Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Oregon Multicultural Archives Oral History Collection, 2011-2014

Biographical Note:

Reverend Alcena Elaine Boozer (b.1938), born Alcena Elaine Caldwell on March 19, 1938 was the Rector of the St. Philip the Deacon Parish for 17 years. Alcena grew up in Northeast Portland and was the fifth of six children. She studied education at Portland State University and got married during her last year in 1960. Over the next 14 years she taught Social Studies, was a counselor and eventually appointed Vice Principal at Grant High School. In 1983 she decided to go to Seminary at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. She was one of the first women ordained in the Diocese of Oregon and one of only 3 African American women ordained in the Episcopal Church nationally. In 1993 Alcena Boozer became Rector of St. Philip in Portland, Oregon, the church she grew up in, and retired in 2012.

Carl Deiz (b.1920) born November, 16 1920, has been a prominent member of St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church since 1921. Raised in Northeast Portland, Carl graduated from Franklin High School and soon after worked on the railroad as a waiter. In 1942 he was drafted and sent to Montgomery, Alabama. His older brother, who had been drafted two years prior, had already been trained as a Tuskegee Airman. After finishing officer’s school in Miami, Carl arrived in Tuskegee and trained as a pilot. Upon not passing his last eye exam he became a supply officer at Tuskegee. He was discharge in 1945 and returned to Portland where he studied Business Administration at the University of Portland on the G.I. Bill. He eventually worked for the Forest Service and Bonneville Power Administration. In 1949 he married Mercedes Deiz, who became the first African American female judge in Oregon. Deiz continues to volunteer his time and effort at St. Philip the Deacon.

Earnel Durden (b. circa 1937) attended OSU from 1955-1959 as a football player and a student studying physical education and science for a teaching degree. He played on the 1957 Rose Bowl team under Coach Tommy Prothro, and in his sophomore year, Durden was selected as "Joe College." He was one of the few, first African American students to attend OSU—prior to OSU having their first African American female student. Due to this, Durden had many experiences dealing with cultural differences in Corvallis regarding a lack of knowledge and interaction with African American people.

Norm Monroe (b. 1939) is OSU’s first African-American basketball player for the Men’s Team. He played during 1960-1961, but left the team half-way through the season. In a brief Barometer article in January of 1961 it states that Monroe left the basketball team in order to focus on Track. That year and the next, he was one of OSU’s star Track and Field Athletes.

Jean Moule (b. 1945) received her doctorate in education from OSU in 1998 and began teaching in the College of Education that same year. Specializing in the topic of multicultural issues in education, Moule authored the book Cultural Competence: a Primer for Educators. Prior to her position at OSU, Moule worked for nearly two decades as a teacher and TAG (Talented and Gifted Program) coordinator for several Oregon (K-12) public schools. From 2003 to 2009, Moule served as director of OSU’s Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education Immersion Program (a program which she initiated). Moule’s career as an instructor at OSU has included the teaching of online coursework, primarily the class: "Racial and Cultural Harmony in the K-12 Classroom" since 2002.

Karen Olivo (b. 1939) is the widow of Colegio César Chávez student and groundskeeper, Arthur Olivo. Born in Chicago, at age 6 her family moved to Anchorage, Alaska and then to Yakutat, where she lived with the Tlinget indigenous people. In 1977, while living in Sunnyvale, California and attending De Anza Community College, she met Arthur Olivo. Arthur was a teacher for the Center for Employment Training. When he was offered a job in Tigard, Oregon in 1979, Karen and her youngest son Andrew moved from Sunnyvale to Oregon with Arthur. In the Fall of 1980 Arthur enrolled at Colegio César Chávez and was also the college’s groundskeeper. Karen, Arthur and Andrew lived on the property of Colegio César Chávez until they were asked to vacate in 1982. Karen has lived in Gervais, Oregon, since 1983. She has volunteered for nearly a decade with the Foster Grandparents organization as a "Grandparent" at the Western Oregon University Day Care Center and the Jensen Arctic Museum.

Andrew Parodi (b.1975) was born in Mountain View, California. He is the son of Karen Olivo and the stepson of Arthur Olivo. He lived at Colegio César Chávez with Karen and Arthur from 1980-1982. He attended Western Oregon University.

Participants in the St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church and Urban League of Portland group interview:

  • Herbert Amerson was president of the Board of Directors of the Urban League.
  • Allison Logan Belcher and her family have been members of the church since 1967.
  • Geoffrey Brooks was baptized and raised in the church. He became a public school teacher. His father was the director of the Urban League and his mentors were Joe Nunn's mother and father.
  • Gerry Caldwell (b. 1940) was baptized in St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church and was a lifelong member and supporter of the Urban League of Portland. He served for twenty-eight years in the U.S. Army.
  • Myrtle Carr became a member of St. Philips in 1949 and worked with the Urban League for thirty-six years. She served on the Oregon Episcopal Council and on the Vestry.
  • Joe Nunn grew up in the church and served as an altar boy. As an adult he became a public school teacher as his mother, father, and grandfather were before him.

Charlie White (b. 1938) transferred to OSU as a junior in 1964 to join the Men’s Basketball Team as the first African-American player recruited on scholarship and only the second ever on the team. In his first year he earned the Attitude and Leadership Trophy and was the second highest scoring player for the season. The next season, as team captain, he led the Beavers to the Pacific 8 Conference Championship. In 1967 he became OSU's Assistant to the Freshman Coach.


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