Events & Opportunities

June 20, 2019

Conversation Project: Can We Get Along?

In 1992, in the midst of riots sparked by the acquittal of police officers who brutally beat him, Rodney King asked, “Can we get along?” This iconic American question still resonates today. What is it that drives this question, and why can it be so difficult to answer? What holds us back from connecting with each other? How do our personal experiences contribute to—and have the potential to break down—these barriers? Join facilitator Chisao Hata as she holds space to examine our individual and collective questions on race, perspectives, and cultural values around what brings us together and what separates us. This conversation may include some hands-on activities.

6:30 pm,

June 22, 2019

Conversation Project: Oregonians and the State’s Racist Past, Present, and Future

Oregon has a long history of racism that continues to influence the state today. While we often look at how the state’s racist history affects policies and institutions, we talk less about how it affects people’s personal understanding of racism and racist experiences. Join facilitator Tai Harden-Moore in a conversation that asks, What does Oregon’s racist past mean for Oregonians? How does the state’s history affect how bias shows up for individuals? This conversation will also look at how we can identify our own racial biases and work toward concrete ways to move forward as individuals and community.

3:30 p.m., Firelight Yoga, Portland

June 27, 2019

Conversation Project: Talking about Dying

Death is a universal event that transcends many of the differences between us, but it's not something that we have regular opportunities to think and talk about. Oregon Humanities developed the Talking about Dying program to create more public opportunities to reflect on the stories and influences that shape our thinking about death and dying and to hear perspectives and ideas from fellow community members. Talking about Dying community conversations are free, ninety-minute facilitated discussions geared toward public audiences (ages 15+). During the program, participants talk together about questions such as: What do we want—and not want—at the end of our life? How might our family, culture, religion, and beliefs shape how we think about death? How do access to care, geography, and desires to be remembered affect our decisions about the end of our life?

6 p.m., Roseburg Public Library, Roseburg

June 27, 2019

Conversation Project: Where Are Queer People Welcome?

A majority of Americans now accept gay and lesbian relationships, but the queer population is made up of a diversity of communities and experiences. Are all queer people accepted, tolerated, and embraced everywhere? Where are we made to feel welcome? Where do we feel unwelcome and unsafe? How do race, language, gender identity, family structure, faith, where we work, and where we live shape how we are seen, welcomed, and accepted? Join facilitator Jill Winsor in a discussion that explores how the complexity of the queer community intersects with the spaces and communities that surround us. This event will take place in the Keeston Room.

5:30 p.m., Friendly House, Portland

Photo of Conversation Project: Seeing the Forest and the Trees

June 28, 2019

Conversation Project: Seeing the Forest and the Trees

We live in a state with abundant forests, and yet we don’t all see the same thing when we look into the woods. Oregon is known for both its timber industry and its deep environmental values. For many decades now management of our public forests has made headlines and driven apart neighbors. Facilitator Mariah Acton will lead this conversation to explore the values, identities, and beliefs we each have about our forests and what we, as a state, do to steward, manage, and protect this special resource.

7 p.m., Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles

July 9, 2019

Conversation Project: Crime and Punishment in Oregon

From prisons and youth correctional facilities to schools and county jails, we’re surrounded by institutions that punish. But why do we punish? Why is punishment sometimes sanctioned by the state? Critics of the “prison industrial complex” argue that our methods and scale of punishment are informed by profit, while tough-on-crime policymakers believe that punishment must be meaningful enough to prevent recidivism and ensure public safety. Are there other ways to punish—such as restorative justice—that may be more effective, reasonable, or desirable? Philosopher and writer Monica Mueller facilitates a conversation around these questions and others regarding our motivation, purpose, and methods of punishment.

10 a.m., Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, Lake Oswego

July 10, 2019

Conversation Project: How We Grow Old

What are the stories that shape how we think about growing old? How do we acknowledge the unique differences among aging individuals and separate the true stories from the myths? How do we accept the wisdom of our elders’ experiences while also recognizing new ideas about what it means to age in America? No matter our age, we all hear and tell stories about growing older that reflect our own ideals and fears—and the ideals and fears of our communities. Join facilitator Melissa Madenski as we look at the power of story in a conversation that will ask you to share your own experiences and ideas about aging and listen to the perspectives of others in your community.

3 p.m., Hoffman Center for the Arts, Manzanita

July 12, 2019

Conversation Project: The Meaning of Climate Change

We live in a time of tremendous transformation as the reality of climate change and its effects on our communities become more apparent with every passing year. While there is still much that can and must be done to mitigate the range of impacts climate change might have, we are confronting the certainty of a crisis that will continue to unfold no matter what we do. What is the meaning of this extraordinary moment in human history? The meanings we construct about climate change affect how we think about it, our feelings about it and our willingness to take action. Portland State University instructor David Osborn leads a discussion exploring different meanings of climate change and how our understanding of meaning relates to action. Admission Fee: $5

7 p.m., Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles

July 15, 2019

Conversation Project: Where Are Queer People Welcome?

A majority of Americans now accept gay and lesbian relationships, but the queer population is made up of a diversity of communities and experiences. Are all queer people accepted, tolerated, and embraced everywhere? Where are we made to feel welcome? Where do we feel unwelcome and unsafe? How do race, language, gender identity, family structure, faith, where we work, and where we live shape how we are seen, welcomed, and accepted? Join facilitator Jill Winsor in a discussion that explores how the complexity of the queer community intersects with the spaces and communities that surround us.

1 p.m., Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Hillsboro

Photo of Conversation Project: Ecology of Creative Space

July 24, 2019

Conversation Project: Ecology of Creative Space

What can an Aspen grove teach us about communication? What can we learn from a flock of geese about collaboration? Or from a mushroom about transformation? Oregon is experiencing a shift in the landscape of creative spaces in our communities. Population changes, (dis)investment, public policy or the lack of it, and climate change have all had a hand in opening, closing, and changing places that are important to us culturally and creatively. The natural world—of which we are a part—is constantly changing and evolving and has much to teach us about living in these times. Join facilitator Maesie Speer for a conversation that asks, Can we find inspiration from our natural surroundings to imagine new ways to build creative spaces? This conversation will include some hands-on activities.

6:30 p.m., Columbia Grange 267, Corbett