Last week, PeaceHealth and Eugene Marathon launched a new mobile app called Strides for Social Justice for Apple and Android devices. The app was a collaborative effort developed to showcase Eugene’s most significant African American places, as a way of providing runners, walkers, and community members an educational outing in place of the cancelled 2021 Eugene Marathon.
The app features dozens of locations across multiple routes, so that users have multiple opportunities for recreation and education. The sites, photos, and stories were compiled by a team of Black Eugene advisors and contributors. Groups represented on the team included I, Too, Am Eugene, Eugene NAACP, the University of Oregon, and Oregon Black Pioneers.
According to the press release by PeaceHealth, the app “is designed to be a free, inclusive, family-friendly program that will engage and educate participants on the contributions, achievements and milestones of Black residents of Lane County, and also highlight the injustices many have faced. Together we can stop the cycle of racism, building a more inclusive culture in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. It is only through awareness, understanding and action that we can truly be part of the solution. And, only by looking back can we move forward.”
Among the stories contributed by Oregon Black Pioneers is that of Eugene’s first Black community, which was built by its residents along Ferry Street in the 1940s. As the city grew, Lane County saw the site as a potential place for housing expansion. In 1949 they forced residents to vacate the area and bulldozed the site. Today Alton Baker Park stands atop what was once known as the “Ferry Street Community” or “Across the Bridge Community”.
This story and others can be found in OBP’s exhibit Racing to Change: The Eugene Story, which illuminates a century of Civil Rights struggles in Eugene. That exhibit is on display now at the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History, and is also available to see in its entirety online.
Strides for Social Justice is available on iOS and Android wherever you get your apps. For more information, please visit the PeaceHealth website.
Oregon Black Pioneers was founded in 1993. Its mission is to research, recognize, and commemorate the culture and heritage of African Americans in the State of Oregon. Its vision is to be the premier resource for information about Oregon’s African American culture and heritage. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.