We are so excited to gather and strategize together this Saturday, May 30th by phone and computer for the 29th annual Rural Caucus and Strategy Session! Hundreds of rural community leaders, organizers, and activists are deep in the hard work of navigating this moment for the survival and dignity of everyone who calls the small towns and rural communities in Oregon home. When ROP staff reached out to the ROP network, the overwhelming response was that now more than ever we want to connect with each other, share and hear from each other’s work building community during crisis, and remember that together we are a resilient movement for human dignity and democracy connected like spiderwebs to each other across Oregon. Even though we can’t be together in person, this year’s Caucus will focus on small group conversations, the new cohort of phenomenal Rural Organizing Fellows will lead us in raising our collective voice, and long-time organizer and activist Lisa Gonzales will keynote, sharing about Building our Common Good: Deep Change in the Midst of Crisis!
Lisa Gonzales is committed to practicing liberation in many forms and on many fronts, including workers’ right to organize, anti-gentrification and fair housing for all, poverty and welfare rights, anti-racism and immigrants’ rights, and ever-evolving community care work. She lives in Corvallis, where she has been a resident for over 20 years. She came to the ROP family as one of the founding members of Rapid Action Community Response (RACR), a human dignity group that formed in 2017 in response to escalating white supremacist activity and a growing culture of threat to immigrant residents with the empowerment of ICE by the current administration. Lisa is also a founding member of the Mid-Valley Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) with a focus on local labor and cultural organizing, and most recently, the emergence of Tenants United Corvallis. She has a background in occupational therapy, community social work, and sociology. In 2018, she joined the ROP Board. Lisa’s deep commitment to radical social, political, and economic transformation continues to inform and inspire her organizing work.
Here’s a note from Lisa about what it means to her to be a part of the ROP network: “Joining the ROP family has been both eye and heart-opening. I have met and worked in solidarity with so many courageous, creative, thoughtful people from around the state and beyond. In this challenging and trying time, as we continue to grapple with this pandemic, I am excited to come together with all of you for our first ever online caucus. As we say in the IWW, “An injury to one is an injury to all.” Solidarity forever! ¡Solidaridad para siempre!”
Register here to join us at the Rural Caucus and Strategy Session on Saturday, May 30th from 10-11:30am! Looking forward to strategizing and learning from and with you there!