Community Oregon

Community Oregon is a statewide program that brings rural and urban Oregonians together to build trust and mutual understanding through dialogue and local community immersion.

Participants from diverse communities come together to build relationships, participate in a community exchange, and better understand one another as fellow citizens and Oregonians.

Community Oregon 2017

The first Community Oregon program took place in the summer and fall of 2017, with participants from across the state of Oregon – from Grants Pass to Enterprise, from Beaverton to Baker City.

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2017 Community Oregon participants

The program consisted of three parts:

Participants attended a three-day retreat, visited (and hosted) another participant in a set of urban-rural exchanges, and then held a presentation on its experiences at a public event in Portland on November 4th.

Community Oregon Camp

Participants first attended a three-day retreat held at Kah-Nee-Ta Resort in Warm Springs, Oregon. This was a fun and challenging camp-like experience, where participants learned dialogue skills and got to know fellow Oregonians from all walks of life, led by facilitators from both urban and rural communities.

Dialogue exercise at Community Oregon Camp

Community Oregon Exchange

Each participant took part in one urban-to-rural and one rural-to-urban exchange visit in the three months following the Community Oregon Camp retreat – an opportunity for immersion in a community significantly different than one's own.

Community Oregon participants Tom and Ibrahim, at Tom's house near Baker City

Community Oregon Expo

Participants spoke at a one-day public exposition, held on Nov. 4 in Portland. Their brief and varied presentations explained the knowledge and understanding they had gained – and challenges they had encountered – during their urban-rural exchanges over the previous three months.

Anne, Community Oregon participant from Hermiston, speaking at the Expo.

Program Accommodations

Community Oregon participants are reimbursed for all travel to the Camp, Exchange, and Expo. Expenses for accommodations at the Community Oregon Camp are also covered. Overnight accommodations for the Urban/Rural Exchanges take the form of host community homestays.

Participant Profile

The first Community Oregon cohort consisted of 17 participants. Healthy Democracy partnered with the Association of Oregon Counties, inviting county commissioners and other community leaders to nominate local residents for the program.

Ideal Community Oregon participants are active community members who have an interest in and the courage needed to engage in the sometimes difficult but rewarding process of re-building a sense of community across the state. The program looks for participants from a wide geographic area, and who are representative of the diversity of Oregon’s population, including political perspective, age, occupation/professional sector, religion, race, national origin, and gender.

Program Flyer

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Community Oregon Flyer (PDF)

All the information about Community Oregon – in one convenient flyer!

Questions?

Want to bring an urban-rural exchange program to your state? Or want to participate in future programs?

Partners

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