Avel Gordly
Tuesday, May 17 - 7:30 pm
Oregon State University
LaSells Stewart Center
Avel Louise Gordly was the first African American woman elected to the Oregon Senate, a distinction she earned through years of struggle. Her experience documents an important piece of state history and sheds light on the politics of being an African American woman. She will speak and sign copies of her new book at the LaSells Stewart Center Austin Auditorium on Tuesday, May 17 at 7:30 pm.
 
Former State Senator Cliff Trow will introduce Gordly.
Remembering the Power of Words
Gordly's memoir, Remembering the Power of Words: The Life of an Oregon Activist, Legislator, and Community Leader was published in March 2011 by Oregon State University Press.
 
Recognizing that words are both powerful and empowering, Gordly continues to use her voice to educate and inspire others.
 
She speaks frankly about the personal and professional challenges she has faced and overcome: dealing with racial and gender oppression, calling out the political status quo in state legislature, battling depression, and finding authority in her own voice.
 
Gordly is an Associate Professor of Black Studies at Portland State University and alumna of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her work as a legislator and community organizer on behalf of many organizations, including the Black United Front, the American Friends Service Committee, the Urban League of Portland, and the House of Umoja. Her longtime advocacy on behalf of public services for mental health led to the 2008 opening of the Avel Gordly Center for Healing at OHSU in Portland. Read more about Avel Louise Gordly.
 
Senator Gordly's visit to OSU is sponsored by
Oregon State University Press; the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs; the Office of Community and Diversity; the School of Language, Culture, and Society; the School of Public Policy; the Valley Library; and the Women's Center.

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