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From Saving to Serving

Adam Davis

Many of us try to make a positive difference in the world through our work and volunteering, and we often find that this can be difficult. The language of helping reflects this difficulty. Charity sounds admirable to some and offensive to others. Service can be bland, saving can be paternalistic, and social entrepreneurship can feel corporate. Join Oregon Humanities Executive Director Adam Davis for a conversation that will explore why it’s so hard to find the right words for the good work we try to do in the world. How should we think and talk about our efforts to make positive change?

Adam Davis is the executive director of Oregon Humanities. His previous roles include directing the Center for Civic Reflection, where he designed and implemented “Justice Talking/The Meaning of Service,” a nationwide discussion program for AmeriCorps, VISTA, and other service organizations, and the United States Forest Service, where he led backcountry trail crews and occasionally fought wildland fire. Davis edited Taking Action and co-edited The Civically Engaged Reader and received his PhD from the University of Chicago.

Oregon HumanitiesThe Marylhurst Speaker Series is hosted by Marylhurst University’s Department of Interdisciplinary and Applied Liberal Arts. This talk is offered through Oregon Humanities’ Conversation Project, free programs that engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to our daily lives and our state’s future.