About Oregon Humanities

Oregon Humanities is committed to bringing people together across differences of background, experience, and belief. Each year, we offer hundreds of public conversations and programs across the state, train and support dozens of discussion facilitators, and award grants and fellowships that help people connect, reflect, and cultivate a stronger sense of agency in their communities. In our magazine and on our website, we publish stories that explore the thoughts, perspectives, and experiences of Oregonians, especially those who have been ignored, generalized, or oppressed. Our long-term hope is that the work of Oregon Humanities will make broad and significant contributions to a more cohesive, inclusive, and imaginative democratic culture.

Oregon Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Oregon Humanities, formerly the Oregon Council for the Humanities, was established in 1971 and is one of five statewide partners of the Oregon Cultural Trust. If you have questions about any of our programs, please view our staff list to find the appropriate contact person or call us at (503) 241-0543 in Portland or (800) 735-0543 from elsewhere in the state.

Our Mission

Oregon Humanities connects people and communities through conversation, storytelling, and participatory programs to inspire understanding and collaborative change.

Our Vision

An Oregon that invites diverse perspectives, explores challenging questions, and strives for just communities.

Core Values


  • We strive for full, broad, and inclusive participation in everything we do.
  • We design programs, publications, grants, and trainings with the intention to complement, deepen, and expand pre-existing work and relationships in communities throughout the state.
  • We regularly seek feedback from partners, contractors, funders, and the broader community, which we strive to learn from and incorporate into our work.
  • We commit to the idea that everyone belongs, and we build programs, partnerships, and internal practices that both depend on and demonstrate this commitment.


  • We fund, publish, and program with those most impacted by injustices or inequities.
  • We are thoughtful about our institutional responsibility and prioritize our resources and partnerships for work based in and led by rural communities and communities of color.
  • We develop and implement clearly defined plans and processes that push toward equitable processes and outcomes.
  • We support and create opportunities to center those most affected by inequity and oppression.
  • We develop and implement internal processes and policies centered around equity.


  • We create spaces for learning, storytelling, and conversation where Oregonians can express their experiences, imagine and strive to understand the experiences of others, and engage with questions and possibilities.
  • We assume that many approaches to any idea or issue are possible and useful, and we seek to learn and think beyond our current positions and perspectives.
  • We experiment in our work and move toward more possibilities and greater understanding.
  • We continually return to the big questions underneath our planning and problem-solving efforts, and we support our partners in doing the same.
  • We use our resources to support Oregonians who are trying to understand our historic and current context and envision a different world and the next steps toward it.

Commitment to Equity and Inclusion

Oregon Humanities is committed to the creation of inclusive spaces and to the equitable treatment of all—including participants, audiences, supporters, staff, and board—at every level of the organization and in all of our programs.

Diversity in Hiring

Oregon Humanities believes equity, justice, empathy, and respect are essential for vital, flourishing communities. We encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds, particularly those from historically underrepresented groups, whose professional and personal experiences will help us work toward our vision of an Oregon that invites diverse perspectives, explores challenging questions, and strives for just communities.

Equal Employment Statement

Oregon Humanities is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of OH to provide equal employment opportunity in accordance with applicable law to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, political opinion, sex, national origin, familial status, mental and physical disability, gender identity, and source of income, disability or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law in all personnel actions including recruitment, evaluation, selection, promotion, compensation, training, and termination. Moreover, these conditions shall not affect decisions on compensation, advancement, transfer, leave or termination. Relations between employees shall be based on respect for person, regard for the effectiveness and well being of the organization, and mutual support.

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

Consistent with applicable disability law, OH will provide reasonable accommodations to assist qualified applicants or employees with disabilities to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential function of a job, and to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment applicable to similarly situated employees without disabilities, provided the accommodation would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of OH.

Oregon Humanities is a member of the Federation of State Humanities Councils, the Cultural Advocacy Coalition, and Business for a Better Portland.

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