Tonkon Torp is hosting a series of Conversation Project lunches in 2016. Offered by Oregon Humanities, the Conversation Project engages communities throughout the state in thoughtful and challenging conversations on topics and ideas that will shape Oregon's future.
Attorney Jeff Cronn, who is on the board of Oregon Humanities, brought the Conversation Project to the attention of the firm's Diversity Task Force, which sponsors programs that support the firm's culture of promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce. Over the course of eight months, all Tonkon Torp lawyers and staff members are invited to attend the lunch and explore topics related to diversity.
The first lunch, held in April, focused on the topic, "Mind the Gaps: How Gender Shapes our Lives." The discussion was led by Jade Aguilar, an assistant professor of sociology and women's and gender studies at Willamette University. The attendees talked about how gender shapes every aspect of our lives, and how prevailing disparities among the genders impact our world.
The June topic was "White Out? The Future of Racial Diversity in Oregon." Emily Drew, an associate professor of sociology at Willamette University, facilitated a dialogue about the challenge of creating racially diverse, inclusive communities despite accomplishments since the civil rights era.
The lunches have garnered strong attendance, with around 50 attendees at each.
The next discussion topic will be "Understanding Disability: Family and Community Stories" with Jill Crawford Hurt. In December, the final lunch topic will be, "Homeless in the Land of Plenty," with Ryan Stroud.