Environmental Engagement in Tough Times (20th Annual Symposium)

Symposium graphic

Lewis & Clark College’s Environmental Studies Programannounces its 20th annual Environmental Symposium on the theme “Environmental Engagement in Tough Times.” Perhaps more than ever, environmental issues have become divisive terrain in the U.S., prompting individuals, organizations, and leaders on all sides to mobilize and fight. These actions may be understandable, but they exacerbate an increasingly fractured American society, where people rarely talk to those with whom they disagree. This year’s Symposium launches a yearlong series of events and projects exploring possibilities for engagement across these boundaries, in the context of the major environmental issues of our time.

Launch Week: October 24th - 26th, 2017

Keynote Event: “Growth in Portland: Whose Livability?”
Tue Oct 24, 7-9 pm, Ecotrust Building, Portland OR
Admission is free and open to the public | Directions information here

Tough, divisive times are plainly apparent today at the national and global scale. But they also touch down right here in Portland, Oregon, a city that takes pride in its commitments to livability and equity, yet where planning for growth—to some extent inevitable—has exposed big differences among residents, neighborhoods, civic leaders, and commentators. Portland recently approved a 20‐year comprehensive plandesigned to enhance livability and equity in the context of large anticipated growth, but debates surrounding this plan can only be expected to grow as it is implemented; see one related ENVS student project here.

Environmental Symposium 2017 will launch via a keynote event titled “Growth in Portland: Whose Livability?” The event starts at 7 pm on Tuesday evening October 24, 2017, in the Ecotrust building in downtown Portland (721 NW 9th Ave.). The event has been organized in collaboration with Oregon Humanities, whose Conversation Project encourages engagement across difference on a variety of themes. The evening event features a brief panel discussion on the Portland comprehensive plan, and opportunity for those in attendance to gain skills in engagement by conversing with each other. Panelists include:

Wed & Thu Oct 25-26: Followup Events for L&C Community

Symposium launch week will also include events for the L&C community to gain skills in environmental engagement:

  • Wed 5-9 pm, Stamm Hall: Environmental engagement training (with light meal), co-facilitated by ENVS and Oregon Humanities
  • Thu 5-8 pm, Stamm Hall: Engagement event/project proposal workshop (with light meal)
Spring 2018 Events

Engagement field trips

Three weekend field trips in March and April 2018 offer opportunities for the Lewis & Clark community to engage with people over major natural resource issues in Oregon, including agriculture, forestry, and the urban/rural divide. See the spring 2018 field engagement page for details and to reserve your place.

Closing banquet

Our closing banquet, open to all members of the Lewis & Clark community and the general public, will be held Tuesday April 10 starting at 6 pm in Smith Hall on Lewis & Clark College campus (see here for directions and parking). We will celebrate and reflect on a long year of engagement, starting with our fall event on urban growth and equity in Portland, then continuing with our spring engagement trips focusing on Oregon natural resource issues. See here for more information and to reserve your place at the banquet (deadline Monday April 9).