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PEP Talk: Portland Engagement Summit

You're invited!

Come for the free food, stay for the community and conversation! Please join the City of Portland's Office of Community & Civic Life and Oregon’s Kitchen Table for PEP Talk, a 3-day workshop that will discuss how we can create an equitable engagement model for the City of Portland.  This event is part of the City's Portland Engagement Project. For more information about the Portland Engagement Project, please visit the City’s website:

The PEP Talk will bring together community engagement experts and individual Portlanders to discuss how we can build proactive engagement structures that will reduce social vulnerability and livability issues, restore trust, and support our communities to thrive.

All Portlanders are invited to participate in one, two, or even all three days of the workshop but space is limited so please register today!

  • Day 1 – Thursday, April 27, 3:30 to 8 p.m. – Zenger Farm
  • Day 2 – Friday, April 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – June Key Delta Community Center
  • Day 3 – Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Portland State University Native American Student & Community Center 

Register to attend PEP Talk here!



Learn More about the PEP Talk Speakers!

Andrew Wilkes
Andrew Wilkes serves as Generation Citizen’s Chief Policy & Advocacy Officer, where he leads GC’s thought leadership, coalition building, and policy initiatives as a part of the national leadership team. Andrew comes to this role with nearly 10 years of experience in public policy, advocacy, and community organizing, particularly among congregations and community-based organizations.
Prior to joining GC, Andrew was the executive director of the Drum Major Institute, a social change organization founded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In that capacity, he executed public affairs events in Dallas, TX and Washington D.C. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act; established the Beloved Community Initiative, a national resource on spirituality and social justice for faith communities; and relaunched the nationally renowned Marketplace of Ideas Forum to bring policy ideas to an audience of changemakers, policy professionals, and nonprofit leaders.
Andrew also serves on the board of directors for the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State and Habitat for Humanity – New York State.

Bryna Helfer
Bryna Helfer is Assistant County Manager and Director of Communications and Public Engagement for Arlington County in Virginia. Prior to joining Arlington County, she was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement for the U.S. Department of Transportation and served as the Senior Advisor to the USDOT Secretary on Accessibility and Workforce Development.
Bryna has more than 30 years of experience initiating, leading, and facilitating interagency coordination, program development, strategic planning, program evaluation, and systems change initiatives. She has a long history of coalition building at the federal, state, and local levels, and is known for her ability to forge partnerships between governmental programs and community-based organizations.


Julia L. Carboni
Julia Carboni is an award winning, community engaged scholar and leader with expertise in using collaboration and asset-based community development to improve the lives and wellbeing of communities. She conducts research on organizational collaboration and collaborative philanthropy with an emphasis on veteran serving networks, food systems, and community development. She teaches courses on collaboration, community development, nonprofit management, and fund development.
Julia is currently an Associate Professor at the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs where she also chairs the Maxwell School Citizenship and Civic Engagement program and serves as the Collaborative Governance Research Director for the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration. In these roles, she develops and maintains relationships with community partners to advance community and Maxwell School goals.
Julia serves on the board of directors for organizations including the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, the University Network for Collaborative Governance, the Food Bank of Central New York, and the Syracuse Onondaga Food System Alliance.

Felipe Rey
Felipe Rey is a founding partner and project coordinator at the democratic innovation laboratory iDeemos, which is part of the international network Democracy R&D. Throughout his academic career he has taught Public Law and Legal Theory at universities in Colombia and Spain and was a visiting researcher at the Center for Human Values at the University of Princeton.
Felipe designed the Itinerant Citizens’ Assembly model, a connected series of citizen assemblies that took place in 2020 and 2021 in the city of Bogotá, sponsored by the Bogotá City Council and its public innovation laboratory, Demolab. The Itinerant Citizen Assembly is the first model from the Global South to be recognized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as an institutionalization alternative.
iDeemos has developed important projects, such as the Mini-Public for Social Dialogue organized by “Procuraduría General de la Nación” in Colombia that took place in 2020 – one of the first deliberations in Colombia using random selection of citizens. iDeemos has signed agreements with the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy to disseminate and strengthen deliberative democracy and participated as a convenor of the Spanish language Cluster in the Global Assembly on the climate crisis in 2021. iDeemos, together with Democracy R&D, also leads the global project "The New Frontiers of Deliberative Democracy", sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy.



PDF icon PEP Talk Agendas