Black Bag Speaker Series

Woman speaking at MLK event

Critical, Insightful Discussions

The mission of the Black Bag Speaker Series is to create a place where scholars, artists, community organizations and activists whose work focuses on issues related to the communities of Black and African people in Portland, Oregon, and the nation can engage in critical, insightful discussions with the Portland State University community. Since 2006 the Black Studies Department, through various collaborations with the Multicultural Center, Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Academic Affairs, has conducted more than 30 Black Bag Speaker Series events. The series has addressed such areas as sexuality, health, education, poetry and art, criminal justice, community organizing, history, labor, politics, slavery and many other areas. The Black Bag Speaker Series holds three to four events each year, and food is provided. 

The series:

  • Creates opportunities for students and faculty to learn about and broaden their understandings of the experiences of people of African descent locally and nationally
  • Provides opportunities for students to develop relationships with the various organizations and individuals we bring in, which sometimes turn into internships and jobs
  • Enhances awareness of the Black Studies Department's faculty, classes and degree programs
  • Supports the courses and learning on issues of racial and cultural diversity across the university
  • Provides a much-needed space on campus for students of African descent who often do not feel there is a substantive investment in their education at PSU
Student sitting on bench outside library with backpack

Digital Archive

This archive serves student research and education regarding issues of racial and cultural diversity in the Portland metro area.