Forum for Sustainability and Housing Justice

With the support of University of Oregon’s Philosophy department and a generous grant awarded by the UO Sustainability Center, the University of Oregon held its first Forum on Sustainability and Housing Justice. This event explored the intersections of housing justice and sustainability and was truly an interdisciplinary and community event. Planned by myself and two other PhD candidates – one in Philosophy and one in Theatre Arts – this forum consisted of a fair and a speaking panel. The fair portion hosted groups from the university, organizations from the local and state community and represented a variety of sustainability initiatives such as habitat restoration, transportation justice, and exciting projects like Opportunity Village. The panel brought together five speakers: Erin Moore, a professor in the school of Architecture and Allied Arts; Paul Catino, the Learnscape and Restoration Coordinator at Nearby Nature; Michael Withley from Portland-Based Micro Community Concepts; Andrew Heben of the tiny house building nonprofit organization SquareOne Villages; and Donita Sue Fry, the Youth and Elders Council Coordinator for the Native American Youth and Family Center in Portland. The entire event was aimed at bringing community organizations, activists, volunteers, and scholars together to talk about how to build a more just and sustainable home. The event featured a Conestoga Hut, built on-site and open for the public to learn more about the simple and transformative solutions for the unhoused.