Amy Donna Shapiro, BS ’75, Successfully Petitions to Change Oregon’s State Song Over Racist Lyrics

Photo of woman signing at podium
Amy Shapiro singing the updated version of the Oregon State Song for the State House of Representatives on Oregon’s 161st birthday, Feb. 14, 2020.

School alum Amy Shapiro BS ’75, has lived in Beaverton, Oregon, since 1982. In 1990, as a Jewish music teacher, Amy was asked to teach Oregon’s state song “Oregon, My Oregon” to her children’s choir. She was troubled by the racist lyrics of the 100+-year-old song. In 2016, Amy was asked to sing the song with a community orchestra; it was then that she decided that the lyrics needed to change. She worked with the state legislature, and in April-June 2021, a bill was passed in both the House and Senate in Salem, which officially changed the lyrics of the state song, to lyrics written by Amy. The bill also acknowledges Oregon’s racist history. Amy’s achievement was featured in the New York Times and newspapers around the world. Amy is also the composer of one of Madison’s official songs, “My Friend Madison” chosen during Madison’s sesquicentennial celebration. Her music is featured on YouTube.