The Detour

The Detour

Each month, host Adam Davis and guests explore tough questions about how we live together. Conversations on The Detour connect ideas and personal experiences without looking for easy solutions. Here we find the path to understanding often takes unexpected turns. The Detour is produced by Oregon Humanities.


August 28, 2023 58 mins
In this episode, host Adam Davis discusses risk and comfort with Lieutenant Colonel Kim Wilton, a helicopter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and his friend of over three decades. In addition to flying in missions around the world, Kim has also been a long-haul trucker, a college radio host, and is currently a farmer, a baker, and a biker who spends a good amount of time teaching other people to fly helicopters. In ...
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In this episode, Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy, talks about home, race, and the Portland Trail Blazers. Hear him reflect on his loyalty to and criticism of Mississippi, his jaded allegiance to the United States, and what it means to speak about our hometowns with tender honesty.
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July 2, 2023 57 mins
Do you remember when you last talked to someone whose beliefs or opinions about important stuff were different from your own? Current research shows that Americans are less and less likely to live with and talk to people who hold different opinions about politics, God, gender, education, guns, democracy, and so on. In this episode we talk with Mónica Guzmán and Ryan Nakade, two people working to get people to connect acr...
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June 1, 2023 58 mins
In this episode of The Detour we explore memory. Paul Susi and Sallie Tisdale wrote pieces for the Memory issue of Oregon Humanities magazine, and they read from these essays here. We also talk with Paul and Sallie about memory, about civic memory and personal memory and how much we need it and how unreliable it is and what it all means. Paul Susi is a community activist, educator, and performing artist based in Portland...
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May 16, 2023 3 mins
Oregon Humanities' collaborative approach to programming and publications is possible thanks to the support of donors like you. In this special message, hear from Rozzell Medina, program manager, about the kind of intentional relationship building he's engaged in and how much time it takes. As part of our spring campaign, will you make a gift to support wonder and curiosity—one person, one connection at a time?...
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April 23, 2023 52 mins
This episode of The Detour explores what kids think about success and where their ideas about success come from. The way we explore this is pretty simple: we talk with kids—second, fifth, and sixth graders from Vose Elementary in Beaverton and Yoncalla Elementary—who have some really helpful, clear, thought-provoking, and moving stuff to say.
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March 29, 2023 50 mins
In this episode we talk with Erica Heilman, creator of the podcast Rumble Strip. Erica's conversations with the wide range of people she talks to all sound unusually real—sincere, unvarnished, funny, regular, important, and humble all at once. So much of Oregon Humanities' work, including The Detour, revolves around conversation and trying to understand other people and ourselves, so we asked Erica to join us f...
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March 2, 2023 51 mins
For a significant stretch of our lives, most of us spend a whole lot of time working. In this episode of The Detour—the third in our series on organizing—we'll explore what it means to organize at work with the help of Vanessa Veselka and Gordon Lafer. We'll think about unions and labor and solidarity and power, and we'll also ask what unions are for. Are they primarily a tool to improve the basic conditio...
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January 25, 2023 52 mins
In this episode, the second of our three-part series on organizing, we talk about intergenerational organizing with Adah Crandall, a sixteen-year-old organizer focused on transportation and climate justice; Danny Cage, a youth organizer advocating for racial justice, education reform, and LGBTQ+ rights; and Suzanna Kassouf, a teacher at Grant High School and a cofounder of Sunrise Movement PDX. This conversation explores...
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January 3, 2023 518 mins
In this episode, the first of a three-part series on organizing people and communities, we talk with Hahrie Han, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University who studies civic and political participation. We also hear from Bruce Poinsette, Marcus LeGrand, Joy Alise Davis, and Keith Jenkins, four Black Oregonians who have been working on community organizing in different parts of the state. What does it...
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November 28, 2022 51 mins
Few conversations are as polarizing as the ones that appear online between Black native Oregonians and transplants. It's a discourse that brings Oregon's history of anti-Black exclusion laws and redlining into the present, along with the frustrations that arise in a small community where so many people know each other. But are these tensions based more in perception than in reality? To explore this question, jo...
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October 25, 2022 51 mins
The Pacific Northwest has long been a hospitable home to conspiratorial thinking—often with dangerous results. What leads a person down these dark paths and what might it take to come out the other side? In this episode, we talk with Leah Sottile and Eli Saslow, two Oregon journalists who have gone deep into the world of conspiracy theories, about some of the conditions and patterns that lead people to conspire against t...
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September 28, 2022 52 mins
In this episode, we talk with David Harrelson and Clint Smith about monuments, memorials, and statues—and also about culture, understanding, and hopes for the future. Talking about memorials, as Harrelson and Smith make immediately clear, you can't help but talk about values, and also about people and peoples. And, recently, talking about monuments, memorials, and statues has also meant talking about toppling, conte...
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August 31, 2022 51 mins
In this episode, we ask young people in Oregon about what they thought and felt when COVID landed—and what they think and feel now, a few years in. You'll hear from Caroline Gao, a high school senior from Albany, and several students from Encore Academy in Warrenton.
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July 22, 2022 51 mins
In this episode, we discuss the fictions, myths, and hopes that the United States of America produces and depends on. We spoke with Mitchell S. Jackson, author of The Residue Years and Survival Math, about the dream of homeownership and all it contains, and Omar El Akkad, author of American War and What Strange Paradise, about the self-evident truths we claim to hold within this nation's borders.
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June 30, 2022 52 mins
Many of us grew up thinking that being coupled with one person—and codifying that union through a government institution—was the ultimate expression of romance. But why do we continue to conform to traditional coupledom despite the data against it? In this episode, we discuss love and ambivalence with Laura Kipnis, author of Against Love and Love in the Time of Contagion. We’ll also hear from Jamie Passaro, a writer and ...
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June 23, 2022 41 mins
Episode 8 of The Detour featured conversations with Karl Marlantes and Sean Davis, veterans from Oregon who served in two different wars. In this episode extra, we speak with Sosan Amiri. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sosan has also had firsthand experience with war. In conversation with Rozzell Medina, Sosan talks about how she advocated as an Afghan American for her family, community, and home country during the US milit...
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May 20, 2022 53 mins
There are so many ways humans and other beings shape each other’s lives, for bad and for good, often in ways we fail to notice let alone understand. In this episode, we explore the relationship between human beings and other beings—between humans and animals, humans and plants, and humans and the earth itself. We talk to Robin Wall Kimmerer, author, scientist, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and Emm...
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April 29, 2022 55 mins
In this episode, we reflect on the significance of the military in American life and discuss what it's like to serve in the armed forces during wartime. We spoke to Karl Marlantes, author and Vietnam War veteran, and Sean Davis, author and Iraq War veteran, about the experience of preparing for war, being at war, and coming back home to Oregon from war. Content note: This episode contains descriptions of violence th...
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April 19, 2022 57 mins
In this episode, we take a look at the ways Oregon is divided and the mechanisms that widen those divides. We talk with Chad Karges, founder of the High Desert Partnership; Amaury Vogel, associate executive director of the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center; and Eddie Melendrez, member of the Ontario City Council, about how Oregonians can work across differences, beliefs, and backgrounds to develop relationships and build ...
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