FYLC: UrbanRez

Voices of Oppression & Strength in Portland

HUM 163 - Learning CommunityFaculty Members: Dr. Bill Dobrenen & Prof. Elisa Pool

Peer Mentors: Johanna Lambeth & Jonathan Moskowitz

Linked Courses:
Fall—EN 90-LC4, Integrated Reading and Writing Skills
Spring—EN 95-LC4, Writing and Grammar

When you played “cowboys and Indians,” which side were you on? Consider with us the voices of struggle, oppression, and strength in your story and in Portland’s story. Give voice to oppression and strength—your own and other voices—and serve our world.

In this First-Year Learning Community, students will…

  • Learn to value and navigate college life—academically, socially, and spiritually
  • Discover and give voice to your own stories of oppression and liberation
  • Spend time considering your personal genealogy and the voices of strength in your own history
  • Develop a new set of lenses through which to view American history as well as understand their personal histories
  • Recognize and spend time walking through the Portland urban reservation
  • Discover the many Native voices resident in Portland and explore the services that help people navigate the challenges of life on the UrbanRez
  • Learn about issues related to privilege and power in relationship to various populations and think about how to address them
  • Ask questions about the justice or injustice of structures, agreements, and systems like treaties, river rights, housing, reservations, and the distribution of resources
  • Learn to think critically about how you choose to live a world of increasing diversity in the future and why. What are the implications of that choice on the communities around you?
  • Realize the importance of the tradition of and value of listening to elders

Meet this FYLC’s leaders:


Dr. Dobrenen: I am excited to teach in FYLC again this year because I love to watch students, instructors, and Peer Mentors grow and change together.  I enjoy the process of community building and am excited to welcome new students into our community!  I know this will be a great year together!

Prof. Pool: I’m looking forward to teaching FYLC because I will get to know some amazing students new to the college experience, as well as collaborate with staff who care about them!

Jonathan: I am excited to be a Peer Mentor because I will be able to be a part of someone’s journey of growth.

Johanna: I’m excited to be a Peer Mentor because your freshman year of college is this crazy insane time where you begin to figure out who you are, as well as navigating a new place. I get the honor of helping introduce you to this amazing adventure.