene, Reynolds-Parker’s been a longtime champion for equitable education. Reynolds-Parker said she’s endured racism, ageism, sexism, and weightism, so others didn’t have to.
“Did I do it to be recognized at this stage in my life with a building being named after me? No never in my wildest dream would I ever have imagined that this would happen to me,” she said.
UO president Michael Schill selected Reynolds-Parker after a weeks long search process done by a naming committee made up of students, staff and faculty. Parker and Derrick Bell, the first black dean of the UO School of Law, were the top two recommendations given to Schill.
Reynolds-Parker graduated from the university with a bachelors in sociology in 1991. She later became a student advisor at the Office of Multicultural Academic Success.
“It’s affirming to me because the students voted for me. I loved what I was doing. I’d go back and do it again,” Reynolds-Parker said.
As a high school student during the Civil Rights Movement, Reynolds-Parker was part of a local Non-Violence Committee chapter. The organization was founded by renowned activist Stokely Carmichael.
The Board of Trustees will on vote on the naming of the building September 6.
This version has been updated with the correct spelling of Lyllye Reynolds-Parker's name.