Bridging Oregon

Matthew Grimes

In spring 2018 a group of twenty five community members from different towns in the Central Oregon region gathered at the Crook County Library in Prineville for Oregon Humanities’ first Bridging Oregon program. Through four powerful conversations, participants explored the complexities of how we are divided by our life experiences and circumstances, how we are connected, and the unexpected ways we can come together to create stronger communities.

Read about one participant’s experience with the Central Oregon program.

Bridging Oregon pushes back on the familiar story, the one we hear in conversations with neighbors, see on the Internet, and read in the news—the one that says we are divided: politically, racially, ethnically, economically, geographically, and generationally. But the truth is more complicated than that.

In fall 2018, in partnership with Josephine Community Libraries and United Way of Jackson County, we will continue the work started earlier this year with a new group of people convening in Southern Oregon. The series will take place starting in September and ending in November. 

Participants will gather in four half-day sessions to explore topics relevant to local and regional communities. The group will address how perceived and real differences inform experiences, and learn how to facilitate challenging conversations in their personal and professional networks. 

Details about the Southern Oregon series

The gatherings will happen on Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.:

  • September 9 and 23 at Grants Pass Main Library, 200 NW C Street, Grants Pass
  • October 14 and November 4 at United Way of Jackson County, 60 Hawthorne St., Medford

The group will be supported by a local facilitator and a guest facilitator and made up of twenty-five people who represent a cross section of Southern Oregon communities and bring various experiences, backgrounds, beliefs, and perspectives to the conversations. Participants don’t need to have special qualifications but should be committed to attending all four gatherings and have a demonstrated interest in helping create stronger Oregon communities.

Over four sessions, selected participants will do the following:

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

How to participate

This Bridging Oregon cohort is now full. If you have questions about the application or the program, please contact Maya Muñoz-Tobón at

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


1 comments have been posted.

Very interested in your mission . I am a Community Activist,Author & Artist.

nancy yonally | August 2018 | Grants Pass, Or. 97526

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