This issue is about a century of rural -- looking back 50 years and looking ahead 50 years.
Volume XI | Issue 2 | Fall 2011
Cover Story

Moving into the future with a look to the past

It is hard for me to reconcile that at age 65 I’ve lived about one third of Oregon’s history since Lewis and Clark visited our north coast in 1805. Yet, it is rather easy to look back 50 years to 1961 when I was a freshman in high school. The Corvette sports car was hot. So was Elvis, although I preferred the Everly Brothers. This issue is about a century of rural — looking back 50 years and looking ahead 50 years. Looking back is easy but looking ahead, things get foggy. That is why our strategy at the Institute is to help communities build their capacity to be responsive — to respond to the future as it unfolds.   

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Community Vitality is published twice a year (in a printed format and online) for community leaders by The Ford Family Foundation.

Anne Kubisch, President; Nora Vitz Harrison, Editor; Megan Monson, Assistant Editor.

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Photo of a long road

Moving into the future with a look to the past

It is hard for me to reconcile that at age 65 I’ve lived about one third of Oregon’s history since Lewis and Clark visited our north coast in 1805. Yet, it is rather easy to look back 50 years to...  Read More

People sitting at tables inside the community center

A community celebration in Dorris

When the people of the Butte Valley threw a party in August, they were celebrating more than the grand opening of their new community center.  Read More

Photo of a beautiful waterfall

Collaboration key to successful future

A snapshot of Oregon’s rural communities in the 1960s would have provided a glimpse of an economy based primarily on Oregon’s rich natural resource base. Fifty years later, that picture has...  Read More

A group of children

From reactive to proactive

The Oregon Community Foundation recently announced its participation in a new multi-year initiative to support parenting education programs in Oregon. The parenting education project is a stellar...  Read More

Handheld computers, videos, telemedicine

Our world is not the same as it was a half-century ago, and it’s hard to believe that, in another 50 years, our children will be saying the same thing. Here’s just a glimpse of the changes that have...  Read More

Three students working on a project in shop class

Technology drives tomorrow’s schools

One-room schoolhouses dotted rural Oregon’s landscape until the early 20th century. Many of Oregon’s smallest school districts still welcome students under one roof, but inside, teachers have traded...  Read More

Photo of one-building schoolhouse in Camas Valley

Pioneering charter schools go mainstream

Oregon education is regulated by Division 22, a set of state rules mandating standards such as number of school days, hiring practices and textbook adoption schedules. These requirements can mean a...  Read More

Driving on sunshine

With gas around 31 cents a gallon, a growing nation, and the teenage cruise era hitting all cylinders, the 1960s marked the beginning of steadily increasing traffic on U.S. roadways. The trend has...  Read More

Richard Kitumba greets a crowd of Congolese children

Recalling his past

Twenty-five years ago, Richard Kitumba was a child living in the midst of a violent civil war. The Springfield resident, now 36, grew up in Democratic Republic of the Congo, a war-torn region of...  Read More

Group of about 50 children in matching yellow T-shirts

‘The best week of my summer’

I recently returned from Paradise Point, a remote campsite in the heart of Northern California at which the youth leadership event Camp Ford is held. This 2-year-old collaboration between The Ford...  Read More

Charlie Walker: Reflections from a founding board member

When Dr. Charles Walker served as president of Linfield College in the 1970s, one of his first duties was to visit personally with each of the college’s trustees. In fall 1975, he called on a trustee...  Read More

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