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The Mosaic: Black Activism in Eugene
Coordinator: Mary Leighton
The mosaic will paint a picture of the African-American experience in Eugene and Lane County. Representatives of three generations of activists will discuss the role of the black community in the history of the city and explain how the culture of the city continues to shape the black community. The elders will offer insights from experience and engage their younger counterparts in conversation about how this history might inform current and future work.
Willie Mims is an octogenarian born in Eugene. He is trustee of the Mims Houses, the first black owned property within the city of Eugene. The Mims’ family hospitality was legendary among black visitors to the city during times when they could not stay in public accommodations. He will describe some of the historical events he experienced as an elder in the black community. Eric Richardson, a native of Eugene, historian, and jazz musician, has been the president of the local branch of the NAACP since 2013. He grew up in a family deeply engaged in social activism, promoting the development of culturally inclusive curriculum in Oregon public schools. Shaniece Curry is the External Director of Black Women of Achievement. She will be the first to graduate in her family of 8, having earned a BS in Ethnic Studies and Planning, Public Policy, and Management. Her most recent achievements include joining Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Tarik Richardson is a Gilman Scholar and a former Director of the UO Black Student Union. He will graduate this month with a major in History, with a double minor in African Studies and Religious Studies. Tarik has served this term as a City Club Civic Associate.
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