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City Club of Eugene: Decoding Language: Keeping MLK's Dream Alive

Recorded On: January 18, 2019
Air Date: January 21, 2019

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered and respected around the world for his passionate advocacy of unity, civil rights, equal opportunity, and nonviolent strategies for social change. On January 21st, our national holiday honors Dr. King’s legacy and reminds us of his dream of a country free from the shackles of prejudice and discrimination.
On Friday, January 18th, four panelists spoke to the City Club of Eugene about some of the subtle ways a community with a reputation for being progressive may set up obstacles to full inclusion.

From the City Club of Eugene:
We have taken many strides forward in realizing this dream, but we still have a long way to go. Tensions among racial, cultural, and social groups are still present, and they continue to impede development of our full potential individually and as a nation. Some recent polls show that most Americans feel that these issues are not easing but have in fact worsened in recent years. We do not need to look further than our own community to see this. Oregon reported 146 hate crimes last year. According to the FBI, discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity was the leading cause. Disturbingly, more than half of these incidents occurred in Eugene.

Eugene City Councilor Greg Evans is a teacher, lecturer, workshop facilitator, and consultant.  Mr. Evans holds a BS from Myers University in Cleveland, Ohio, and an M. Ed. from Oregon State University. He has earned numerous awards for his work, including five Martin Luther King, Jr. awards; the NAACP Thalhiemer Award; NAACP Eugene/Springfield Branch Community Leadership Award; and the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs Education Award.

Joseph Lowndes is an associate professor of political science at the University of Oregon, where he teaches courses on U.S. politics, political culture, and American political thought. He is the author of “From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism,” and co-editor of “Race and American Political Development.” He earned a BA at Antioch College and a doctorate in political science at the New School for Social Research in New York.  

Luhui Whitebear is an enrolled member of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation and the Assistant Director of the OSU Native American Longhouse, Eena Haws. She is a doctoral student in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality program at Oregon State University with research focuses on Indigenous life and natural resource protection.

Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh is a political scientist and attorney who served on the Indiana University faculty for 18 years.  In March 2012, she joined the University of Oregon as Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, with the responsibility for collaboratively leading the University of Oregon’s efforts to embed inclusion, equity and diversity in its institutional practices, policies, and norms.

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Copyright KLCC, 2019

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Sociology.