Letter to the Editor: Some notes from Portland

Dr. Eddie Moore, who ran the White Privilege Conference hosted last summer at North Shore Community College, sits with Salem State University’s Tyrone Brown at last week’s National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education in Portland, Ore.

As I reflect on the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education that just concluded in Portland, Ore., a smile crosses my face.

I think about my fellow 5,000 participating students, deans, vice presidents, doctoral students and professors, just to list a few, who look and think like me. The conference ran from May 28 to June 1, and let me tell you, it was a serious discussion that did not end after the session’s 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule.

It continued to the dinner table and elevator, in the lobbies and the MAX transit system in downtown Portland, and spilled over to the hotels where participants were staying.

I remember missing my stop on the MAX transit line because of discussions around Black Identity Development at American Higher Intuitions: An Examination of Blackness Informing the Campus Climate Experience.

Taught by Nzingha Sonya Dugas (director of the superintendent’s office in the Oakland Unified School District), the session’s theme, at its core, was an emphasis on courage.

The session with Tim Wise was also powerful. He did a live podcast taping in Portland and if you don’t know him, you better put him on your shelf. Ensuring Racial Equity In A Post-Affirmative Action Country is Tim Wise showing his brilliance and articulate self: He can certainly expand your vocabulary.

A final note: When it comes to students achieving their goal while studying at a four-year institution, let’s not forget about community college students.  

Tyrone Brown handles ITS/Client Support Services for Salem State University as a customer support agent serving university faculty and administrators.

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