New K-12 Educational Offerings from OBP

Educational offerings for K-12 classrooms are now offered through Oregon Black Pioneers’ website. Thanks to great partnerships with educators around the state, OBP has four week-long lesson plans available for teachers to download. And the best part– they’re all free!

One of the most common questions we are asked is “how can we ensure this history is being taught in schools?” Up until now, there’s been little our non profit can offer to teachers to ensure the important stories of Black Oregonians are reaching students. However, OBP does have a robust record of stories, primary and secondary sources, and scholarly works about our community. We recognized that using sources as inquiry-based explorations in a topic is a powerful way to learn and critically examine information.

Inspired by this methodology, we connected with teachers who are committed to sharing Oregon’s Black history with their classes. Three teachers were consulted to create new lesson plans for their respective grade levels. Lauren Kristensen of Arbor School in Tualatin created Elementary age lessons on Black Pioneers of the Oregon Trail. Dean Wright of Judson Middle School in Salem developed two lesson sets on Black Explorers and Black Exclusion Laws. And Lynsey Turner of North Salem High School created lesson plans which cover Oregon’s Black history from 1788-present day.

In all, these three educators created 19 individual lessons –all of which are available for teachers anywhere to use in their classrooms. The lessons each utilize resources from OBP’s research archive.

Want to receive some or all of these lessons? Please use the Lesson Plan Request Form to have the lessons of your choosing emailed to you!

Oregon Black Pioneers is an educational non-profit based in Salem. Since 1993, OBP has used research, exhibitions, and public programs to tell the seldom-told stories of people of African descent in Oregon. OBP’s vision is to be the premier source for information about Oregon’s African American heritage. For more information please visit