The Eugene, Cascades, and Coast region of Oregon strives to be an inclusive and welcoming destination for all who live and visit here.
The City of Eugene and the University of Oregon have ample resources and services that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. The City of Eugene’s Office of Equity and Community Engagement (OECE) provides leadership, guidance and insight on equity and community engagement to make Eugene a safe and welcoming community for all residents, workers and visitors.
As a university town, it is important to provide a safe and respectful environment that meets the needs and standards of a diverse student body and faculty. At the University of Oregon, there are several different DEI units that serve the campus and provide support and resources for the entire University of Oregon community. These units range from the Center on Diversity and Community (CoDaC), the Multicultural Center (MCC), the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence (CMAE) and more. Visit the University of Oregon’s inclusion page for further information.
Here are some of the establishments and organizations in the Eugene area that call attention to the BIPOC community.
Kalapuya Talking Stones
The Kalapuya Talking Stones are a collection of 15 basalt boulders that were designed to honor the Kalapuya people and revive their language. The Kalapuya Tribe’s traditional homeland was located in the Willamette Valley in western Oregon, with artifacts of their culture dating back over 14,000 years ago. Located in Alton Baker Park in Eugene, these stones represent and keep the rich, indigenous culture of the Kalapuya people alive.
The Mims House located in Eugene, is a Gothic-style, single-family home considered to be one of the oldest homes in the area. It is known for being the home of the Mims family, who became one of the first African American homeowners in Eugene when they purchased it in 1948. This historic house is now preserved as a museum and is part of the Strides for Social Justice tour.
BIPOC Artist Collective
The BIPOC Artist Collective was created to elevate and support local BIPOC artists. Working as a collective group allows them to highlight the voices and visions of local Black, Indigenous and other artists of Color by connecting them to spaces, funds, and other resources in the Eugene area. Formed in 2020, the collective continues to be a strong voice in the community.
Strides for Social Justice
The Strides for Social Justice app is a unique program of local running, walking, cycling and wheelchair routes designed to explore local history, strengthen health, and open the heart. This is a great way to learn about the people, places and events that have shaped the experience of Black residents in Eugene. Downloading the app and taking the tour is a great experience to share with attendees before and after meetings.
We Rise Mural
This 12’x16’ vibrant mural was created by Rachel Wolfe Goldsmith in response to the We Rise Committee goals of inspiring beauty, hope, change, unity, and integrity. The We Rise Committee was formed to provide leadership opportunities for Black youth in Eugene to directly impact their city’s downtown cultural landscape and the current City narrative around Black youth culture. Watch the creation of this profound mural here.
Black-Owned Businesses in Lane County
Looking to support black-owned businesses in Lane County? Look no further! From automotive shops to clothing and restaurants, this list is a great resource.
The City of Eugene is committed to creating a city where everyone feels safe and welcome. The City Manager's Office of Equity and Community (OECE) is tasked with strengthening partnerships with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community members, tracking hate and bias activities against the LGBTQ+ community, providing support services and educating city staff and the local community on diversity and inclusion.
The University of Oregon is a campus for all and has many resources for the LGBTQ+ community. The LGBTQ Education and Support Services (LGBTESS) promotes a safe, equitable, accessible, and affirming campus for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, aromantic and agender (LGBTQIA3+) students at the University of Oregon through resource navigation, education, community building, and event (co-) coordination and implementation.
For more information about the University of Oregon’s LGBTQ resources such as sexual health resources, gender-affirming support, crisis and community support, and much more, visit here.
Here are some of the organizations that serve Eugene’s LGBTQ+ community.
Eugene Pride Festival
The mission of PRIDE is Promoting Respect in Diverse Expression (P.R.I.D.E) for arts and culture in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. Held annually in August at Alton Baker Park in Eugene, the Pride Festival is a fun-filled celebration with games, vendors, music and workshops.
Outliers and Outlaws
The Eugene Lesbian History Project is a community-based, digital humanities project that preserves and shares the unique history of the lesbian community in Eugene, Oregon. The project includes filmed oral histories with 83 narrators, a digital exhibit, and a documentary film. Their website tells a great story of these inspiring women who have made significant impacts with their stories and histories.
Spectrum is an LGBTQIA+ bar and venue for working, eating, entertainment, and special events. Located in downtown Eugene, Spectrum is a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community and for all who want to try tasty drinks, snacks, and an assortment of delicious sandwiches and burgers. Spectrum is a great spot for after-hours and post-meeting gatherings.
Eugene Gay Men's Chorus
The Eugene Gay Men’s Chorus is a group of gay men and their friends who enjoy singing in community. Through the musical arts, they seek to create and enhance the LGBTQ+ community and visibility. The chorus’ membership spans Eugene, Springfield, and many beautiful places in the surrounding areas of Lane County and the South Willamette Valley. Catch a performance before or after a meeting to support this wonderful group.
Soromundi is a lesbian chorus based in Eugene that embraces a broad definition for self-identified women, which includes lesbian, straight, bisexual, cisgender, transgender, and intersex women, individuals with non-binary gender expressions, and gender-expansive individuals who find a home within women’s spaces. With over 90 members and a 30-year history, Soromundi is an inspiring group that continues to make strides in the community.
TransPonder is a transgender-founded and led nonprofit based in Eugene providing support, resources and education for the transgender and gender-diverse community and their allies. TransPonder also hosts programs like the HIV Alliance Injection Supply Delivery, Food for Lane County food program, and more.
Not just Eugene!
Communities outside of the Eugene/Springfield metro area also have resources to support and serve our LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities.
Lane County’s Racial Equity Plan was adopted in January 2021 and prioritizes normalizing racial equity through training and communication, strengthening the equity plan, and operationalize racial equity through the establishment and implementation of an equity lens. For details and specifics about the plan, please visit Lane County’s website to learn more.
The Rural Organizing Project based out of Cottage Grove works to build, support and connect human dignity across rural communities in Oregon. This inspiring project promotes the fostering of strong and healthy groups to make impactful changes and to provide resources for all people to thrive.
Siuslaw Vision is a grassroots effort based in western Lane County that celebrates diversity and inclusion. With equity at the forefront of their many projects, Siuslaw Vision has many resources that support DEI work in the coastal community. Visit their equity page to learn more about their work and for a full list of resources.
All Are Welcome Here
The Eugene, Cascades, and Coast region of Oregon is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming experience for all who come to meet and explore!