Rob Garrott: Content Manager, LinkedIn Learning
Marcus LeGrand: Pathways College and Career Success Coach & Instructor: Central Oregon Community College
Jim Porter: Chief, Bend Police Department (Retired)

Erika McCalpine: Instructor, OSU-Cascades
Zak Boone: Chief Advancement Officer & Executive Director, COCC Foundation

In response to the civil unrest after the death of George Floyd, City Club’s Civility Project recognized the importance of having a conversation with Black Central Oregonians and local law enforcement to advance the topic of racial injustice in our community. Using the Civility Tools City Club has adopted, Erika McCalpine and Zak Boone engaged the panelists on topics ranging from their personal reflections to what the Bend Police Department has done to prevent similar incidents from occurring here.

During the forum, Marcus LeGrand and Rob Garrott shared stories of their experience as Black men in Central Oregon and fielded a range of questions from the virtual audience, many related to their interactions with law enforcement. Bend Police Chief Jim Porter (now retired) provided perspective on police tactics, funding, and enhanced training techniques at the Department.

In reflection, LeGrand and Garrott were asked to share their experience as City Club panelists:

“I appreciated the opportunity because the forum allowed me to reach a broader and more inclusive audience to discuss how we can start taking steps to dismantle systems of oppression, but in a civil and commutative way. Finally, the forum inspired me to improve my community engagement philosophy, to research new insights on civility, and develop a more comprehensive approach to help our community,” stated LeGrand.

“I love Bend but it doesn’t always love me back. Because of that, I want to make this place more accepting and open to different ideas and ethnicities. Bend is still small enough that a person can interact with local government and help to shape the feel and future of this amazing town. Taking part in the City Club panel gave me an opportunity to share my experience and love for this special place and interact with a wider community,” said Garrott.

As we reflect on this livestream, it is important to remember that we must be inclusive, pay attention and listen to the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) members of the Central Oregon community on this and all topics. City Club believes that conversation creates community, and all members of our community should be included in these conversations.

Ways You Can Engage

Special thank you to Forum Presenting Sponsors Steele Associates Architects and SCOPAC; to Forum Supporting Sponsors Ruth Williamson Consulting and Bethlehem Inn for helping create this important conversation!