Connect in Place

Virtual Community Conversations

Maria Rodriguez

We’re hosting virtual conversations with people across the state on Tuesday evenings. Our aim is to create spaces, in this physically separated moment, for Oregonians to gather, connect, reflect, and talk with one another. Registration for each program closes at 3:00 p.m. Pacific the day of the event.

Upcoming Conversations

Should Schools Reopen? Risk, Reward, and Making Decisions in Community with Aimee Craig
April 6, 5:00 p.m.; RSVP here

Schools in Oregon are in the process of bringing students back into physical classrooms after a full year of virtual learning for many. Families and educators, as those primarily responsible for the well-being of students, are making lots of decisions about what is best for them individually as well as for their schools. Join Aimee Craig in a reflective conversation that asks, How do you weigh risks and benefits? How do we make decisions as a community when risk is involved? This conversation is designed for parents, caretakers, and educators to creatively explore the themes of risk and decision-making in the current context of school reopening. Read more about Aimee and this program.

From Marijuana to Cannabis: The New Normal with Ryan Stroud
April 20, 5:00 p.m.; RSVP here

Oregon inaugurated the end of cannabis prohibition all the way back in 1973 when it became the first US state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Now, after nearly a century of attempted federal prohibition, cannabis is woven into the fabric of our mainstream society, from entertainment platforms to publicly traded corporations. Join Ryan Stroud to reflect on the impacts of these changes on ourselves and our communities. Read more about Ryan and this program.

Understanding Urban/Rural Divides with Nick Nash
May 4, 5:00 p.m.; RSVP here

We live in a time of increasing polarization that often correlates to divides between urban and rural regions in our state. This polarization is so extreme that it often seems like the two sides may have completely different experiences of the world. Join facilitator Nick Nash in a conversation that asks, How does the urban/rural divide affect the ways we relate to each other as Oregonians? Read more about Nick and this program.

Art as Activism: Changing the World through Creative Expression with Pepe Moscoso
May 18, 5:00 p.m.; RSVP here

Art influences society by changing opinions, instilling values, and translating experiences across space and time. Artists often see their artwork as a way to provoke, to voice, to enlighten. Art can express ideas that would otherwise be rejected or censored. How can you use art to talk about what you feel is right or wrong? Join Pepe Moscoso for a conversation that invites participants to intimately explore their feelings, sentiments, and experiences and how to use art as a medium to turn thinking into doing. Read more about Pepe and this program.

Emerging From Our Homes: How We Experience Safety and Vulnerability Moving Through Our Communities with LeeAnn O'Neill
June 1, 5:00 p.m.; RSVP here

For most, the pandemic meant spending more time in our homes. As we emerge from our homes, our sense of safety and vulnerability moving through our communities may be different if we are walking, biking, rolling, taking public transit, or driving. Join facilitator LeeAnn O’Neill in this conversation that asks, How does the way you move through your community affect your sense of safety and vulnerability? Read more about LeeAnn and this program.

If you have questions or suggestions about these conversations, please contact Rachel Bernstein at

We know that COVID-19 affects individuals and communities differently, so we’re working with our facilitators to develop online conversations that are relevant and responsive. Each week, we will present opportunities to join a conversation on a particular topic, to reflect on and share your experience, to listen to others, and to stay connected during this time of uncertainty and change.

Throughout this developing series of conversations, we will partner with organizations across Oregon to engage with and respond to local communities. We will also host conversations for affinity groups and explore statewide conversations. For now, we will aim to keep the number of participants in each conversation below twenty so that everyone will have a chance to speak and be heard.


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