Bridging Oregon

Matthew Grimes

When we think of “divides,” many of us think of a familiar story, one that we hear in conversations with neighbors, see on the Internet, and read in the news. It goes like this: we are a nation, a state, a community divided—politically, racially, ethnically, economically, geographically, and generationally. But the truth is more complicated than that.

At Oregon Humanities, we want to explore those complexities. How are we divided by our life experiences and circumstances? How are we connected? And what are the unexpected ways we might come together to create stronger, more resilient communities?

Oregon Humanities, in partnership with local organizations, will convene community members in Central Oregon for a monthly conversation series to explore these questions and more about the fractures—and connections—we experience in our state. The series will take place starting in March and ending in June.  

Participants will take part in four half-day gatherings to explore topics relevant to local and regional communities, address how our differences and our perceived and real divides inform our experiences, and learn how to facilitate challenging conversations in their personal and professional networks.  

Details about the Central Oregon series

The four gatherings will take place at the Crook County Library (175 NW Meadow Lakes Dr.) in Prineville on Saturdays March 17, April 14, May 5, and June 2. Each session will last from 9:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

The group will be made up of twenty-five people who represent a cross section of Central Oregon communities and bring various experiences, backgrounds, beliefs, and perspectives to the conversations. No special qualifications are needed except a commitment to attend all four gatherings and a demonstrated interest in helping create stronger Oregon communities.

Over four sessions, selected participants will:

  • Participate in reflective discussions about topics that affect their communities.
  • Connect with twenty-four other community leaders with a variety of skills, experiences, and community networks.
  • Learn how to lead conversations about vital issues and ideas across differences, beliefs, and backgrounds.
  • Receive a $400 stipend for participating in four half-day sessions.

How to participate

The application deadline has been extended to March 5, 2018. If you have questions about the application or the program, please contact Maya Muñoz-Tobón at

Complete the application.

Bridging Oregon is made possible by generous support from the Oregon Community Foundation, the Ford Family Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.



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