The Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics awards grants annually to community organizations, university faculty and departments, and student organizations to support projects, events and activities related to the Center’s two-year-long themes of inquiry. 2021-22 will be the last year for Project Grants for the foreseeable future.
2021-22 Project Grants
Eugene Weekly will publish a year-long series exploring the labor movement in Oregon during a global pandemic, including consequential unionization efforts, legislative action related to working Oregonians, and challenges that the labor movement may experience. The series will cap with a cover feature and a public forum.
Family Forward Oregon
FFO will incorporate the voices of impacted mothers, caregivers, and child care providers (including Spanish speakers) along with the organizational members of the Child Care for Oregon coalition, into strategic, coordinated advocacy for short and long-term policy solutions to Oregon's child care crisis. The coalition will also assess progress in the 2021 Oregon legislative session and work together to create care policy infrastructure proposals before the 2022 legislative session.
KLCC Public Radio Foundation
KLCC will produce a documentary series featuring stories with people of color and / or people from marginalized communities whose jobs have been transformed due to recent social and economic changes. Each feature will profile an Oregonian’s work story and then probe into the broader local, state and federal policies surrounding their particular situation and/or industry. The project will culminate with a special one-hour program that will highlight a major issue of “Making Work Work” revealed while producing the series.
NEED Fund dba Northwest Workers' Justice Project
NWJP will join with Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project to launch the Workers Defense Clinic in Portland. NWJP will provide legal advice and support to day laborers and domestic workers, as well as technical support to Voz. The collaboration uses a wage-theft legal clinic as a transformative organizing tool for supporting leadership and empowerment for Portland’s day laborer and domestic worker communities. It seeks to give low-wage, immigrant workers in precarious work – some of the original “gig” workers – the resources and support to have the agency, power, and leadership in the resolution of their own workplace disputes.
UO Sociology Department
This participatory research project is a partnership between UO's Department of Sociology and the Scholars Strategy Network (SSN) Oregon Chapter. Working directly with in-home childcare providers with extended hours, workers with irregular and unpredictable schedules, and policy advocates, researchers will examine how policy could support workers with unpredictable schedules who need childcare, culminating with a series of briefs on Oregon childcare policy. Findings and briefs will be publicized through existing networks, including the national Scholars Strategy Network.
2020-21 Project Grants
Beyond Toxics and NAACP Eugene-Springfield will host the rescheduled Oregon Environmental Justice Pathways Summit April 9-10, 2021, at the University of Oregon. The summit brings together frontline communities, government officials, students, and scholars to develop a resource document that communities and policymakers can follow to embed an environmental justice framework in policy and practice. See past Environmental Justice Pathways webinars.
Classroom Law Project will offer an interactive digital workshop titled Civic Engagement and BioTechnology Ethics: Equity and Public Health Policy on October 9, 2020. Developed specifically for science and social studies teachers (grades 5 -12), this workshop focuses on how to engage students, both in traditional classrooms and remotely, with the ways ethical policy decisions about biotechnology and healthcare can create more equity within communities. Using the Project Citizen: Civics in Action! framework, Classroom Law Project will show how this inquiry-based methodology can engage students and empower them during a time of uncertainty.
Assistant Professor Maxwell Foxman (SOJC) will prototype a board game titled WildFire, created with journalism graduate student Robin FitzClemen, in which players cooperate to put out uncontrollable blazes over the course of multiple fire seasons using real-time climate data to simulate environmental conditions. The goal is to provide players with a novel means of experiencing the trials and tribulations of dealing with wildfires in the context of global and local climate change. Based on serious game design methodology, WildFire will be play-tested throughout the year with key stakeholders, including firefighters, educators, government officials and journalists, in order to maximize its potential to inform the public.
Carol Cruzan Morton Working with the The Oregonian/OregonLive, science journalist Carol Cruzan Morton will report on new therapeutic gene editing technologies. The reporting will focus on Oregon research and explore the quickly advancing science and implications of deliberate and accidental genetic changes that may extend through generations. The project will help inform the perspectives and conversations of policy makers and citizens.
The UO's Center for Science Communication Research is looking at wildfire and the public’s connection to it through a podcast series with accompanying resources, titled The Fire Story. Moderated by SCR Associate Director Mark Blaine and SCR Founding Researcher Dr. Hollie Smith, the podcast brings together wildfire experts from diverse backgrounds to discuss the science of communication during a fire event, fire preparedness techniques, the complexities of wildfire response, and how communities and the landscape recover after a fire. The series aims to provide established and emerging communication professionals and the public with a more nuanced understanding of wildfire’s multiple dimensions through the lens of recent wildland fires in Oregon.
The Museum of Natural and Cultural History, adapting to the uncertainties brought about by COVID-19, will offer a robust and varied array of virtual, in-person, and “take out” programming related to genetic diversity and genetic engineering that is designed to engage UO faculty and students, community members, youth and families. The effort includes creating an online version of its anchor exhibit, Explore Oregon, hosting a lecture series examining de-extinction and the ethics of genetic modification, and providing science craft kits to UO students and children. Visit the museum’s website for programming news.
Science Policy Education and Dialogue, a group launched by undergraduate students Rose Kordahl (Chemistry, Political Science) and Maya Pande (Biochemistry, Political Science), will bridge the gap between the disciplines of science, social studies, and the humanities by fostering open and tolerant discussions on complex policy issues and exploring the role of scientists in public policy.
Adam Spencer, MS (UO School of Journalism and Communication), working with the Clackamas River Basin Council, has created Clackamas360, a virtual field trip of the Clackamas River Basin that harnesses drone photography and video to teach geography, wildlife biology and watershed conservation to high school students in the Clackamas area. The project will be hosted on a 360-degree website, with informational text and photography to correspond with workbook assignments. CRBC staff members will join high school classes via teleconferencing to introduce each lesson and show students how to navigate the website, with follow-up visits to discuss the lessons and assignments and consider how the students can actively participate in watershed stewardship.
2019-20 Project Grants
The Wayne Morse Center is supporting in part or in full the following efforts:
350 Eugene will organize a Climate Town Hall in West Eugene with a focus on outreach to and gaining perspectives from historically marginalized groups who are often disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate disruption. The goal is to elicit input in setting community and government priorities for addressing climate breakdown and for implementing the City of Eugene’s Climate and Energy Action Plan.
Beyond Toxics will hold the Environmental Justice Pathways Summit at UO in April 2020. The summit will bring together frontline communities, government officials, students, and scholars to develop a framework of environmental justice principles that will be turned into a resource guide for advocates and policymakers to embed an environmental justice framework in policy and practice.
Cascadia Prepared is developing a Cascadia Resilience Scorecard in anticipation of the impending Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake/tsunami. The scorecard will inform policymakers and the public about the earthquake resilience status of numerous lifeline infrastructure areas, such as emergency services, transportation, communications, utilities, healthcare, etc. It will also offer recommendations on what must be done to achieve maximum survival rates and recovery.
Eugene Science Center acquired a new immersive, full-dome planetarium show entitled Our Violent Planet, focused on three of Oregon’s natural threats -- earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes -- as well as other earth science topics such as plate tectonics. Science Center educators will work with UO scientists to develop educational programs aimed at informing our community about the hazardous environments in which we live and how we can prepare to face those hazards when they occur.
KLCC Public Radio Foundation will host a series of twelve in-depth audio reports titled Resilience and Natural Resources in Oregon. The radio features will allow Oregonians to learn about efforts around the region to address the threats presented by current and future environmental disasters. The series will culminate with a public gathering and discussion.
Oregon Environmental Council will partner with facilitator and UO associate professor Alaí Reyes Santos to organize a series of community conversations across the state gleaning priorities, desired outcomes and stories of creative solutions from rural minority and low-income households to shape the State of Oregon’s future investments in Oregon’s natural and built water infrastructure. These perspectives will be incorporated into a report that will be publicly disseminated through OEC communications and advocacy channels and made available to the state legislature as a 100-year water vision is developed to meet the diverse water quality and quantity needs of communities across Oregon.