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Sylvania hosts ‘Who Are We?’ story sharing about race and diversity

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As part of the lead-up to author Heidi Durrow’s visit to Portland Community College in April for PCC Reads – an initiative to encourage all faculty, staff and students to read a book that addresses diversity – the Sylvania Campus is hosting a variety of events.

One of the completed 'Who Are We?' collage panels.

First up was “Who Are You?,” a story sharing, photo shoot and collage project that asked students, staff and faculty about their thoughts on race, racism, diversity and multicultural identity. The event took place Thursday, March 31, in the College Center Building Upper Mall at the Sylvania Campus. A second session is planned from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 6, also in the Upper Mall.

“The purpose of this project is to give members of PCC a venue to explore what race is and is not, and to deconstruct race as a completely biological construct,” said Jeannie LaFrance, coordinator of the Illumination Project and one of the organizers of the Sylvania Campus events that support PCC Reads.

Durrow is the author of “The Girl Who Fell from the Sky,” which centers on the daughter of a black G.I. and white Danish mother, who moves into her grandmother’s mostly black community in Portland in the 1980s. Durrow is a former PCC student and NAACP Image Award nominee. On April 13 and 14, she will visit each of the PCC comprehensive campuses.

Read about this special event and Durrow’s amazing story.

For more information about this year’s PCC Reads project, contact Dave Stout, division dean of English and Modern Languages, at (971) 722-4265, or at


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