Explore Identity

During the upcoming academic year, the University community will engage in a discussion, an exploration, a journey on the theme of race and identity.

We have begun with the Common Reading: The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris. All incoming students — and all faculty and staff — are being encouraged to read this “profoundly moving and deeply personal” memoir. Discussion sessions will be held across campus through fall term. (check the Events link for dates.)

In the fall, one piece of this exploration will be participation in NPR Special Correspondent Michele Norris’ The Race Card Project™. You will be invited to participate in a little exercise:  Think about the word RACE. What are you thoughts about RACE and ethnicity in just SIX WORDS. That’s right, your experience, your story, your theory expressed in just six words. You can submit your 6 word story to her website or write it on one of the cards that you’ll find around campus. You can participate anonymously, or with your identity. Ms. Norris is working to archive the 30,000+ stories she’s received.  Read more about it in this article for National Geographic blog PROOF!

And beyond The Race Card Project™ we will explore identity in the broadest sense of the word: what is race? how do we form our identity? what are the intersections of identity: race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity – and more?

During Winter term, we will be exploring race and identity in various contexts – the media, the criminal justice system, athletics – with the goal of better understanding how our identities shape and are shaped by various influences.

In Spring, we will host TEDxUOregon. In the spirit of TED Talks, we will invite speakers to present ‘ideas worth sharing’ with a focus on identity & creativity.

We hope that the seeds planted through the various Identity Project programs and events will bloom into a deep discussion of the impact of identity and race on our campus and in our lives.

This website will serve as the hub for the various events and activities engaged in ExploreIdentity@UOregon.  Use hashtag #ExploreIdentity on Twitter, Facebook, Instragram etc.  Join in!