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City Club of Eugene: Gifts To The City

Linda Maria

Program Date: Dec. 16, 2022
Air Date: Dec. 19, 2022

From The City Club of Eugene:

One of the traditions of Eugene City Club, dating back almost to its founding in the early 1990s, is the annual Gifts to the City program, offered on the last December meeting date before our winter break. At this event, 10 community members spend three to four minutes each describing, if they had a magic wand to create it, the virtual “gift” they would give to the City of Eugene to make it an even better place to live, work, and/or play. The gift may be whimsical, serious, offbeat, ironic, amusing, challenging – whatever they would give if they had the magical power to do so. Thus far, more than 100 individuals have given “gifts.”

This year’s program features people from all corners of Eugene, each with a special perspective, based on the work they do in the community, for love or money. Dan Bryant, executive director of SquareOne Villages, former City Club of Eugene president and retired minister, will moderate.

Dr. Leah Dunbar grew up Black/bi-racial on the traditional homelands of the Miami Nation in Fort Wayne, Indiana. With her sister, identical twin/lifelong teaching partner Rena, Leah has taught a variety of Language Arts courses in public school education. They are most proud of developing and co-facilitating Courageous Conversations, an ethnic studies course focused on healthy racial identity development, critical thinking, listening, (re)storying, and community-building. It is co-designed with students, who engage education as a strategy for undoing oppression and creating sustainable futures. Leah’s current role is as Language Arts/Social Studies Specialist on the School Improvement Team at Lane Education Service District. She was recently named Eugene Weekly Reader’s Choice “Teacher of the Year.” Her interests lie in Indigenous and Ethnic Studies pedagogies, organizational and societal change, youth empowerment, healing from generational trauma, and dance.

Amelia Abel likes to imagine the possibilities. She is a strong advocate for those who have different abilities, and believes they should be appreciated for who they are and included in all activities. She has studied culinary arts in Reality Kitchen and hopes some day to work in a daycare center. She wants to help create a world where everyone lives on the inside of the community, and no one is left in the cold.

Karrie Walters-Warren is a licensed psychologist, Senior Instructor in the Counseling Psychology and Human Services department at the University of Oregon, and Clinical Director of the Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment Center, part of the UO HEDCO clinic. She also provides ADHD consultations and evaluations at Vista Counseling. Karrie’s clinical and instructional expertise centers on translating research to practice, clinical training within a strength-based and ecological framework, and best practices working with Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth. She is dedicated to building awareness and skill in culturally responsive, anti-oppressive interventions, and much of her work in the community centers around this goal.

Ian Winbrock is an entrepreneur, graduate student, and civil servant. He is a member of theEugene Police Commission andLane Community College Budget Committee, bringing more than nine years of public sector experience to the positions. Prior to moving to Oregon, Ian served as the deputy for former West Sacramento California Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, one of the nation’s first openly gay mayors, launching theWest Sacramento Home Run, a comprehensive cradle to college and career workforce development initiative. During his time in Eugene, Ian has raised more than $800,000 in grant funding for local non-profits as a volunteer, helped 1300+ low-income community members access the COVID vaccine during the height of the pandemic, and catalyzed two dozen community-led art projects as both a lead artist and member of theWCAT art collective. He currently serves as the Program Lead for the Center for Science Communication Research at the University of Oregon, where he also is completing his MBA. When not at work or school he is co-founding ChangeFinder, a Software as a Service startup that improves grant application success rates for nonprofits and the foundations that fund them.

Dan Bryant will host the event again this year. Dan is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Executive Director of SquareOne Villages in Eugene, Oregon. From 1991 to 2020 he filled the pulpit at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Eugene. Dan left the ministry of the church in 2020 to devote full-time to the non-profit he helped to establish in 2012 (SquareOne Villages), building tiny homes for those in need of a place to call home. His work in the community has earned recognition as evidenced in his winning the Humanitarian of the Year Award, from the Jewish Federation of Lane County; Murnane Social Justice Award, Catholic Community Services; Faith in Action Award, United Way of Lane County; Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award, Eugene Human Rights Commission; Curl Leadership Award, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste; and Innovator of the Year Award (with SquareOne Villages), RG Media.

Dr. Rena Dunbar grew up Black/bi-racial on the traditional homelands of the Miami Nation in Fort Wayne, Indiana. With her sister and identical twin/lifelong teaching partner Leah, she has taught a variety of Language Arts courses during their 20+ years in public school education. They are most proud of developing and co-facilitating Courageous Conversations, an ethnic studies course focused on healthy racial identity development, critical thinking, listening, (re)storying, and community-building. It is co-designed with students, who engage education as a strategy for undoing oppression and creating sustainable futures. Rena now works as program coordinator of the Sapsik’ʷałá Grow Your Own (GYO) Future Teachers Project, located at the University of Oregon. She also co-facilitates a Community of Practice for educators teaching Tribal History/Shared History curricula in Lane County with Sapsik’ʷałá co-director Leilani Sabzalian and her sister Leah Dunbar.

Sarai Johnson is an author, speaker, and executive coach who most recently worked as a housing strategist on a combined City/County project to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring. She helped develop10 key strategies to increase shelter and housing for people without a safe place to sleep at night and to redesign our system to work better for the people it is meant to serve. She has two decades of experience managing businesses, nonprofits, people, projects, and as a creative entrepreneur. She earned her Master of Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon, and is an Emerge Oregon alumna.

Matt McRae serves as a Commissioner on the Eugene Water and Electric Board. Matt works for Lane County as the Long-Term Disaster Recovery Manager, where he supports recovery from the Holiday Farm Fire. He previously served as the Climate Policy Strategist for Our Children’s Trust and before that he was the Climate and Energy Analyst and the Natural Hazards Specialist for the City of Eugene. Matt earned a B.S. from the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University.

Ana Quintero-Arias is currently the Federal Programs Administrator at Lane ESD. She supports both the Migrant Education Program and the English Language Development Program. Ana worked in the Eugene 4J school district for 11 years as a Speech and Language Pathologist. Additionally, Ana has been facilitating trainings regarding equity and inclusion for the past 10 years. She has led seminars throughout the state as she centers equity in all aspects of her personal and professional life. Ana strives to build relationships and understanding across differences among individuals in order to create meaningful and systematic changes in education for the benefit of students, particularly those that have been systematically marginalized. Through this work, Ana and her team support the whole student and their family as they navigate the educational system. A yearly highlight for the Migrant Education Program is the summer school that is intentionally created to meet the specific needs of migrant children. This is an affinity space that honors the lived experiences of children by utilizing culturally responsive materials, pedagogy, and family at the center of it all. Ana earned a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences from the University of Oregon.

Kyle Rodriguez-Hudson is the Executive Director of Transponder, a nonprofit organization in Eugene, Oregon, and the founder of A Guided You, LLC, a behavioral health private practice, focused on serving BIPOC & LGBTQIA+ populations. Kyle utilizes trauma-informed and evidence-based care to ensure that the marginalized and disenfranchised are seen and heard. Kyle is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, on the board of directors for HIV Alliance, sits on the Health Equality Committee for the Oregon Health Policy Board and on the Clinical Advisory Panel of the Lane Community Health Council. A proud Chicagoan, Kyle earned his BA in Psychology at Northeastern Illinois University, a MA in Community Counseling at Argosy University, and MBA from Concordia University-Chicago. Kyle’s mantra: Every day is a teaching moment.

Sativa Slugworth (aka Alyssa Buttons-Garten) is the Raining Slug Queen of Eugene. She won the annual competition sponsored by the Society for the Legitimization of the Ubiquitous Gastropod (SLUG) in August 2022. She now serves as Eugene’s 40th unofficial ambassador. For the charity to support during her “rain,” she chose the Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit aiming to “redress the harms of cannabis criminalization through legal intervention, education and criminal justice reform advocacy.” Presenting a Gift to the City is one of the raining queen’s royal duties.

Matt Springer has been the Executive Director of Friends of the Children, Lane County since the organization began in 2020. His career in social services began 24 years ago when he moved to Eugene to work for Northwest Youth Corps. After stints working for various youth -serving nonprofit agencies, Matt earned a master’s degree in Public Policy and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon. Matt championed sweeping changes in the higher education system in Montana, prior to returning to Lane County in 2017. Matt served as the Programs Director for Northwest Youth Corps and was then hired to launch Friends of the Children – Lane County in the summer of 2020. The organization is an independent nonprofit with a local board, and part of a network of 26 similar organizations across the country. The first of these chapters was created in 1993 by Oregon philanthropist and University of Oregon alumni, Duncan Campbell. The organization’s innovative model aims to end cycle of generational disadvantage by partnering youth and families facing intersectional challenges like housing instability, racism, incarceration, mental/physical health instability and other traumatic experiences. Friends of the Children commits to provide each child and their caregiver a professional mentor, starting when the children are between the ages of 4 and 6, for 12+ years. No Matter What!

About the City Club of Eugene:

The mission of the City Club of Eugene is to build community vision through open inquiry. The Club explores a wide range of significant local, state, and national issues and helps to formulate new approaches and solutions to problems. Membership is open to all, and Club members have a direct influence on public policy by discussing issues of concern with elected officials and other policy makers. The City Club’s mailing address is PO Box 12084, Eugene, OR 97440, and its website iscityclubofeugene.org.

Video and Broadcast

This program will be live streamed, and the videotape will be made available on the City Club of Eugene’s Facebook page and You Tube Channel, in addition to our website. It will be broadcast on Monday, Dec. 19 at 7:00 pm, on KLCC 89.7 FM.

Contact: For more information, contact Silver A. Mogart, City Club of Eugene, Executive Director, (541) 485-7433, administrator@cityclubofeugene.org

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