Historical Intersections of Race, Economy, and Environment in Oregon

Experts in Oregon’s social and racial history, discuss historical intersections of race, economy, and environment in Oregon. The panelists framed how past injustices impact Oregon’s current environmental policy and what we must do to confront a pattern of injustice in our state.




David Harrelson: David is the Cultural Resources Department Manager and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer – Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde


Gwendolyn Trice: Gwendolyn is the Founder and Executive Director of the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center. Gwen is a descendant of black families who moved to Eastern Oregon to join logging crews and contribute to Oregon’s timber economy. Gwen served on the Oregon State Advocacy Commission of Black Affairs for 5 years, and currently serves on the State Historic Preservation Committee.


Ramon Ramirez: Ramon is a Taconic Fellow of the Washington D.C based organization, Community Change; Founding member and former president of PCUN, Oregon Farmworkers Union. Ramon has provided strong leadership for Oregon’s Latinx community and has mentored new generations of young leaders for decades.


Linda Tamura: Linda is an author and Professor Emerita of Education at Willamette University and a co-editor-in-chief of The Oregon Encyclopedia. Linda is a descendant of Japanese families who moved to the Hood River Valley to farm and contribute to Oregon’s agricultural sector.


Moderated by Laura Pulido, Professor and Department Head, University of Oregon Department of Ethnic Studies

Additional Resources


Tamura, Linda. The Hood River Issei: An Oral History of Japanese Settlers in Oregon’s Hood River Valley. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1993.

Tamura, Linda. Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence: Coming Home to Hood River. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012.

On-Line Encyclopedias (oregonencyclopedia.org)

Japanese Americans in Oregon,” The Oregon Encyclopedia (on-line encyclopedia)

Nyssa, Oregon (detention facility),” Densho Enyclopedia

Oregon Plan,” The Oregon Encyclopedia


Development of Japanese Farming Communities,” Discover Nikkei

A History of Oregon’s Issei, 1880-1952,” Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 94, No. 4, The Japanese in Oregon (Winter 1993/1994), pp. 315-367.

Economic Loss,” Personal Justice Denied, Commission on Wartime Relocation and internment of Civilians, 1983, chapter 4, 117 – 133.

Into the Sugar Beet Fields: Japanese American Laborers, Life on the Home Front: Oregon Responds to WWII, Experience Oregon History, Oregon Secretary of State.

The History of Japanese American Farm Labor Camps,” Uprooted exhibit

How Ontario, Oregon Became a Haven for Immigrant Families,” Street Roots, Sept. 7, 2018


Nikkei Farmers of the Hood River Area photo exhibit, Japanese American Museum of Oregon

Selected Works of Peter J. Li, PhD: https://works.bepress.com/peter-li/

Oregon’s Japanese Americans, Oregon Public Broadcasting, April 23, 2019