Summer 2012 : Fight
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Summer 2012 : Fight
Oregon Humanities: Summer 2012
My grandmother taught us not to be afraid to go after knowledge,” says twenty-two-year-old Daniel Smith. This spring, Smith’s family—including his grandmother, McCleda Dixon—watched him graduate from Oregon Humanities’ Humanity in Perspective (HIP) program, a free college course for low-income adults offered in partnership with Reed College and Willamette University.
The moment was a long time coming. When Smith was a boy, he would sometimes tag along with his mother, Sandra Dixon, to a church in North Portland where she was a student in one of the first HIP courses. While he was in child care, Dixon was taking her first steps toward a college education; she later went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University.
“It was part of the reason I decided to participate in HIP,” Smith says. “I was watching my mother use her free time to pursue education. She always made an effort to learn.”
Smith is the youngest of five children and the first to follow in his mother’s footsteps. This, he says, makes his grandmother very proud. “Her father taught her to read out of a Farmer’s Almanac,” he says. “That’s one of the stories she always tells. She never had the opportunity to pursue higher education, but she wished she could have.”
Next up for Smith is finishing a degree at Portland Community College and then pursuing his goal of becoming a librarian. Although he faces many challenges, Smith says he feels honored to be attending college, noting that many adults never have the opportunity for education beyond high school.
The prospect of creating such opportunities compels long-time Oregon Humanities donors Marlene and Lloyd Ankeny to give in support of the program. “It is a gift of new perspective,” says Marlene Ankeny, who served on the OH board of directors from 2001 to 2008. “A gift that keeps on giving to their family or friends as they share their experience. The opportunity to pass on knowledge, not just dollars, is extremely satisfying.”
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Oregon Humanities magazine examines topics of broad public interest from a variety of perspectives and approaches. Recent issues of this publication have focused on stuff, nostalgia, and civility. Through good and thoughtful writing, Oregon Humanities magazine enriches our understanding of important subjects and stimulates conversation and reflection among readers, their friends, families, colleagues, and neighbors.
For more than a decade Camas Davis has been a magazine editor and writer for national magazines such as National Geographic Adventure and Saveur, and local publications such as Portland Monthly, Edible Portland, and Mix. In 2009, she traveled to France to study butchery. Upon her return, she founded the Portland Meat Collective, a traveling butchery school.
Eric Gold is a freelance writer in Portland.
J. David Santen Jr. has written about books, business, the environment, and communities for the Oregonian, the Portland Business Journal, and other publications. He lives in Portland.
Jill Owens works in marketing for Powell’s Books, where interviewing authors is the most interesting part of her job. She’s originally from the South but has lived in Oregon for eleven years and is here to stay.
Photographer Jim Lommasson received the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for Shadow Boxers: Sweat, Sacrifice & the Will to Survive in American Boxing Gyms. Previous publications include Oaks Park Pentimento. His photographs have been widely exhibited in museums and galleries.
John Frohnmayer is chair of the Oregon Humanities board of directors.
Margot Minardi is an assistant professor of history and humanities at Reed College, and the author of Making Slavery History: Abolitionism and the Politics of Memory in Massachusetts (2010). She is currently working on a history of the nineteenth-century American peace movement.