Announcing the Rural Organizing Fellowship

Announcing the Rural Organizing Fellowship!

The Rural Organizing Project is thrilled to announce that after 26 years of breaking rural isolation by supporting and bringing together thousands of small town and rural community leaders to organize for human dignity and social justice in their hometowns, we are launching the Rural Organizing Fellowship!

We are seeking applicants (and nominations) for the year-long fellowship that will bring together 10 emerging leaders from rural and small town Oregon between the ages of 18 and 32 years old. Over 12 months, beginning in September, the fellowship will:

  • Support and resource fellows to lead a local organizing project of their choosing in their rural community or small town;
  • Increase fellows’ rural organizing skills and build shared political analysis through meeting and learning with organizers doing movement building work today in Oregon and studying local, national, and international movements and movement history;
  • Build a cohort of emerging organizers who will support each other as peers through the yearlong fellowship and coming together for four weekend-long fellowship retreats that will include in-depth trainings, strategy sessions, and conversation about our political moment.

Each Rural Organizing Fellow will receive a monthly stipend of $500 and travel expenses to attend retreats and trainings at no cost. Gatherings and retreats will include childcare and interpretation as needed. Resources are available for fellows who need the technology to fully participate, including laptops and phone/data plan stipends. In return, each participant will be required to attend fellowship retreats and to spend around 10 hours per week working in their community and on joint projects with the team of fellows and ROP staff.

Who We Are Looking For

The Rural Organizing Fellowship is intended for rural people between the ages of 18 and 32 years old who are eager to organize and make change in their small town or rural 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 seek applicants who have the humility to make the most of that investment through listening effectively, seeking feedback, and recognizing the importance of stretching oneself, learning, and growing. We seek applicants who enthusiastically embrace meeting new people and quickly building relationships, and who self-initiate, are personally organized, and work well independently.

We know that rural communities are desperately under resourced and the most powerful work being done in rural communities is volunteer and often not called organizing. If you have organized a punk show, walked out of school for a cause, coordinated a community garden, participated in clubs in school, or other types of community service and leadership work, you’ve been organizing. If this opportunity is calling to you and you’re questioning whether you’re “qualified”, we encourage you to apply! If you are living in a city, but ready to move back home to rural Oregon by this fall, please apply!

How to Apply

Apply to be a Rural Organizing Fellow no later than July 15, 2018:

Applications should be submitted online, emailed to, or mailed to ROP at PO Box 664 Cottage Grove, OR 97424.

Want to nominate someone to be a Rural Organizing Fellow? Submit your nominations by July 1, 2018:

We will follow up with nominees, review applications throughout July, and interview our top candidates. Fellows will be announced by August 15, 2018.

Questions should be directed to or 541-802-6020.

Who We Are

ROP, our ever-evolving network of more than 70 autonomous groups across the state, and hundreds of leaders have hope and an unbreakable resolve that together we can build beloved community through the rural traditions of community organizing, political education, storytelling, finding common ground, breaking bread, and celebration. ROP is dedicated to creating communities accountable to a standard of human dignity: the belief in the equal worth of all people and the need for equal access to justice. Created by and for rural and small town Oregonians in 1992, ROP remains driven by and accountable to rural leadership to meet the political moment, opportunity, and crisis in communities across Oregon.

ROP has been on the cutting edge of supporting rural community leaders and organizers developing visionary campaigns while countering far right movements for 26 years. The core of our work has always been supporting our network of autonomous, all-volunteer human dignity groups to build community rooted in the values of self-determination, human dignity, and racial, economic, social, and climate justice. Our member groups are courageously countering the politics of fear, isolation, and exclusion with another vision of vibrant, healthy communities where everyone can live their lives fully with safety and dignity. ROP staff organizers support these groups to do bold and innovative organizing for the long haul, strategically talking about and taking aim at the root causes of injustices, while embracing the agility this moment requires to respond quickly to opportunities and crises. Fellows will join this work by engaging in local organizing in their hometowns, leading campaigns or community projects that advance inclusive democracy and social justice.

We are grateful for the generosity of donors across Oregon and the country that have created the financial stability to make the Rural Organizing Fellowship program of this scale possible! If you would like to make a donation in support of the Rural Organizing Fellows and their work, visit

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