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.

At Oregon Humanities, we explore this complexity by convening groups regionally throughout the state to talk together about the fractures and connections we experience in our communities.

Bridging Oregon participants explore the ways we are divided by our life experiences and circumstances, the ways we are connected, and how we can deepen relationships with one another to create stronger, more resilient communities.

How does it work?

Oregon Humanities along with regional partner organizations invite community members to apply for Bridging Oregon. Approximately twenty-five invited participants take part in four half-day gatherings over the course of several months with two Oregon Humanities facilitators to explore topics relevant to their region, address how their differences and perceived and real divides inform their experiences, and consider connections with one another now and into the future.

Bridging Oregon was launched in 2018 by Oregon Humanities, with generous support from the Oregon Community Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and other partner organizations. The first two Bridging Oregon cohorts took place in Central Oregon and Southern Oregon in 2018. In 2019, Oregon Humanities has expanded this initiative to communities in the Columbia River Gorge and the North Coast.

Read more about some of our past gatherings and testimonials from participants here.

If you have questions about this program please contact April Slabosheski at (503) 241-0543, ext. 123, or a.slabosheski@oregonhumanities.org.

Programs