Racing to Change chronicles the civil rights movement in Eugene, Oregon, during the 1960s and 1970s—a time of great upheaval, conflict, and celebration as new voices clashed with traditional organizations of power. Codeveloped by the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and Oregon Black Pioneers, the exhibit illuminates legacies of racism and the unceasing efforts of Oregon's Black communities to bring about change.
Through photographs, recorded interviews, and historical archives, Racing to Change explores how racist policies and attitudes created a pressing need for bold civil rights activism in Eugene. Firsthand accounts from movement organizers, former UO students, elected officials, and other members of Oregon's Black communities paint a vivid picture of the area's past, and urge us to take part in building a more just future. While focused on the 20th century, the exhibit also illuminates a longer history of exclusion and resistance through historical documents—including the original Oregon Constitution, which will be at the museum through November 14, displaying the state’s notorious 1857 black exclusion clause.
On view through September 13, 2020