Events & Opportunities

January 13, 2020

Conversation Project: What Does It Mean to Be American?

The United States is a culturally diverse nation with residents who can trace their heritage to countries across the globe, and our diversity is projected to continue to increase over the next several decades. Given the differences of race, ethnicity, place, religion, wealth, language, education, and ideology that exist in the US, what are the things that unite us a nation? How do we understand what it means to be American and what we hold valuable? Join this conversation led by facilitator Ellen Knutson to share your ideas about what it means to be American and hear others’ ideas, to identify differences and points of connection that may lead us toward the ideal stated in our nation’s motto: E pluribus unum, out of many, one. This event will take place in Meeting Room A.

6:30 p.m., Beaverton City Library, Beaverton

January 22, 2020

Conversation Project: The Middle Class and Other Stories About Wealth, Status, and Power

Join Oregon Humanities Executive Director Adam Davis for a conversation that explores what we think and how we talk about class in Oregon and the nation. What exactly, for example, is the middle class, who does it include and exclude, and why does it get so much attention? When does talking about class turn into class warfare, or pandering, or simple confusion? To what extent can we talk about class without talking about race, ethnicity, and cultural background? Class is clearly related to wealth and money, but it also involves much more than that, from education to dress to the shows we watch, the words we use, and the clothes we wear. What are the measures and markers that help us recognize class, and to what extent is class useful for seeing our state, our neighbors, and ourselves? This event will take place at PCC Rock Creek Event Center, Section A.

2:00 p.m., Portland Community College - Rock Creek, Portland

March 7, 2020

Conversation Project: Why DIY?

Are we as self-sufficient as we can be? As we should be? What are the pleasures and pitfalls of doing it yourself? This conversation with Jennifer Burns Bright investigates why we strive to be makers and doers in a world that provides more conveniences than ever before. How might the “new industrial revolution” of tinkerers and crafters affect American schools and workplaces? How do maker spaces or skills courses foster greater engagement and involvement? What could be left behind when we increase self-sufficiency in a community? All kinds of DIY interests are welcome: we can focus on foraging, permaculture, prepping, woodworking, or hovercraft making—or perhaps all of these at once! Through our shared stories, we will seek to understand more deeply how DIY functions in American life. This event will take place in Meeting Room A.

3:00 p.m., Beaverton City Library, Beaverton

April 15, 2020

Conversation Project: What Are You?

The number of mixed-race people and interracial families in Oregon is growing. What are the challenges and benefits of growing up mixed-race, raising mixed-race children, or being an interracial couple in a state that’s historically been mostly white? How can we openly discuss our own ethnic and racial heritage with each other without being regarded as odd or unusual? How have the answers to “What are you?” changed through the decades? Dmae Roberts, who has written essays and produced film and radio documentaries about being a biracial Asian American in Oregon, leads a discussion of heritage that goes beyond checking one race on US Census forms. This conversation will take place at the PCC Rock Creek Event Center, Section A.

2:00 p.m., Portland Community College - Rock Creek, Portland