MLK Event to Honor Professors Girvan and McKinley and CRES student Gomalo

Jan 13, 2017

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, two members of the Oregon Law faculty, Erik Girvan and Michelle McKinley, will be recognized for their exemplary work to further civil rights, equity and inclusion in the model of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Kena Gomalo, a student enrolled concurrently in the Conflict and Dispute Resolution and International Studies Master’s degree programs will also be recognized. Each will be honored at the MLK Award Luncheon, hosted by the Office of Equity and Inclusion, taking place at the Ford Alumni Center, (RSVP).

“Michelle and Erik, and students like Kena are models of what we all strive to do at Oregon Law: improve our world, within these walls and out. They are each deserving of the honor of walking in the steps of Dr. King, and we proudly salute their ongoing work in civil rights, equity and inclusion,” said Dean Michael Moffitt.

Dr. Erik Girvan is faculty co-director of the Conflict and Dispute Resolution program and leads the University of Oregon’s Implicit Bias Workshop training program. His research, published in law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, investigates how stereotypes, attitudes, and other biases might impact decisions in the legal system and related contexts. Girvan earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Dr. Michelle McKinley is director of the Center for the Study of Women in Society and Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law. She is an expert in immigration law and public policy, international refugee law, and slavery, and has been the recipient of the Surrency Prize and research fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Newberry Library, in addition to a fellowship-in-residence at Princeton University’s Program in Law and Public Affairs. Her book, Fractional Freedoms: Slavery, Intimacy, and Legal Mobilization in Colonial Lima, 1600-1700, was published by Cambridge University Press in fall of 2016.

Kena Gomalo is a first-generation college graduate who embraces his role as a mentor and role model for other members of his family and the black community in his hometown of Portland, Ore. Each winter and summer break, he holds a Boys Reflecting Brotherhood Mentorship Program in Portland, focusing on a session called “Know Your Rights” for young black men and women. Gomalo is a founding member and leader of the UO Black Student Task Force, and has worked as a liaison between black students, university administration, President Michael Schill and the Board of Trustees to make the university a thoroughly inclusive and welcoming campus for black students. Gomalo is currently working on his final project to complete a concurrent masters in Conflict and Dispute Resolution and International Relations.

The luncheon is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Ford Alumni Center Ballroom. It is open to all, and a plated lunch will be served. Please RSVP with meal preferences by the end of day on Friday, Jan. 13. For a full list of events celebrating the legacy of Dr. King, visit: