SEE Portland in a whole new light

Registration closes Feb. 14

By Brie Haro | February 13, 2021 5:37pm

Students are invited to learn and listen to stories of Black, Indigenous, and other communities in North Portland through the Spring Engagement Experience. Registration ends on February 14.

Photo illustration by Marek Corsello

Registration for the Spring Engagement Experience (SEE) Portland immersion closes on February 14. This immersion program is open to all students and faculty and will explore the history of racial injustice in the North Portland area.   

Events in the immersion will include stories of perseverance and strength of Black, indigenous and other communities around Portland through presentations within the program including bike/walking tours, Zoom meetings, and screenings of documentaries. In a video previewing this immersion, Program Manager Tyler Wagner asks participants to dig deeper into the story of Portland.

“What are we missing when we don't go below the surface?” Wagner said in the video. “What are the silent stories and histories of the Black, Indigenous, and other silenced communities here in Portland? What can we learn from those communities’ strength and resistance to help us work together to dismantle the systems of oppression?” 

There will be three parts within SEE Portland’s program.  There will be a kickoff event from 4-6 p.m. on Feb. 19, the Enrichment Activities from Feb. 20 to March 12, and the main event from 1-4:30 p.m. on March 13.  

The kickoff event is an introduction to the program, and helps participants build their frameworks for how the experience will play out and get to know their cohorts. The students and faculty will then break off into their own groups for the Enrichment Activities. 

Even though COVID-19 has changed how UP has come together as a community, these Enrichment Activities offer a safe alternative.  They will provide a calendar and map with suggested events and tours. You can do these activities in a smaller group or even by yourself. 

The Spring Engagement Experience includes a guided history bike tour of Vanport.

Photo courtesy of Tyler Wagner

The main event will tie the program together and is led by a local nonprofit, Vanport Mosaic. In their mission statement, they say they are a “Memory” platform of activism, which means they utilize history in order to eventually create a better future. 

Throughout the afternoon, Black Portlanders will share their stories in hopes that participants will utilize what they have learned throughout this program to gain a different perspective on the city the Portland Pilots call home. 

SEE Portland is free for all students, staff, and faculty and registration is through the UP website. The immersion program is approaching their maximum for participants but there is a running waitlist.

Brienna Haro is a Reporter for the Beacon and can be reached at