In 1992, rural human dignity groups came together to defend democracy and fight a homophobic ballot measure put forward by the Oregon Citizens Alliance. Since then, the groups that make up the Rural Organizing Project have won powerful victories and learned crucial lessons about what makes rural organizing successful for the long haul.

To reflect on 30 years of learning and growing, the Rural Organizing Project created Bridging Divides, Defending Dignity: How rural Oregonians have moved democracy forward since 1992. This traveling exhibit, with an accompanying digital version, can be hosted by groups across rural Oregon and beyond. By lifting up stories of powerful rural organizing, this exhibit creates space for people to connect with one another, share their own memories and experiences of this important movement, and relate the past to our present moment while strategizing and dreaming together of the world we might build for future generations!

The Rural Organizing Project is a state-wide organization that supports a multi-issue, rural-centered, grassroots base in Oregon. We work to build and support a shared standard of human dignity: the belief in the equal worth of all communities, the need for equal access to justice, and the right to self-determination.

You can learn more about ROP and get in touch at You can also support ROP’s work at

Bridging Divides, Defending Dignity is both a digital and a physical, traveling exhibit. Find out more about hosting the free traveling exhibit in your community today!


Physical exhibit designed by Bryan Potter Design

Digital exhibit designed by Anneliese Dehner

Photo credit: Building Bridges in Sheridan, Kathy at the Ranch