Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years — The Eugene Story

Like most states, Oregon’s history with race is complicated and sobering, but it is a history worth understanding. Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years — The Eugene Story is opening at the Museum of Cultural and Natural History this weekend, corresponding with the opening of UO’s new Black Cultural Center. Many are familiar with the Civil Rights movement that took place in the 1960s and 1970s, but this exhibit offers an in-depth look at events that transpired close to home, showcasing racism and inequality for African Americans who were a part of Oregon history. Racing to Change will feature various mediums, from recorded interviews, photos and historical documents, to explore the history of racism and the need for a civil rights movement. Documents show first-hand accounts from those who organized movements, UO students, officials and members of Oregon’s African American communities. Although the display highlights the 20th century, it will also look at Oregon’s exclusion of people of color dating back to the statehood in 1859. This exhibit was developed by the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Oregon Black Pioneers — a volunteer nonprofit based in Salem. 

Racing to Change will host a grand opening 11 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12 and 13. Admission is FREE. For more information visit

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