Think Out Loud

Portland State’s Black studies department seeks to help students struggling in the pandemic

By Julie Sabatier (OPB)
Oct. 28, 2020 6:40 p.m.

Broadcast: Thursday, Oct. 29

Architect William Dann says many of the concrete slabs that frame Neuberger Hall will be removed and replaced with large glass walls, to let-in the natural light.

The Portland State University campus in downtown Portland.

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB


Black Americans have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic across the country and that’s true in Oregon as well. Professors in the Black studies department at Portland State University have been offering direct aid to students through an Oregon Community Foundation Grant. Students are using one-time stipends of $500 or $1,000 to help with everything from medical bills to food and rent assistance and other expenses associated with both economic and health effects of the pandemic. But the demand for funds has already exceeded what is available. We hear from Ethan Johnson, chair of the Black studies department at PSU and Quinn Foster, a senior at PSU majoring in Black studies.

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