Kristin Teigen: It’s important that we know our collective history

PUGS Instructor, Kristin Teigen, teaches some of our most beloved courses on history, justice, and activism. She shared some of her thoughts:

PUGS Course you’re teaching and why: I teach a course on the history of whiteness in Oregon. It shows the other side of Oregon and of Portland, the one with a reputation of being a forward-thinking city and state, a Portlandia welcoming of a vibrant culture. What’s this other side? Portland is the whitest city in the United States, with dramatic disparities between people of color and white people. How did we get here? Our history, one of displacement, exclusion and violence, has created our present, and yet, this history is rarely taught, in any school or college in our state.  

If we are to create a better future, I think it’s important that we know our collective history, to learn as a community with the intent of moving forward to create change.  I’m thrilled to be a part of that community.

Who's the target audience of this class? The class targets anyone who wants to learn more about Oregon's history of racism as a way of ensuring that they are more educated members of our community moving forward. That's what I hope students will get from it as well. It intentionally places responsibility for corrective action on white people in the hopes that they/we will take responsibility for creating a different future.

Best thing about PUGS: PUGS makes so much accessible for teachers and students, taking learning beyond a specific period of one’s life – in college – to every stage of life.  People can connect at PUGS around their passions, delve deeper into their interests, and strengthen their commitment to creating educated change. 

I think PUGS has made me see opportunities for education beyond the traditional college classroom, and also encourage learning that doesn't have to be measured by a paper or test.

I care about lifelong learning because: I love to keep learning because the world keeps changing, our community metamorphizes into a new way of being, and perspectives always evolve. Walking through life with new knowledge keeps all of that relevant, interesting and engaging.

Dream course you want PUGS to offer: I do love what I teach, but personally, I’d also love to take a class on winter gardening! [We reminded her to check out our October 14 and 15 course, Decoding Plants, facilitated by Mulysa Melco!]

To learn more about Kristin's course, the People's History of Oregon, and to sign up, go here.