Toward One Oregon: Bridging Oregon’s Urban and Rural Communities

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An Oregon Humanities Conversation Project with Ethan Seltzer and Michael Hibbard

Every state has a legacy of truths—stories residents tell to explain why things are how they are. When those truths conflict, as they inevitably do, the result is political, social, and cultural tension. In Oregon, tensions manifest themselves as wet versus dry, the valley versus the east side, and, perhaps most fundamental, urban versus rural. What are the ties that bind, or could bind, urban and rural communities to a common future? This is the focus of “Toward One Oregon: Bridging Oregon’s Urban and Rural Communities,” a free conversation with Michael Hibbard and Ethan Seltzer on Wednesday, November 20. The program is co-hosted by the Oregon Historical Society and the Rotary Club of Portland and is sponsored by Oregon Humanities. Through the Conversation Project, Oregon Humanities offers free programs that engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to our daily lives and our state's future.

Hibbard is a professor emeritus in the Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management at the University of Oregon. His research focuses on community and regional development, with a special interest in the social impacts of economic change on small towns, indigenous communities, and rural regions. Seltzer is a professor of urban studies and planning at Portland State University. Before joining PSU, he was the land use supervisor for Metro, served as an assistant to Portland City Commissioner Mike Lindberg, was the assistant director for the Southeast Uplift Neighborhood program in Portland, and created and directed a statewide coalition dedicated to improving drinking water quality monitoring and protection throughout Oregon.