2017-18 Project Grants

2017-18 Project Grants

Focusing on the theme of Borders, Migration, and Belonging

photo courtesy of Noche Cultural
Huerto de la Familia

On May 30, 2018, Huerto de la Familia held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Bethel Community Garden. In addition to starting the garden, Huerto de la Familia implemented some new measures, including requiring all community gardeners complete a six-week Siembra la Cena (Seed to Supper) gardening class. The Spanish-language curriculum for this class was provided by Oregon Food Bank. The class ensured that all gardeners started with a minimum amount of basic gardening knowledge and built community among new garden member families. 

In addition to the garden project, the grant helped to fund existing services that Huerto provides, including 

  • one-on-one gardening technical assistance
  • seeds and other supplies
  • workshops on various garden topics including pest management, composting, and food preservation
  • free health clinic in April of 2018 with blood screenings, visits with nurses and doctors, dental screenings, and massages

University of Oregon students volunteered 450 hours of time to Huerto de la Familia during the duration of this grant. 

"Not only is the Organic Garden Program providing families with land for growing food and the opportunity to feed their children nutritious, organic produce, but more importantly, we provide families with a sense of belonging and safety that is crucial in this current political climate," said Huerto de la Familia director Marissa Zarate. "In a time where families are being torn apart, it is imperative that our community fight back by providing safe and welcoming spaces for immigrant families." 

Graduates of the Siembra de Cena (Seed to Supper) gardening class hold their certificates. 

groundbreaking ceremonyHuerto de Familia cuts the ribbon on the new Bethel Community Garden. 



KLCC produced a series of twelve in-depth public radio reports about Borders, Migration, and Belonging. The monthly reports were researched, written and produced by reporters Jacob Lewin and Karen Richards, and examined different aspects of the theme. The stories were edited by KLCC News Director Rachael McDonald.

Each report was broadcast on KLCC twice over KLCC’s network of 10 transmitters, and rebroadcast on stations in the Northwest News Network. The pieces averaged 4-5 minutes in length to allow depth and multiple perspectives. The series reached KLCC’s mass audience of more than 90,000 listeners.

The reports are archived at http://klcc.org/post/borders-migration-and-belonging.

We Tell You Now

Professors Torsten Kjellstrand (School of Journalism and Communication) and Leilani Sabzalian (Department of Education Studies) undertook We Tell You Now, a multimedia storytelling project with a focus on Native people with ties to the University of Oregon and the surrounding community. The project focused on Indigenous voices and experiences in a series of informal and formal conversations about migration that fostered a sense of community and belonging among Indigenous storytellers and educated the broader community about Indigenous issues and perspectives.

The culmination of the project was a gathering at the Many Nations Longhouse on the UO campus on May 30, 2018, which showcased photographs made for this project and videos made by UO students in conversation with UO community members on the Center’s theme of Borders, Migration, and Belonging. This was followed by a conversation with four invited panelists: Dr. Angie Morrill, Director of Indian Education for Portland Public Schools and UO alum; Se-ah-dom Edmo, Sovereignty Program Director at Western States Center; Romario Garcia Bautista, SOJC student; and Dr. Sven Haakanson, associate professor of anthropology at University of Washington and curator at the Burke Museum.

Prior to the final event, Kjellstrand and Sabzalian organized a family portrait night at the Chiflin Native Youth Center in Springfield and a high school senior portrait day at Portland Public Schools Indian Education Program, with professional-quality portraits taken by UO students. The purpose of these activities was to create a sense of belonging and community for Native youth and families. Sabzalian and Kjellstrand also interviewed UO faculty and students about the Wayne Morse Center themes of borders, migration and belonging on camera, then worked with two SOJC students to transcribe, manage and edit those interviews into a short video of vignettes.

Prof Sven Haakanson stands on the petroglyphs his ancestors carved on rocks at the south end of Kodiak Island. Haakanson works with other Sugpiat people to repatriate knowledge built on over 7,500 years of living in the place. Photo by Torsten KjellstrandProf Sven Haakanson stands on the petroglyphs his ancestors carved on rocks at the south end of Kodiak Island. Haakanson works with other Sugpiat people to repatriate knowledge built on over 7,500 years of living in the place. Photo by Torsten Kjellstrand.

Noche Cultural celebration

Noche Cultural

Noche Cultural, an annual event taking place in August, provides a space that fosters a sense of community and  family atmosphere in Eugene, Springfield and the surrounding areas. It highlights Charreria, Mexico’s national sport, and provides opportunities for youth and other attendees to engage with the sport who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity.

Noche Cultural provides meaningful connections to Latin America and Mexico culture and traditions that are not otherwise available in the region. The Charreria exhibition included reining, rope tricks on foot, rope tricks on horseback, escaramuza (event where female riders perform precision maneuvers on horseback while riding sidesaddle), fancy roping and horse dancing.

In addition to the Charreria exhibition, there was sack races, piñatas, face painting, horse rides, Ballet Folclórico Tlanese, and musical entertainment. 

Justice Across Borders Symposium

On March 8, 2018, the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studieshosted its 2018 Symposium: Justice Across Borders: Gender, Race, and Migration in the Americas. The symposium counted with fifteen invited guests and vibrant participation from the UO and Eugene community. Participants explored what kind of new knowledges, art, social transformations, and activism we can create together in the face of increasing inequalities and social violence across the continent. 

The day began with a moyumba, or ancestral prayer, by a Cuban osha priestess from Seattle, Jannes Martinez. The keynote was delivered by Dr. Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel, who explored “New Directions in Latino and Latin American Studies: Archipelagic Studies in the Caribbean and the Pacific.” Martinez-San Miguel led  a conversation about comparative approaches to the study of art, colonialism, and militarism that represent the most cutting-edge trends in the field. The following roundtable focused on environmental justice and featured Puerto Rican activist Judith Vega. The roundtable co-sponsored by Ethnic Studies and Wayne Morse Center was devoted to a conversation about the possibilities for political solidarity among Caribbean, Latinx, and Pacific Islander migrants in the U.S. Pacific coast and islands. The plenary session featured Dr. Monica Rojas, director of Movimiento AfroLatino de Seattle; Dr. Ramona Hernandez, director of City College of New York’s Dominican Studies Institute; Dr. Edwin Melendez, director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies; and Dr. Laura Pulido, department head of Ethnic Studies at UO. These panelists engaged with how emerging migratory patterns, incarceration practices, immigration policies, black or Afro-latino identities, and white nationalisms are impacting Latinx communities in the East and West Coasts. A poetry and hip hop performance coordinated by Dominican artists Ernesto Lara, Josefina Baez, and UO faculty Ana-Maurine Lara closed the day through artistic explorations of the meaning of justice.

Causa, Oregon’s Latino Immigrant Rights Organization

With funding from a Wayne Morse Project Grant, Causa hired a UO student intern to help manage One Oregon Lane County, which consists of 80+ organizations from around the state. The intern engaged with community members and organizations in Lane County as well as the University of Oregon, organizing field workers and volunteers with the goal of keeping Oregon a welcoming state for immigrants. 

Springfield debate teams

Tom and Henry Lininger received this project grant to help debate teams from Springfield High School and Hamlin Middle School in Springfield to attend debate tournaments at other locations within the state.