fasten your seat belts

Historic Tours of Discrimination

it's been a bumpy ride

Historic Tours of Discrimination

FHCO Tours Make the News!

There was a time when Oregon was known as the most discriminatory state north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Until 1926, it was illegal for African Americans to live in Oregon, which was home to more than 70,000 Ku Klux Klan members. "Sundown laws" prevented Asians and African Americans from even staying overnight in many cities.

These cruel facts are now history, but a history that has been forgotten by many. To learn more about Oregon’s past discrimination and honor its victims, take part in one of the Fair Housing Council’s historic tours of housing discrimination: "Fasten Your Seatbelts - It’s Been A Bumpy Ride." The first tour took place in 2008--40 years after the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Since then, tours have been organized for property management firms, educators, attorneys, college students, corporate groups and congregations.

While not specific to civil rights or our local history, the Smithsonian's Within These Walls exhibit is a facinating story about 1 house over 200 years and the 5 families that called it home across different eras in American history.

Visit the exhibit's website by clicking on the image above or visiting http://americanhistory.si.edu/house.

While viewing the slideshow of past tours above, listen to the stories of two guest presenters. Mr. Ed Washington, former Metro Counselor, lived in Vanport as a child and witnessed the flood of 1948 that ravaged the state's second largest city at the time.

(link to MP3)

Ms. Valerie Otani is a local artist who has created traditional Japanese gates on permanent display at the Portland Expo Center to memorialize the 1942 Japanese internment camp that was located there.

(link to MP3)

By hearing from special guests like Mr. Washington and Ms. Otani, tour participants can experience discrimination from the victims' own perspective.

"If, as philosopher and poet George Santayana says, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," then "Fasten Your Seat Belts - It's Been a Bumpy Ride" is an excellent vehicle for achieving a brighter future for Portland."
- Julie Stegeman for The Asian Reporter (read more reviews below).

Following the tour, many groups elect to participate in a facilitated debriefing and discussion over lunch where many choose to share their reactions and their own stories. Most tour goers have commented that these discussions are among the most powerful moments of the day.

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Tour Specifications:

Type of Tour Length Average Cost*
Tour of Housing Discrimination 3 hours $1,500
Tour of Housing Discrimination with Facilitated Group Discussion and Presentation 5 hours $1,750

* At times there may be pre-existing funding sources available, allowing for reduced costs; please inquire.

Number of Participants

Typically one bus can accommodate 40-50 people. An ideal tour about 45.

Included in the Tour

FHCO provides tour guides and special guest presenters. Costs vary depending on the anticipated number of participants and, therefore, the number and size of the buses used; whether or not the tour is followed by a facilitated discussion or not, etc.


Hosting organizations agree to handle logistics for any post-tour discussion (venue, meals and/or refreshments) as well as attendee registration, and event promotion.

Schedule a Historic Tour of Housing Discrimination

We would be pleased to lead a tour of your own community with your group or organization. If you have questions, please contact our Education and Outreach staff to check availability and expense details:

Diane Hess
Education Director
dhess@FHCO.org or 800/424-3247 ext. 108

.. . .. .. ..... . . ... ...... ..flyer image
Tour Brochure ............................Tour Flyer with
....................................................Comments from Riders

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FHCO Tours Make the News!

Read tour reviews and informative articles about past bus tours.

Past Tours

To schedule a private tour for your company or organization, or to be notified of future open-regration tours, contact: Diane Hess, Education Director, dhess@FHCO.org or 503/223-8197 ext. 108.

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This page created by FHCO Volunteer, Maria Walters

"Thank You"

The FHCO would like to thank our partners and members for their support.
Their contributions and grants have helped to make the resources on this site possible.
Please join them in supporting our efforts!

If you have a fair housing question, or to report a fair housing complaint, please call 503/223-8197 Ext. 2 or 800/424-3247 Ext. 2 (TTY and translation available). Alternatively, you may call HUD at 800/877-0246.

Office Location:

1221 SW Yamhill Avenue #305, Portland, Oregon 97205
information@FHCO.org .| .503/223-8197 .| .Hotline 800/424-3247 Ext. 2

The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and the publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.

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