In Gratitude

One of my greatest hopes is to help students understand the complexities of how oppression and privilege affect families in this country. I want students to embrace the goal of working toward equity. Working toward understanding and creating a more equitable world is a team project. Although I’ve spent a significant chunk of my career teaching these concepts, I am still learning.

The worldwide pandemic has dramatically changed the world of teaching. I am thankful to have the opportunity to write this book and to reach out and touch students in ways other than in the classroom. Writing this book is a step toward living under the roof of hope; during its creation, I have had many mentors, co-thinkers, collaborators and supporters. Thank you all for being a part of this creation.

Michaela Willi-Hooper fosters my creativity in a way that makes this text impactful and innovative. She has provided the students and me with unwavering support, enthusiasm, and resources. Her knowledge of systemic privilege and discrimination is invaluable and her administrative and research skills sustained us. She is central to the success of this project.

Steve Smith and Katie Winder have guided me in a way that allows me to see beyond what exists and into what I can do and be. I am forever grateful to have worked with both of them.

Angie Klampe, Rica Amity, and Jason Kovac interweave the roles of friend, mentor, and colleague in ways that keep me  joyful, challenged, inspired, and focused.

Karelia Stetz-Waters and Scott McAleer keep me sane. Our years of friendship on and off-campus have changed my life for the better.

Nana Osei-Kofi’s wisdom, scholarship, warmth, collegiality, and guidance influence my continued growth as a social justice educator and author. One memorable appetizer and laughter infused evening with Nana was enough to get me over my writer’s block.

Chessie Alberti’s enthusiasm, encouragement, knowledge and technical skill have made significant contributions in both the development and the finishing touches of this book.


Open Oregon Educational Resources and Linn-Benton Community College Library have provided structural support, funding, and leadership in the fields of Open Educational Resources and Open Pedagogy. Amy Hofer is leading us toward more equitable education where more students have the chance to flourish. Dionna Camp of The Center for Accessibility Resources was instrumental in this project. The Learning and Innovation Center, and especially the faculty who participated in the January 2020 open pedagogy crowdsourcing session, contributed to this project.

Three people who have served as Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities Division Dean: Katie Winder, Oriana Mulatero Ferraro, and Meg Roland helped to plan the project, balance my workload and provide support to carry out a vision of equitable open pedagogy that involved student authors.

My colleagues at Linn-Benton Community College have helped me grow and have influenced the project through our conversations during lunchtime, learning community gatherings, faculty meetings, and walks on the Wellness Trail.

Isabelle Havet, Deron Carter, and Jane Sandberg have inspired me to think more deeply, to question more thoroughly, and to be my best self in the classroom and as an author.

Terese Jones, Jeff Flesch, and Verna Ourada have provided HDFS discipline specific knowledge and valuable insights into the early drafts of the first chapters and  the foundation of this text.

My work during my sabbatical brought me in contact with faculty Alexis J. Walker, Richard Settersten, and Becky Warner at Oregon State University. Their scholarship and teaching has influenced my thinking, teaching, and writing.

Reviewers of individual chapters helped me to see other perspectives and include important sources. Their contributions provided immediate insight but also concepts that influenced other chapters and will be included in future editions.  Andrew Douglas Campbell, Shelly Dermody, Bobbi Hall, Isabelle Havet, Terese Jones, Nana Osei-Kofi, Jane Sandberg, Karelia Stetz-Waters, Lauren Visconti, Mark Weiss, and Michaela Willi-Hooper all reviewed chapters and contributed feedback.  Deron Carter and his Winter 2020 Geology 209 Environmental Justice students read chapters, provided resources, and met with the authors to discuss chapter drafts.


Oregon State University’s Difference, Power, and Discrimination (DPD) Academy, led by Nana Osei-Kofi and Bradley Boovy provide leadership to the DPD Faculty at LBCC.  This ongoing partnership feeds all of our LBCC DPD courses and contributes to the scholarship of this text. LBCC DPD Faculty Learning Community discussions are critical to my ongoing learning in this field and I appreciate my colleagues who continue to learn together.

Jane Waite, Bruce E. Thomson, Christopher Byers, Marcia Walsh, Zakir Khan, Amy Hofer, Margarita Casas, and Fay Stetz-Waters all provided stimulating conversation and resources that have impacted this project.

Lauren Antrosiglio, Michaela Willi-Hooper, and Liz Baker volunteered time and skills to make edits to the Pressbook that turned it into an eye-pleasing and accurate product both in digital and in downloadable formats.

Learning doesn’t just happen when you are at work. Rica Amity, Angie Klampe, Nadine Wood, Kellie Neet, Deb Savageau, and Sarah Davis Farrell have all spent time in the forest with me, talking, and co-thinking about the topics in this text.


Alexis, Amy, Carla, Cassie, Christopher, Hannah, Jessica, Kate, Katie, Nyssa, Ruta, Shonna, and Wesley are my co-authors. They leapt into the unknown with me, entering the liminal space between consumership and authorship of a college textbook. They trusted me to guide an experience in which I was also a neophyte. They dug deep into their own family experiences, even painful, to develop the themes of this text. They took risks. They grew in their scholarship and built the foundation of this book. They played their roles in differing ways: as brainstormers, as organizers, as researchers and as writers. They all will make a difference in the experience of future learners.


Margaret Pearce, Frances Pearce, Beth and John Volz provide unwavering support and love from the other side of the United States. The voice of James Pearce helps me to write and to edit. I know he would be proud. My daughters Rachel and Sarabeth Pearce-Smith are some of my favorite conversationalists in general but especially when it comes to talking about privilege and oppression. My Oregon framily is vast and loving; their friendship keeps me whole.

Liz Baker provides a foundation at home that contributes to my thinking, teaching, and writing. She makes me laugh. She volunteered to move the text from Google Drive into the Pressbook format so that students could access it there in the Fall of 2020. She is my partner in life, companionship, and growth.

I move toward the house that shelters students in their learning about equity and social justice, together with you. The support of colleagues, friends, and family is crucial. Families matter and I am grateful to have mine.

–Elizabeth B. Pearce


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Contemporary Families: An Equity Lens 1e Copyright © 2020 by Linn-Benton Community College and student contributors is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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