The Portland Ungendering Research Initiative
Founded in October 2016 and based in Portland, Oregon, the PUR Initiative offers systemic analysis and innovative approaches to complex social justice and gender-based issues. We’re an egalitarian organization designed to help individuals and communities take effective action toward ungendering society and disrupting colonization in all of its forms. We catalyze government, community, and institutions to dismantle colonialist inequities and create equitable outcomes for all.
At the PUR Initiative, we work to achieve a hate-free world where binaries and categories have been transcended. Our goal is to help enact dynamic solutions that transform spaces in which people of all genders create and enjoy relationships and resources equitably, embrace their individual potential, unleash collective responsibility, and generate justice. We are a values-driven social justice-based organization where the commitment and culture maintained by our staff supports organizational and individual sustainability and excellence.
Helen Wilson, Ph.D.Pronouns: She, her, hers
I am a scholar of gender and culture focused primarily upon feminism, masculinity studies, and animal welfare. For the past 8 years I’ve been deeply committed to, and involved in, researching the intersection of gender, animal, space, and culture in order to foster a better society. I prefer to work observationally whenever possible, as that’s where I find the most meaning and feel I can make the greatest contribution. Consequently, my intellectual home rests in action research. I moved to Portland from my home in Iowa due to its social justice climate, gentle weather, and environmentally progressive values. In my free time I volunteer with animals and read historical fiction with a feminist bent.
Carol Miller, PhDPronouns: She, her, hers
The focus of my PhD in Gender Studies was on giving voices to the voiceless. After graduate school I spent the first few years of my career working as a political activist to empower people with physical disabilities. Now my focus is on helping marginalized gender groups, overcoming fat stigmas, and combating white supremacy. I’ve written several autoethnographies where I’ve wedded larger themes to my lived experiences. I moved to Portland, Oregon, for outdoor activities and because it’s a safer gender-inclusive space for my trans partner. In my spare time lately, I work to delegitimize this President and his administration.
M. Smith, MAPronouns: they, them
I am a gender activist with 10 years of experience as an event organizer (especially socialist rallies, anti-GMO protests, Bernie Sanders events, university activism, and farming collectives). My life’s work is to help people organize around creating more diverse, accepting, and inclusive communities. I’m currently writing a book on ungendering and political activism which I hope to finish by January of 2018. I came to Portland for the lifestyle, micro-brewed beer, and roller derby. Go Rose City Rollers!
Susan Johnson, MAPronouns: gender fluid
I have a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from Smith College. My goal is to help people overcome their gender and racial prejudices by example and service. My current work focuses on deconstructing white privilege by helping other white people realize the opportunities and advantages they’ve received because of an arbitrary quality. The more allies we create the better and stronger we become. I moved to Portland in 2017 to explore options at Portland State and because I have family here.
Patricia Lopez, PhDPronouns: She, her, hers
I am deeply committed to ungendering social norms, expectations, and disrupting colonialism in all of its manifestations. My focus in on reading, writing, and researching more effective ways to create and spread social activism and invert patriarchal norms. I am a lesbian, atheist, intersectional feminist, and committed vegan. My partners and I came to Portland to help start this organization because we feel Portland has ideal conditions for recruiting and creating activists. I have no free time because silence is complicity.
Administrative SupportPronouns: he, him, his
I am thrilled to be a part of this organization because I love to make a difference! I was born and raised in Portland.