Community Conversations

Staff and faculty are invited to come together across departments and discuss anti-racist texts in small groups. Our hope with these groups is to empower the community to learn about systemic racism in an intentional manner, and through respectful conversation with colleagues over time gain skills to disrupt racism in themselves and in their spheres of influence.


Conversations are hosted by volunteer facilitators from the UP community. Facilitators are not trainers.  In these peer-to-peer conversations, facilitators help manage conversation flow and remind the groups of community standards if appropriate. Structure, brave space standards, and discussion questions are provided to all participants and facilitators ahead of the conversations and facilitators are invited to optional check-in and debrief sessions hosted by OIEDI. All conversations have been hosted online.


Summer 2021 Community Conversation Series

This series will be special because 

  • Conversations will include staff, faculty, AND students 
  • We will support groups in meeting together twice 
  • Meeting One June 10th 11:30 am - 1:00 pm will focus on a documentaryDivided We Fall Told through the stories of Sikh Americans, the film offers vital historical context to the current crisis of hate and nationalism in the U.S. — and how we can change it through the ethic of Revolutionary Love.”  and an interview segment of Dr. Maya Angelou
  • Meeting Two June 24th 11:30 am -1:00 pm will feature a UNESCO –style Story Circle  

A little information about Story Circles: 

  • Foundation of Story Circles: We are all interconnected through human rights. Each person has inherent dignity and worth.<RESPECT AND OPENNESS> 
  • In addition to the two presuppositions, it is important to remember that: a) Every person has personal experience that can be shared . b) We all have something to learn from others . c) Listening for understanding is transformational 
  • Goal: Community development – diverse community citizens (of different ages, gender, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, etc.) come together to share their stories so as to create bonds and build relationships across generations, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. 

We hope you will join us and invite others from our UP community to join. We are looking forward to this opportunity to learn from and about each other! 


Email with questions or feedback

Past Conversations

Spring 2021

This spring our conversations focused on the ReadUP selection, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, and episodes of the University of Portland's Black Student Union original podcast, Black on the Bluff. 


Fall 2020

Summer 2020