This post comes from Jordan Jedry, Student Archives Assistant in the Historical Collections & Archives.
As part of OHSU’s ongoing commitment to fostering diversity and growth in the people and ideas that make up our community, several Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are available for membership. These groups “provide opportunities for career development, social support, networking, mentoring, community participation, cultural awareness and employee engagement” for faculty and staff from underrepresented backgrounds, those who share similar backgrounds, and their allies.
OHSU’s Historical Collections & Archives is proud to have made the historical records of OHSU Pride, the employee resource group for LGBTQ+-identifying members of the OHSU community, available for research and viewing as one of our newest collections. With a mission to “foster an inclusive environment that promotes LGBTQ wellness, education, research and advocacy within and across OHSU and the community,” OHSU Pride has maintained a presence in campus affairs since its inception as the Coalition for Health and Advocacy for Sexual Minorities (CHASM) in the fall of 2007. This is the first of OHSU’s Employee Resource Groups whose records have been housed and made available within the archives, and our hope is that these records hold historical and educational value to students, faculty, and community members who wish to know more about the organization of employee resource and affinity groups on campus.
This collection dates from 2006 to 2021 and consists of foundational and organizational records, research and development notes, ephemera, and photographs, among other types of records, which evidence the group’s existence from pre-charter, affinity group-level research to present-day activities as an official employee resource group on campus. Topics of interest addressed by this collection include the logistics of forming an affinity group (and later, an employee resource group) at OHSU, evidence of their successes as a group through the proliferation of ephemera and organization of campus-wide events, and instances of past research on how to better support LGBTQ+ employees.
Among other notable events and programming in the group’s early history, OHSU Pride played an integral role in organizing OHSU’s first official participation in the Portland Pride Parade alongside the Center for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (CeDMA, today known as the Center for Diversity and Inclusion) in 2010. Over 60 photographs of OHSU’s first march in the Pride Parade are available for viewing as a part of this collection. The group’s preliminary research on supporting LGBTQ+-identifying colleagues helped lead to important conversations around policies and best practices across OHSU, and contributed to the university’s recognition in the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index in 2011 as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality.” OHSU Pride continues to make the institution a safer and more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+-identifying employees in the present day.