Courtesy of Dear Stranger

Oregonians Invited to Write to A Stranger in August

Submissions for Dear Stranger, a letter-exchange program from Oregon Humanities, are due September 18, 2015. Oregon Humanities invites Oregonians to write a personal letter to someone they’ve never met this summer as part of Dear Stranger, a letter-exchange project now in its second year.

Dear Stranger aims to engage Oregonians from all walks of life through the mail. The premise is simple: Write a letter, get a letter, and make a new connection. There are three rounds of Dear Stranger each year, one for each issue of Oregon Humanities magazine. The theme for the summer 2015 round of Dear Stranger is “Safe.”

Why a letter exchange? Part of Oregon Humanities’ mission to connect Oregonians to ideas that change lives and transform communities is bringing people together across differences, beliefs, and backgrounds, both in person, through programs like the Conversation Project and Idea Lab, and over distances, through Oregon Humanities and Dear Stranger. To date, more than 250 Oregonians have written Dear Stranger letters.

The summer 2015 prompt for letter writers is as follows:

Write about safety: a time you took a risk or exercised caution, stirred up controversy or avoided it; or a place or experience or work of art that made you feel secure or uneasy.

Writers will send their lettersalong with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a signed permission form (available at to Oregon Humanities. Letters will be swapped with the goal of pairing individuals from different parts of the state. What happens next is up to the writers; the hope is that the project will inspire further correspondence.

Letters should be addressed to Dear Stranger,921 SW Washington St., Suite 150, Portland, Oregon, 97205. Oregon Humanities will exchange letters mailed through September 18, 2015. Any letters postmarked after the deadline will be returned to their writers. Further details about the project may be found at

Oregon Humanities connects Oregonians to ideas that change lives and transform communities. More information about our programs and publications—which include the Conversation Project, Think & Drink, Humanity in Perspective, Idea Lab Summer Institute, Public Program Grants, and Oregon Humanities magazine—can be found at Oregon Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a partner of the Oregon Cultural Trust.

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