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October 19, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
October 20, 2017 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
November 9, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
November 10, 2017 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 am
November 16, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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Urban Rural Connection Program

Urban Rural Connection Program Overview: At a time when our communities and nation feel acutely divided, ALF is leading a bold dialogue and collaboration across difference. Senior Fellows are primed to address our state's most intractable issues, so we're launching the Urban Rural Connection Project, a new program to harness Senior Fellows' collective capacity to listen to difference, find community and create opportunity. Throughout the history of ALF Oregon, one issue has been a part of every class and it is an issue that affects each of our local communities -- Oregon's urban-rural divide. We've spent a year gathering the community partners, funding, and staff capacity to bring together Senior Fellows to explore what is causing the divide and what solutions can be generated. We want to better understand how the divide is defined, how it impacts communities, and when the divide is used as a weapon or as a tool. 

ALF Oregon created the Urban Rural Connection Project to build solutions through the connections we have, rather than being paralyzed by the divisions we perceive and/or experience. Our intention at the completion of the project is to generate a report on our findings, foster collaboration across geographic divides, and identify 2-3 critical issues that our entire network can sink their teeth into as a collective. 
There are three ways to participate in this project:
  1. As a Cohort Member, you'll be a part of a group of 10-12 Senior Fellows that will travel together monthly from January to June 2018 to meet with Senior Fellows in six geographic areas. 
  2. As a Regional Participant, you'll be a part of regional dialogues about the divide. You'll be asked to invite 1-2 other leaders from your region, so that we can have a rich conversation. 
  3. As a Project Implementer, when the Cohort is done traveling, you'll participate in problem solving around the 2-3 issues identified. 
This project begins with identifying the small Cohort of 10-12 Senior Fellows that will travel together. There is no cost to be in this Cohort and all travel and accommodations will be covered by ALF. All we need in exchange is your commitment to travel to six regions, once a month for 1.5 days (a similar structure to your time in the ALF yearlong program, think Thursday night check in and Friday work session).

Urban Rural Connection Cohort Member Description

This project begins with identifying a small Cohort of 10-12 Senior Fellows that will travel together monthly from January to June 2018 and meet with Senior Fellows in five geographic areas. In each region they visit, the Cohort will meet with Senior Fellows and local leaders to open a dialogue on causes of the divide and shared issues that our network could help tackle.

Cohort Commitment Specifics:

  • Cohort Members are neutral and through dialogue tease out perspectives on the urban-rural divide.
  • Cohort members will travel 1.5 days each month (Thursday evening – Friday afternoon) to five cities/regions in Oregon from January – June 2018.
  • Cohort members will participate in two short retreats (1-2 days). One at the beginning of the program to develop a shared understanding and one at the completion to complete the project.
  • In partnership with ALF staff, the Cohort will create a report to be shared with the ALF network, communities we partner with during the project, and more broadly to leaders across the state.
  • Since you’re donating your leadership and time to travel the state in service to Oregon, ALF will insure your basic costs are covered. Your housing, food and transportation will be covered by the generosity of our funders.

Application is available online here. All applications are due by 11:59PM on Tuesday, November 15, 2017.

Sample Monthly Schedule: 



11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Travel to city/region

4:00 - 5:00 PM

Group Check-in

5:00 - 8:00 PM

Orientation to Community + Preparations for Friday’s meetings

8:00 - 8:30 PM

Check-in to Hotel




8:00 - 8:30 AM


8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Community Dialogue with local Senior Fellows and Community Leaders 

1:00 - 3:30 PM

Debrief + Planning for next month’s meeting and final report steps

3:30 - 8:00PM

Travel Home

Program Dates:

  • January 2018
    • State Capitol (Salem)
    • Saturday, 1/6/18, 1:00 PM – Monday, 1/8/18, 3:30 PM
    • The first-month timing is different because we’re combining the opening retreat and your first set of meetings with community leaders.
  • February 2018
    • Oregon Coast (Lincoln City)
    • Thursday, 4:00 PM, 2/1/18 – Friday, 2/2/18, 3:30 PM
  • March 2018
    • Southern Oregon (Medford or Grants Pass)
    • Thursday, 3/1/18, 4:00 PM – Friday, 3/2/18, 3:30 PM
  • April 2018
    • Central Oregon (Bend or Warm Springs)
    • Thursday, 4/12/18, 4:00 PM – Friday, 4/13/18, 3:30 PM\
  • May 2018
    • Eastern Oregon (Pendleton or La Grande)
    • Thursday, 5/3/18, 4:00 PM – Friday, 5/4/18, 3:30 PM
  • June 2018 (Final Session/ALF Reunion Portland)
    • Thursday, 6/7/18, 4:00 PM – Saturday, 6/9/18, 9:00 PM
      • Final Regional Session
      • Report Work + Debrief
    • Saturday, 6/9/18, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
      • 2nd Annual ALF Reunion Celebration!

I want to participate, but I can’t make the Cohort time commitment right now. What other roles are there? 

Regional Participant Description

We’re looking for Regional Participants in the five regions to help us:

  • Attend the Friday dialogue with local Senior Fellows
  • Invite local Senior Fellows/local leaders who should participate in the Friday Morning Community Dialogues 

Project Implementer Description

  • Come to ALF Reunion on June 9, 2018, get ready to take on the next phase!
  • The Cohort’s 6-months of dialogue and data gathering is the first phase. In partnership with ALF staff, the Cohort will develop a report to be shared statewide on their findings, as well as, identify 2-3 Urban-Rural divide issues that the greater Senior Fellow Network will work on.
  • We are looking for Senior Fellows who are willing to participate in identifying and implementing solutions to the 2-3 issues that are identified. 

If you are interested in being a Regional Participant and/or Project Implementer your questionnaire can be submitted online: questionnaire is available online here.

A very hearty thank you to Meyer Memorial TrustFord Family Foundation and the Oregon Community Foundation (especially: Max Williams, Class 30 and Kathleen Cornett, Class 9) for granting the funding and support to make this work possible. 
If you have questions about the program, contact Mariana Lindsay,

Questions? Please contact Mariana Lindsay,, or 503.757.6356

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