A Chance to Re-Energize, Strategize & Organize!‏

April 24th, 2015

Dear ROPnet,

Every year rural and small town activists and organizers come together for the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session, a day to share incredible organizing from across the state, reflect on our last year and make plans for our rural human dignity movement in the year ahead.

This year’s Caucus looks to be inspiring, invigorating and full of fun!

The Caucus will be the weekend of June 12-14th. We will gather in Woodburn, the heart of the farmworker and immigrant rights movement here in Oregon, and will be hosted by our incredible friends at PCUN and Capaces Leadership Institute.

The theme of ROP’s 23rd Annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session is The State of Our Towns. As national issues unfold – from immigration changes to police accountability to the demand for a $15 minimum wage – how are they playing out in our towns? What strategies can we use to engage, knowing that the dignity of workers, immigrants, and everyone with reduced power in our communities decides how well the “whole” is doing?

Here is a sneak peak of strategy sessions at this year’s Caucus:

· Developing our coordinated plans in rural Oregon to build the movement for a $15 minimum wage

· Unpacking what is happening with the Right today: strategies to keep temperatures low and share an alternative vision for our communities as the Extreme Right and militias mobilize in our state

· The State of Race in Rural Oregon: next steps in our work for immigration fairness and against deportations, addressing the role of local law enforcement in keeping people safe and more

· A series of workshops on skills, strategies and tactics to make us strong for the long-haul: from strong facilitation skills to leading conversations on racial justice to building movement culture.

· And more!

This year’s Caucus also includes a special event! We are thrilled to announce that on Saturday, June 13th ROP will launch Rural Organizing Voices, ROP’s own oral history project that documents and shares the stories, lessons, organizing tools and wisdom amassed through ROP’s 23-year history of grassroots organizing in rural and small town Oregon. Come see the video of our Founder, Marcy Westerling, narrating the origins of ROP, listen to stories from local human dignity leaders and their organizing over the years, review tools used to strengthen small town organizing, and more. Don’t miss this incredible event!

The weekend will be filled with inspiration, ideas and opportunities to explore our movement history while planning for our organizing future. The full schedule of events is below. Don’t miss the farmworker movement tour on Friday! Consider staying for the racial justice organizing strategy brunch on Sunday!

Register your group of 3-5 people today. Early registration closes on May 15th. (Early registration really helps ROP with logistics!).

We look forward to an invigorating weekend with you and other human dignity leaders from around the state!

See you there!


Friday June 12th

Farmworker tour with Ramon Ramirez of PCUN (2pm-5pm): Woodburn is rich with movement history. This tour will take you from the PCUN farmworkers hall, to the Radio Movimiento community radio station, to learning about the struggle to obtain farmworker housing with dignity.

Viernes Comunitario (6pm-8pm): Every other Friday, PCUN members and community gather at PCUN to discuss a topic relevant to the community. In June they’ll open their doors to us in this grassroots event.

Saturday, June 13th – the main event!

Rural Caucus & Strategy Session (8:30am-5:30pm): ROP’s annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session will bring together leaders from across Oregon to share stories and skills, build relationships and analysis, and advance plans to strengthen the movement for democracy and justice in rural and small town Oregon. Workshops, strategy sessions, plenaries and lots of time to share local strategies with one another.

Dinner for those staying overnight – 6pm

Sunday, June 14th

We will convene a strategy brunch for folks to discuss local racial justice organizing strategies. What’s going well? What’s hard? Where are you getting stuck? Join other human dignity leaders and Dara Silverman from Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) for a chance to think about and build our racial justice organizing skills together.