The 2020-2021 Rural Organizing Fellowship
The Rural Organizing Fellowship brings together 10 emerging leaders from rural and small-town Oregon between the ages of 16 and 30 years old.
Beginning in April 2020, the year-long fellowship will:
- Connect organizers from across Oregon through four weekend-long retreats and monthly video calls focused on creating space for organizers to share strategies together, in-depth community organizing trainings, and strategy sessions about strategic rural organizing for the long haul.
- Strengthen fellows’ rural organizing skills and build shared political analysis through meeting and learning with organizers doing movement-building work in Oregon and studying local, national, and international movements of past and present.
- Build a cohort of emerging organizers who will support each other as peers through the yearlong fellowship and beyond.
- Integrate the fellows into the ROP network of human dignity groups through attending the 2020 Rural Caucus and Strategy Session and connecting them with leaders working for progressive change across the state of Oregon.
The 2020-2021 fellowship cohort is leading powerful work in their communities. Click here to meet the 2020 fellows and read more about their work!
How to Apply:
Applications are currently closed for the 2020-2021 Rural Organizing Fellowship. If you’re interested in being added to an email list to receive notifications the next time applications open, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure you get the news!
Nominate someone to be a Rural Organizing Fellow:
Is there a young changemaker in your community we should reach out to about future fellowship opportunities? Email email@example.com to let us know and we’ll follow up with them to make sure they’re in the loop the next time applications are open.
The core opportunities provided to Rural Organizing Fellows are through quarterly weekend-long retreats. To support fellows’ full participation, Rural Organizing Project will reimburse travel expenses, provide interpretation, on-site childcare and/or reimburse for childcare at home, and a wage-replacement stipend of $150 for each retreat. Retreats will be hosted at accessible community spaces and campgrounds when weather permits; ROP will gather camping gear and bedding to loan to fellows.
In order to participate in the program, Fellows need to be available for all four in-person fellowship retreats over the course of the year, as well as the Rural Caucus and Strategy Session. Retreat dates will be available soon! Retreat locations will be determined based on where fellows live.
Who we are looking for:
The Rural Organizing Fellowship is intended for rural folks between the ages of 16 and 30 years old who are eager to organize and make change in their small town, rural, or frontier community. This fellowship is a unique opportunity to dive deep into community organizing in an environment that prioritizes skill-building, studying social justice movement history, and exploring organizing opportunities locally and statewide. We are seeking applicants who have the humility to make the most of that investment through listening effectively, soliciting feedback, and recognizing the importance of stretching oneself. Our ideal fellows are those who enthusiastically embrace meeting new people, quickly build relationships, are self-starters, are personally organized, and work well independently.
We know that rural communities are desperately under-resourced and the most powerful work being done is often volunteer-based and not called organizing. If you have organized a punk show, walked out of school for a cause, coordinated a community garden, participated in clubs at school, or done any community service or leadership work, you are an organizer. If this opportunity is calling to you and you’re questioning whether you’re “qualified” or you currently live in a city but are ready to move back home to rural Oregon this spring, we encourage you to apply!
Questions should be directed to Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-802-6020.
In 2018, we launched the inaugural Rural Organizing Fellowship with a cohort of ten phenomenal leaders from around the state. Over the past 27 years, Rural Organizing Project has been committed to creating opportunities like this for organizers to build their skills and capacity because we know that it will strengthen our rural justice movements for years to come.
The 2018-2019 fellowship cohort is leading powerful work in their hometowns. The Fellows implemented self-directed projects, from creating a program that uses traditional and modern art forms to aid in the process of restorative justice and healing for tribal members involved in the parole and probation system to forming Oregon Heritage Organizations for Social Equity, a network of rural museums and interpretative centers committed to equity and inclusion statewide. The fellows met for quarterly organizing retreats to build and deepen a collective understanding of what our rural communities need and to strengthen their change-making skills. Additionally, many participated in a week of lobbying and civic engagement at the Capitol, joining over 600 people at the Capitol to win Driver’s Licenses for All!