Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Human Rights Education (HRE)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Susan Katz


The murder of George Floyd sparked reinvigorated racial justice uprisings across the United States, coinciding with quarantine, pandemic, and mass unemployment, and in some places across the country, starting a fire of social unrest. Portland, Oregon received national attention for the protest efforts and mutual aid carried out by the community, while being met with brutality and violence at the hands of police. This thesis interviews five self-identified protesters from Portland, seeking answers to three central research questions: (1) What are the experiences of protesters who have been demanding racial justice on the streets in Portland since May of 2020? (2) What motivates these protesters? (3) What have protesters learned from their experiences that shape their ideas, worldviews, and future intentions for action? The resulting analysis centers the voices, language, and experiences of protesters themselves, through the context of Collective Behavior Theory and Henry Lefebvre’s Right to the City.