Events & Opportunities

September 19, 2019

Conversation Project: Can We Get Along?

In 1992, in the midst of riots sparked by the acquittal of police officers who brutally beat him, Rodney King asked, “Can we get along?” This iconic American question still resonates today. What is it that drives this question, and why can it be so difficult to answer? What holds us back from connecting with each other? How do our personal experiences contribute to—and have the potential to break down—these barriers? Join facilitator Chisao Hata as she holds space to examine our individual and collective questions on race, perspectives, and cultural values around what brings us together and what separates us. This conversation may include some hands-on activities.

7 p.m., Dallas Public Library, Dallas

September 25, 2019

Conversation Project: The Space Between Us

Global displacement is on the rise, thanks to intractable conflicts, economics, and climate change. Oregonians have and will continue to see the results of international migration in our neighborhoods. In this conversation, Manuel Padilla, who has worked with refugees in Haiti, Chad, and Washington, DC, asks participants to consider questions of uprootedness, hospitality, identity, perception, and integration and how we might build more informed, responsive, resilient, and vibrant communities.

5:30 p.m., Centro de Prosperidad, Hillsboro

October 2, 2019

Conversation Project: Race and Place

Many Oregonians have a vision of a future that includes communities built on values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. At the same time, we live in a society that marginalizes and excludes people of color. Facilitators Traci Price and Anita Yap will lead participants in a conversation that looks at how Oregon’s history of racism influences our present and asks, How can understanding Oregon’s historic and current impacts of racism contribute to our sense of place and vision of the future? How can diversity and inclusion create thriving communities?

6:30 p.m., The Alberta Abbey Foundation, Portland

Photo of Think & Drink with Desmond Meade

October 16, 2019

Think & Drink with Desmond Meade

Join us for an onstage conversation about voting rights and the future of democracy with Desmond Meade, executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.  Meade is a formerly homeless returning citizen who overcame many obstacles to eventually lead the FRRC to a historic victory in 2018 with the successful passage of Amendment 4, a grassroots citizen’s initiative which restored voting rights to over 1.4 million Floridians with past felony convictions. He is also chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy and a graduate of Florida International University College of Law. At this event, Meade will appear in conversation with Adam Davis, executive director of Oregon Humanities.  Think & Drink is an onstage conversation series that explores provocative ideas and fresh perspectives. Come prepared to listen, watch, and engage. We invite you to stay after the program for snacks and conversation. Minors are welcome when accompanied by an adult. The Alberta Rose Theatre is accessible by Trimet bus lines 17, 70, and 72. The venue is wheelchair accessible. 

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Alberta Rose Theatre, Portland

October 23, 2019

Conversation Project: How We Grow Old

What are the stories that shape how we think about growing old? How do we acknowledge the unique differences among aging individuals and separate the true stories from the myths? How do we accept the wisdom of our elders’ experiences while also recognizing new ideas about what it means to age in America? No matter our age, we all hear and tell stories about growing older that reflect our own ideals and fears—and the ideals and fears of our communities. Join facilitator Melissa Madenski as we look at the power of story in a conversation that will ask you to share your own experiences and ideas about aging and listen to the perspectives of others in your community.

10 a.m., Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, Lake Oswego

October 24, 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 Program Area.

6 p.m., Klamath County Library Service District, Klamath Falls

October 26, 2019

Conversation Project: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Studies show that neighbors interact much less than in previous decades. This has been theorized as a kind of side effect of modern life and the result of technology, limits on attention, and in some instances, differences in cultural concepts of what it means to be neighborly. Join facilitator Jen Mitas in this conversation that asks, How do you interact with your neighbors? How do you feel about those relationships? How might you improve or change these relationships in order to make a positive impact on the places you live? This conversation is a chance to reflect on one’s own role in the social networks that make up the places we live, and to complicate clichés about neighborliness that may be unconsciously rooted in the mid-twentieth century ideal of the American suburb. This event will take place in the Community Room, on the main floor of the library.

1 p.m., Oregon City Public Library, Oregon City

October 26, 2019

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 the Flora Room.

11 a.m., Estacada Public Library, Estacada

November 12, 2019

Conversation Project: It's a Free Country

Ever heard the expression "America: land of the brave and free" or "It's a free country! I can do what I want"? Maybe you think or say these things yourself. But what does it mean to "be free"? Join Ann Su for a conversation that explores the impact of culture on how we define, value, and experience freedom personally and in community. Participants will discuss different questions: Does everyone have access to freedom in the same way? What choices come with freedom and what are the responsibilities that accompany those choices? How does the concept of "freedom" play out in a diverse, democratic society? A $5 donation is encouraged, but not required to attend this event.

6 p.m., High Desert Museum, Bend