Social Justice

Climate of Change

In the ninth year of the Eastern Oregon Film Festival, ORA once again had an opportunity to sponsor a film at this outstanding event. We chose to host Anote’s Ark, a serious look at the global implications of rising sea levels, with the lens focused on Pacific Islanders.

It's clear that the potential for climate change is fast becoming reality. For the communities on the tropical island paradise of Kiribati it's already too real. Villages are being abandoned, and inhabitants sent away never to return, a fate they didn’t imagine. It's a message all of us must take to heart.

Afterwards there was a half hour session with members from the community of Pacific Islanders here in Union County, Oregon. It’s difficult to overstate the impact our micronesian neighbors had on the attendees. Gracious, forthright and sincere, the songs, poems and words of they and the climate activists they highlighted really hit home.

Jeff Blackwood of the Eastern Oregon Climate Change Coalition, and Randy Joseph from Oregon Rural Action, followed on stage, They spoke of their concerns and of the efforts which they are port of here in NE Oregon. These voices are rising to answer the call for action. Yours may be the next one to be heard.

…and Winds of Change

Just a week or so after the film and the discussions, we received the email below from the University advisor to the Navigators Club, forwarded from the director of the multicultural center at Eastern Oregon University. Please consider helping anyway you can.

Dear Friends--

At EOU we have a large group (80) of students from geographical Micronesia.  I am their club advisor (Navigators' Club). We have 15 current EOU students from these particular islands--Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands--which includes Saipan and Tinian.  These Pacific Islanders are also US citizens, but this disaster is getting even less attention than Puerto Rico. We also have many alumni in the community also from these islands,  

All of the students and alumni have families who have lost almost everything, if not everything.  
If you could spread the word among any friends and community connections, that would be great.  There is a gofundme link in the email.  


---------- Forwarded message ---------
Date: Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 1:58 PM
Subject: Support for Saipan Typhoon Yutu Relief - La Grande, OR

Hello EOU Community,

Super Typhoon Yutu hit the Northern Marianas Islands on October 24, 2018. It is said to be the worst storm to hit this region. It has left the island with extensive damage and many families displaced. Reports state that over 12,000 homes were destroyed and most of the infrastructures are down. We have students from the Northern Mariana Islands and a handful of families in La Grande, Oregon whose families experienced major damage, as well as some who had their homes completely wiped out. The impact left many families and people without power, water and other basic necessities.  

La Grande Relief efforts include helping with purchasing items to create care packages for people send to their  families. Packages will be sent in 48 quart chest cooler as it can get wet when transporting packages/cargo, and also with extensive infrastructure damages at the airports, they may be shipped on boats/ship once they get to Guam. The chest coolers can also be used by families to store food items. There is also a GoFundMe Campaign that has been established to help pay for shipping and additional supplies/goods that is needed.  Below is a list of items that are requested for the care packages if you are willing and able to help.

  1. 48 quart chest cooler

  2. Duracel or Energizer Batteries (all sizes to match units)

  3. Battery Operated fans (small size as it is still very hot and humid)

  4. Canned foods:  Vienna sausage, Corned beef hash, Chili, Spam, Beef stew, Campbell soups/meals, spaghetti or canned pasta, canned veggies (corn, green beans, stewed tomatoes)

  5. First aid kits

  6. Flashlights

  7. Heavy Duty Work GlovesLantern Lamps or Solar Powered Lamps

  8. Mosquito Coils/Citronella Candle  (not sprays or liquid as that is not allowed to be mailed)

  9. Mosquito Nets 

  10. Personal hygiene items (travel size as that is what can be shipped in USPS mailings) such as shampoo, body soap bars, toothpaste, tooth brush, deodorant, wet ones, razors, hand sanitizers, hand lotion, etc.

  11. Power inverters (minimum of 750 watt)

  12. 550 Paracord  50-100ft

  13. Towels (shower & kitchen)

Items can be brought to the Multicultural Center in Hoke 212. Funds to help students send a care package to their families will be collected by the following GoFundMe Campaign -

We want to send 21 care packages to families and will be doing weekly updates as we collect the items.

Thank you in advance for your support.