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Upcoming Events

March 8, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
March 9, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 am
March 15, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 am
March 16, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
April 5, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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Urban Rural Connection Project

Urban Rural Connection Project 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.

Project Structure

A Cohort of 11 ALF leaders that represent diverse geographies, identities and sectors will travel the state from January – June 2018 (see Cohort list below). They will meet with local ALF leaders and guests of ALF leaders in six Regional Dialogues (see calendar below). These Regional Dialogues will be a place for these high-level, community-tested leaders to work in collaboration to identify the rifts that exist in Oregon between urban, suburban and rural communities and identify key bridging opportunities specifically through a leadership lens.

Regional Participants

ALF Oregon Regional Leaders and Local Leaders participating in one of six Regional Dialogues with the Cohort Members. These Regional Dialogues are essential to the success of the Urban Rural Connection Project, because they provide the space to gather the data and perspectives that are the reason for this work.

Space is limited for each meeting, so if you want to participate and invite a guest we encourage you to claim your spot in the Regional Dialogues ASAP
Given the nature of the conversation and programming, participants need to commit to the whole dialogue (9:00 AM - 12:00 PM) to facilitate the in-depth conversations that will support this Project's success. 

Cohort Members that will be attending all six Regional Meetings

  • Senator Margaret Carter, Class 2, President, Margaret Carter & Associates
  • Senator Susan Castillo, Class 16, Vice President, West Region, Project Lead the Way
  • County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins, Class 27, County Commissioner, Coos County
  • Tom Fuller, Class 1, Project Manager, Shiels Obletz Johnsen
  • County Commissioner Simon Hare, Class 28, County Commissioner, Josephine County
  • Charles "Chuck" Hudson, Class 25, Intergovernmental Affairs Director, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
  • Valeria Hysong, Class 29, Inmate Work Program Coordinator, Department of Corrections
  • Kelly Poe, Class 30, Director of Community Based Services, Malheur Education Service District
  • Connie Saldana, Class 19, Planner, Rogue Valley Council of Governments
  • Steve Schulz, Class 32, Executive Director, Cycle Oregon
  • Kristin Steele, Class 32, Fundraising Consultant, Swaim Strategies 

In addition to our 11 Cohort Members, we have two Senior Fellow Facilitators!

  • Jake Gibbs, Class 28, President & CEO, Starker Forests
  • Vicki Nakashima, Class 8, Volunteer, nonprofits, City of Portland, higher education, golf

Regional Dialogue Meeting Dates

  • January 2018 - State Capitol + Willamette Valley - Salem (Location: Willamette University)
    • Monday, 1/8/18, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • February 2018 - Oregon Coast - Lincoln City (Location: Lincoln City Hall Chambers)
    • Friday, 2/2/18, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • March 2018 - Southern Oregon - Medford (Location: Harry & David Heaquarters)
    • Friday, 3/2/18, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • April 2018 - Central Oregon - Warm Springs (Location: TBA)
    • Friday, 4/13/18, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • May 2018 - Eastern Oregon - Baker City (Location: TBA)
    • Friday, 5/4/18, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • June 2018 - Portland (Location: TBA)
    • Friday, 6/8/18, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM


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 network can come together to work towards solutions for these issues. We want to better understand how the divide is defined, how it impacts communities, and how we might re-focus the broader dialogue to what connects us, instead of what divides us.

Questions? Please contact Mariana Lindsay,, or 503.757.6356
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. 

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