Nancy R. Chandler Visiting Scholar Program

The Nancy R. Chandler Visiting Scholar Program (VSP) of the Central Oregon Community College Foundation brings renowned scholars, lecturers and experts to our region to provide broad-based programming on a diverse range of subjects. VSP's mission is to provide educational and relevant programming to COCC, its students and the community.

The program was established in 1985 by the late Robert W. Chandler, Sr. to honor his wife Nancy.

For more information about the program or its upcoming events, please contact Charlotte Gilbride, the Nancy R. Chandler Visiting Scholar Program Coordinator at or 541-383-7257.

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2020 season of nonviolence programs

The Season of Nonviolence honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi and their nonviolent work to advocate for human rights. This year is our 12th season hosting programming to honor this international commemoration. 

Community Book Conversationsbook cover

COCC and other community organizations are hosting book conversations on Ijeoma Oluo's New York Times best-seller, So You Want to Talk about Race. Oluo guides readers through various topics in an attempt to invite folks from all identities to engage in conversations about racism, discrimination, intersectionality and more. Her honest and constructive approach facilitates difficult conversations through engagement and dialog. 

Click here to see dates, times and locations for book conversations. 

Join us for two special events with Ericka Huggins 

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Spiritual Activism & Social Justice

Wednesday, February 12
Wille Hall, Coats Campus Center, COCC Bend Campus, 6 - 7:30 p.m. 

Ericka Huggins will share her personal experiences of finding life-affirming balance as an activist, and as a mother while on trial for her life. It is this balance that has continued to sustain her every day since. This talk will focus on everyone’s capacity to return back to humanity and find inner stability in the face of continual daily challenges, so that we create healthy ways to sustain ourselves.

FREE and OPEN to the public but we encourage you to RSVP here to reserve your seat.

UPDATE: This event is SOLD OUT.  If you would like to join the waitlist, please email Charlotte at As cancellations come in, we will contact those on the waitlist. If we don't contact you before the event, you can still show up and we will let those without a reservation in based on how many no shows / open seats we have. For free events there are usually quite a few no shows so there is a chance that we will be able to let you in. Ericka is doing another program the next morning from 9-10:30 am and there is still plenty of space in that program if you would like to register. THANK YOU.

Creating a Toolkit for Resiliency 

Thursday, February 13 
Wille Hall, Coats Campus Center, COCC Bend Campus, 9 -10:30 a.m. 

Join us for a session with Ericka Huggins to reflect on and discuss the race, gender and identity challenges in school and work environments, and focus on healthy responses to these challenges through relaxing our minds and acknowledging our emotions. This session will be of direct benefit to students, educators, employers and employees as well as any other community members.

FREE and OPEN to the public, but we encourage you to RSVP here to reserve you seat.

About Ericka Huggins 
Ericka Huggins is a human rights activist, poet, educator, former Black Panther leader and political prisoner who has devoted her life to the equitable treatment of all human beings. She has lectured across the country and internationally on issues relating to the well-being of women, children & youth; restorative justice as the antidote to punitive justice; whole being education, and the role of spiritual practice in sustaining activism and promoting social change.

Facilitated Conversation

Sentenced for a Season, Punished for LifeSlaughter

How Long Should People Pay for Past Crimes?

Facilitated by Pamela Slaughter 

Thursday, February 20, 6:00 p.m. 
Don Reeder Community Room, COCC Madras Campus 
1170 E Ashwood Road, Madras, OR 

Many of us have grown up being told—and believing—that after a person serves their sentence for a crime, the slate is wiped clean. Every possibility exists for them to find a decent job, a decent apartment, a decent car. From there, they can go on to build a decent life. But the truth does not often bear out this scenario. A felony conviction can restrict travel options, licensing options for employment, housing, and financial aid, just to name a few. What does it mean to our society that 8 percent of our overall US population—and 33 percent of African American men—who have felony convictions run into these barriers after they serve time in prison? Join facilitator Pamela Slaughter in a conversation about how this reality affects our communities and what alternatives might look like.

FREE and OPEN to the public, but we encourage you to RSVP here to reserve your seat. 

This program is an Oregon Humanities Conversation Project and made possible with support from Oregon Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

About Pamela Slaughter 
Pamela Slaughter is a native Oregonian with varied interests. She works as an adult protective service investigator for Multnomah County and is a licensed real estate broker with Keller Williams Realty Portland Central, working as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES). Pamela also serves as BellaOnline magazine’s Senior Issues editor and hosts a weekly writing group—Shut Up & Write! Pamela loves showing off the beauty of Oregon and gets to do so regularly as a co-leader for People of Color Hike! 


Looking Beyond Our Differences:
Seeing the Humanity in Each of Us

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Justice Adrienne Nelson, Oregon Supreme Court Justice

Justice Adrienne Nelson will talk about how her life experiences -- from being the first person of color at her Arkansas high school to be named valedictorian to serving as the first African American on the Oregon Supreme Court -- have informed her focus on leadership, diversity, inclusion, mentoring, community service and the legal profession. She works daily to “make this world a little bit better.” Justice Nelson will also give us global perspectives and believes if we each connect to our humanity, it opens us up to many more possibilities.

Tuesday, March 3
Wille Hall, Coats Campus Center, COCC Bend Campus, 6 p.m. 

FREE and OPEN to the public but we encourage you to RSVP here to reserve your seat. 

Wednesday, March 4 
Room 209, COCC Redmond Campus, 2030 SE College Loop, Redmond, OR
9-10:30 a.m. 

FREE and OPEN to the public but we encourage you to RSVP to reserve your seat here.

About Justice Adrienne Nelson 
Justice Adrienne Nelson was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court January 2018, making her the first African American to sit on the state’s highest court. She is a frequent speaker on topics including diversity, inclusion, equity, leadership and professional development. She sits on the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Public Education, is the Oregon delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, chairs the Lewis and Clark Law School Judge Roosevelt Robinson Scholarship Committee and is vice-president of the Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court.

Facilitated Conversation

Can We Get Along? Hata
Examining Our Personal Experiences of Connection and Community 

Facilitated by Chisao Hata 

In 1992, in the midst of riots sparked by the acquittal of police officers who brutally beat him, Rodney King asked, “Can we get along?” This iconic American question still resonates today. What is it that drives this question, and why can it be so difficult to answer? What holds us back from connecting with each other? How do our personal experiences contribute to—and have the potential to break down—these barriers? Join facilitator Chisao Hata as she holds space to examine our individual and collective questions on race, perspectives, and cultural values around what brings us together and what separates us. This conversation may include some hands-on activities.

Monday, March 9
RTEC 209, COCC Redmond Campus, 6 p.m. 
2030 SE College Loop, Redmond, OR 

FREE and OPEN to the public but we encourage you to RSVP here to reserve your seat. 

Tuesday, March 10
Room 119, COCC Prineville Campus, 5:30 p.m. 
510 SE Lynn Blvd., Prineville, OR 

FREE and OPEN to the public but we encourage you to RSVP here to reserve your seat

This program is an Oregon Humanities Conversation Project and made possible with support from Oregon Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

About Chisao Hata
Chisao Hata is an artist educator, dance director, arts integration specialist, community activist, and performing artist. For over two decades through her work in education, she has been a protector of imagination and personal discovery, and a champion for individual expression. Creating engaged learning for our youth, our citizen artists, is her life’s work. She has had the honor of serving hundreds of Portland’s children, youth, and adults across many communities. Chisao believes that we are all inextricably linked and the arts are our conduit to build bridges between our communities. 

The 2020 Season of Nonviolence Program is co-organized by the Nancy R. Chandler Visiting Scholar Program and COCC's Diversity and Inclusion office with sponsorship support from The Oregon Community Foundation, St. Charles Health System, Cascades Academy of Central Oregon, Oregon Humanities and Fairfield Inn by Marriott. 


Sponsors of The Nancy R. Chandler Visiting Scholar Program:

Central Oregon Community College

Old Mill District

St. Charles Health System 

The Source Weekly

 Mid Oregon Credit Union

 TracesCO logo

MCM Fund

Deschutes Public Library

Deschutes Cultural Coalition

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united way deschutes logo


CACO logo  

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U of O School of Journalism

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Bend Bulletin


Vic Russell logo

Accessibility IconIn advance of College events, persons needing accommodation or transportation because of a physical or mobility disability, contact Joe Viola: 541-383-7775. For accommodation because of other disability such as hearing impairment, contact the office of Disability Services at 541-383-7583.