Rock Creek hosts ‘Crucial Conversations’ on modern American identity

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The United States is a culturally diverse nation with residents who can trace their heritage to lands across the globe, and our diversity is projected to continue to increase over the next several decades. Given the differences of race, ethnicity, place, religion, wealth, language, education, and ideology that exist in the U.S., what are the things that unite us a nation? How do we understand what it means to be American and what we hold valuable?

portrait of discussion facilitator Ellen Knutson

Ellen Knutson

This is the focus of “What Does It Mean to Be American?”, a free conversation with Ellen M. Knutson from 1-2:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 17, Event Center, Rock Creek Campus. The discussion is sponsored by Oregon Humanities.

Based in Portland, Ellen M. Knutson is a research associate at the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, where she is a key member of the research team made up of Russian and U.S. colleagues developing libraries as centers for public dialogue and deliberation. She is an adjunct assistant professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois where she teaches a course on community engagement to students in the online master’s program.

Refreshments will be provided and RSVPs are welcome, but not required. To attend, email

About Alfredo V. Moreno

Alfredo joined PCC in September of 2018 as the community relations manager for the Rock Creek Campus in Washington County. Born in the border city of El Paso, Texas, Alfredo grew up in the timber town of Roseburg in Southern Oregon before e... more »

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PCC offers this limited open forum as an extension of the respectful, well-reasoned discourse we expect in our classroom discussions. As such, we welcome all viewpoints, but monitor comments to be sure they stick to the topic and contribute to the conversation. We will remove them if they contain or link to abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, off-topic items, or spam. This is the same behavior we require in our hallways and classrooms. Our online spaces are no different.