History and Resources in Observance of Juneteenth

The OHSU Library continues to work toward inclusion, diversity, equity and access for all. We understand all institutions need to examine their practices and root out racism, white supremacy, and other discriminatory practices. We have previously posted on our efforts, which have included hosting events, self-examination, and shared learning. We renew our commitment to this work and invite you to work for a better world.

Friday, June 19, is Juneteenth, a day commemorating the end of slavery. It was on this day in 1865 that Union General Gordon Granger read the federal orders announcing that all previously enslaved people in Texas were now free. OHSU President Danny Jacobs has called upon all OHSUians to take this day to reflect, educate ourselves, provide service to our communities, or to take other actions to work against systemic racism.

In support of Dr. Jacobs’s call and OHSU’s commitment to address overt and systemic racism within our community, the OHSU Library offers here links to some resources looking at Black history, and the history of anti-Black racism and racism in medicine in Portland and Oregon.

Black history and anti-Black racism in Oregon



Clarion Defender. (1972 June 29). PSU Library Special Collections.  http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/20481

Primary historical sources

Reports and resource guides

Historical programs and initiatives

  • Oregon Black Pioneers, founded in 1993, aims to educate Oregonians about Black history in the state through exhibits, publications and programming.
  • Vanport Mosaic is a memory-activism project that aims to amplify, honor, present and preserve the silenced histories that surround us in order to understand our present, and create a future where we all belong.
  • Historic Black Williams Project is a community-led memory and art initiative, using collected stories, memories and histories from Black community members to create an art walk on Williams Avenue commemorating the history of the neighborhood.
  • A Hidden History: The stories and struggles of Oregon’s African American communities, by Walidah Imarisha and Oregon Humanities, is a Conversation Project program that reveals the stories and struggles of Oregon’s African American communities.

Race and medicine in Oregon

Programs and initiatives

OHSU programs and initiatives

  • Avel Gordly Center for Healing (Executive Director Alisha R. Moreland-Capuia, M.D., R 2013)  provides culturally sensitive care for the African and African American community in collaboration with community partners.
  • Sharing History through Active Reminiscence and Photo-imagery study (SHARP) (Principal Investigator Raina Croff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology) aims to maintain or improve cognitive health among older African Americans through increasing physical and social activity.
  • Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science aims to increase racial and ethnic equity within the research programs at OHSU by recruiting, retaining and supporting students, researchers, faculty and staff from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Health Justice Co-Op, initiated by OHSU Students for Structural Change, is a home for marginalized students and for collaboration among colleagues to advance justice in healthcare and education.
  • Center for Diversity and Inclusion sponsors Employee Resource Groups, such as the Black Employee Resource Group and Native American Employee Resource Group, and shares diversity and health resources.

Oregon organizations and initiatives

  • Oregon African American Health Coalition is an alliance of individuals and organizations working together to address health issues faced by African Americans in Oregon.
  • Oregon Commission on Black Affairs works to empower and support the African American and Black community through policy advisory to state policy makers and leaders.
  • Urban League of Portland, one of the state’s oldest civil rights and social service organizations, seeks to empower African Americans and others to achieve equity in health, education, employment and economic security.
  • Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs works to improve the political, educational, social, legal and economic status of Black Oregonians.


  • Juneteenth Oregon, first celebrated as a city-wide event in 1972, was founded by the late community leader Clara Peoples. The 2020 celebration will be held virtually as a livestream event.