You don’t want to miss this year’s Virtual Rural Caucus and Strategy Session happening on Saturday, May 15th! We can’t be together in person, but this won’t stop us from celebrating all that has happened across the network this past year!
Will there be singing? YES.
Will there be dancing? YES.
Will there be inspiring conversations with organizers from around the state?
Of Course, it’s the Caucus.
We have put aside plenty of time for networking and meeting other organizers around the state, and we’ll also be digging in deep on organizing basics and strategies for defending our communities from detention and deportation. Finally, we will break through this year of quarantine isolation with some good old-fashioned conversation and dancing! Make sure to get your group registered today!
The top 5 reasons to come to the Virtual Rural Caucus and Strategy Session this year:
1. Keynote Speaker: Martha Verduzco
Martha is a true force in the Gorge and beyond. Her heart, commitment, and extraordinary organizing instincts make her an incredible addition to the ROP network. Martha is one of the founders and leaders of Hood River Latino Network, serves on the leadership team of Gorge ICE Resistance and is one of the lead organizers of the Hood River Rapid Response Team. In addition to forming and organizing these groups, Martha has also organized rallies in support of Dreamers, served as a media spokesperson during the hunger strikes at NORCOR regional jail and helped organize other leaders in Hood River to meet with and challenge the county commissioners and other elected officials to take action on their local jail’s contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Martha has also been on ROP’s board of directors since 2017 and currently serves as Chair. In her keynote, Martha will be offering reflections on the past year, including the incredible victory ending the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) contract at NORCOR, and shining some light on our path forward!
2. Organizer “Meet and Greets”
What is the best part of the Caucus? The PEOPLE, of course. Even though we can’t gather in the same room right now, we want you to meet as many organizers from around the state as possible. We all have such amazing stories to tell and getting to know each other is the first step. Get in some quick networking while we celebrate our organizing wins from the past year!
3. Defending Our Communities from Detention & Deportation
Join the ROP staff team to learn more about how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol operate, ways we can protect each other in at-risk locations like food banks, document rights violations to help with legal defense, organize community pressure to stop deportations, and uplift the leadership of directly impacted people! Also learn about steps to take after detention, such as Individual Deportation Defense and family support, Rapid Response Teams, and Accompaniment. This workshop will provide lots of ideas and tools for your group to use in planning your local response to ICE!
4. Organizing for Everyone: Tried & True Tools for Rural Organizers
Are you organizing for the first time and trying to figure out where to start? Have you been organizing for a while, but could use help building and strengthening your group for the long haul? This session will offer some tried and true tools used by the ROP network over 30 years of organizing for human dignity and democracy in rural Oregon! Build your skills as a rural community organizer and add tools to your organizing toolbox! Together we’ll explore how to build a strong human dignity group and keep it alive and kicking, how to plan campaigns (not just one-time actions!) that build people power and win, and engage resources that will help grow your group’s capacity to advance justice in your community. This workshop is great for new and experienced organizers alike! Bring your challenges and successes to this conversation as we share the learnings that make us stronger and more interconnected organizers!
5. A Performance and Conversation with OUT Dance Project
Let’s dance! We are thrilled to host a performance and conversation with the OUT Dance Project, a powerful creative collaboration started by ROPers in Josephine County to combat a sense of isolation, illuminate connections and build rural queer pride. The performance will include dances by rural LGBTQIA2S+ folks alongside personal stories of the songs that have carried them through life-defining moments. The performances will be a springboard for strategizing together about the many ways to use creativity to amplify our own organizing, from impromptu theater to striking protest posters. You do not need to consider yourself an artist or a creative person to join this conversation. Each one of us brings unique skills and creativity to offer! Let’s unlock new and expansive ways of organizing together!
We can’t wait to see you there!