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Oregon Remembrance Project zeroes in on the racist past of Grants Pass

oregon remembrance project

It was about 100 years ago that the Ku Klux Klan reached the zenith of its power in Oregon. Key figures in society and government either openly embraced the Klan or were members of it.

We'd like to tell you that racism in Oregon ended shortly after that, but you know that is not the truth. The Oregon Remembrance Project works to remind the state of its racist past, with an eye toward improvement and reconciliation. And there's a particular focus on telling the story of Grants Pass, known for decades as a "sundown town," where Black people were advised to be out of town by sundown.

Gabi Johnsen and Taylor Stewart are key players in the effort, and in observing the coming birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Grants Pass. They visit the JX to talk about the work.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.