Events & Opportunities

December 7, 2019

Conversation Project: Just a Number

Aging is a life-long experience that is both universal and different for everyone. While most of us agree that people of different generations have wisdom to offer those who are ahead of or behind them in life’s journey, barriers to connection often persist between generations. Many of these barriers are rooted in our ideas about age and aging. Where do these ideas come from, and how do they impede or encourage relationships across generational differences? Independent scholars Jenny Sasser and Simeon Dreyfuss lead an open discussion about how we experience aging in community. How do we acknowledge both the universality of aging and the differences we experience? How do we create meaningful connections with others of different ages and life stages?

3:00 p.m., Flora M. Laird Memorial Library, Myrtle Point

December 7, 2019

Conversation Project: Faith and Politics in Oregon and Beyond

While faith and politics have long been taboo subjects in polite conversation, it’s no secret that people’s political affiliations and support are often influenced by their faiths. At the same time, faith-based movements, such as the Religious Right of the 1980s, have exhibited great power in political arenas. How do our faith systems influence our political beliefs—and vice versa—today, both in Oregon and nationally? Join writer, educator, and former minister Russ Pierson in a conversation about how our religious ideas and political identities mix and what it means for our common life together. This event will take place in the Event Room.

3 p.m., North Bend Public Library, North Bend

December 9, 2019

Conversation Project: Exploring Power and Privilege with Courage, Creativity, and Compassion

As individuals and groups, we experience different levels of privilege and power. Recognizing our relationship to oppression can bring feelings of guilt, shame, and grief. How can we hold space for these feelings while also creating conditions for new insights to emerge to deepen our understanding of each other and ourselves? Join facilitator Ridhi D’Cruz for a conversation that explores how we face and transform oppression in our everyday lives. This conversation will include some hands-on activities. This conversation will take place in the Sellwood Library Meeting Room.

6:00 p.m., Multnomah County Library - Sellwood-Moreland Branch, Portland

December 10, 2019

Conversation Project: Exploring Power and Privilege with Courage, Creativity, and Compassion

As individuals and groups, we experience different levels of privilege and power. Recognizing our relationship to oppression can bring feelings of guilt, shame, and grief. How can we hold space for these feelings while also creating conditions for new insights to emerge to deepen our understanding of each other and ourselves? Join facilitator Ridhi D’Cruz for a conversation that explores how we face and transform oppression in our everyday lives. This conversation will include some hands-on activities.

1:00 p.m., Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oregon, Eugene

December 11, 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.

7:00 p.m., Astoria Public Library, Astoria

December 13, 2019

Conversation Project: Who Are the Deserving Poor?

If you’ve grown up in the United States, chances are you’ve been conditioned to trust that your individual success is earned through hard work. But if this is the case, what do we make of the millions of Americans who struggle with poverty, hunger, and job insecurity? Who is to blame for poverty? What qualities or conditions allow a person to be considered “deserving” of government and community support? Join facilitator Erica Tucker for a conversation that explores our beliefs about poverty and asks us to consider our assumptions about who should—and shouldn’t—be eligible for support.

11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Garlington Health Center, Portland

January 9, 2020

Civic Life-Sponsored Facilitation Training

This free two-day training will help you strengthen your skills in planning and facilitating conversations on issues you care about within your organization or in the broader community.

8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Oregon Humanities, Portland

January 9, 2020

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.

1:00 p.m., Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, Lake Oswego

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 20, 2020

Conversation Project: White Allyship in Close-knit Communities

What does it mean to be a white ally, especially in close-knit communities? And what does it mean to have the support of white allies? What is needed from white people in our communities to move the conversation about racism—both statewide and nationally—forward in a productive and respectful way? In this conversation led by facilitator Alexis James, participants will have the chance to explore their identities, learn how to acknowledge different lived experiences without alienating friends and neighbors, and move toward action in their own communities. This conversation will set the table for bringing discussions about racism, white culture, and identity to your dining room, living room, and backyard BBQs. This conversation is open to and welcomes people of all racial backgrounds and identities. The event will begin at 5:00 p.m., and the conversation will begin at 5:45 p.m.

7:00 p.m., Chehalem Cultural Center, Newberg