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article imageWall of heroes speaks of Portland leadership in women’s rights Special

By Carol Forsloff     Jun 21, 2011 in Lifestyle
Portland’s progressive experience has been highlighted nationally; but its reputation came with struggles of its own, many of them inspired by newcomers and youth and no better outlined than at Portland State University and its wall of women heroes.
In the 1960’s while the country was torn by civil rights struggles, Portland State University began its climb toward social change in a dramatic way with its integration of sororities and fraternities. At the same time students protested the proposed tearing down of the trees in the park blocks facing the campus, as going green began to be the watchword of the youth. Both of these events were precursors to the Oregon green reputation and are reflected in positive ways by the interracial couples and mixes of children that walk the Portland boulevards and the green and beauty on those park blocks today.
Women’s rights are part of Portland history too, as underlined at Portland State University by its Wall of Heroes. These heroes memorialized on a walkway, fountain, monument trio are the women that across the many decades of America, and the history of Portland, have helped to bring about women’s rights in the United States.
Trees on park blocks represent the Oregon ideas of going green.
Trees on park blocks represent the Oregon ideas of going green.
Oregon was one of the first states that gave women the right to vote in 1912. It wasn’t an easy victory, as five states had already failed to pass measures allowing women suffrage. In 2012 Oregon will celebrate its 100th anniversary of that event. Plans are already taking place to make this a particularly important occasion, with festivals, forums and activities throughout the state.
The Wall of Fame on the campus of Portland State University is pointed to with pride by Oregonians who value progressive ideals, as a group of students explained during a recent walk through the campus. Following those directions led to the discovery of the sort of hallowed ground that students speak about.
The wall of women heroes is on the grounds of PSU  along with a beautiful fountain and building hold...
The wall of women heroes is on the grounds of PSU, along with a beautiful fountain and building holding ideas and artifacts.
50 years of change have come to Portland State University in the fact that sororities and fraternities no longer hold sway, as one recent magazine article explains. But the change that goes back 100 years is depicted strongly in the place that Portland students point as a special place, a place that like the other citadels of this great American city reminds us of how progressive politics has made a difference in the personality of a town and like the Wall of Women Heroes shows in Portland, the direction of the entire United States in the modern history of change in human rights.
More about Women's rights, women's suffrage, Progressive, Portland
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