We are counting the days until our favorite weekend of the year, the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session! Over 100 leaders from across rural and small town Oregon are already registered and we have a great team of trainers and organizers joining us to lead sessions. The Rural Caucus & Strategy Session is about more than gaining new skills and insights; it is a chance to re-energize and re-invigorate with fellow small town leaders from around the state.
Check out the draft Caucus agenda below (subject to change). Be sure to scroll all the way down and read about the very exciting and first ever Rural Organizing Institute on Sunday, full of training opportunities for folks hungry to learn and hone their skills.
Still not registered? You are welcome to join us – click here to save your seat today!
See you in Bend!
Rural Caucus & Strategy Session – Saturday, May 14th, 8am – 5:30pm
8am: Registration & Breakfast
Grab coffee and snacks at the breakfast bar and meet up with new and old friends!
9:00-9:15am: Welcome from ROP: The Path to Local Resistance
9:15-9:45am: Keynote by Carla Wallace
Carla Wallace is the Co-Founder of Kentucky Fairness, Kentucky’s LGBTQ organization, and Showing Up for Racial Justice, a national network of groups engaging white people in the movement for racial justice. Carla is a powerful and inspirational long-time organizer for justice and dignity, mentored by Anne Braden, a well-respected Southern civil rights leader.
9:45-11:00am: Community Resilience, County by County
The last year has been a whirlwind of fierce, visionary, often scary, and incredibly rewarding organizing across Oregon! From the frontlines of the militia movement to classrooms and libraries, draw inspiration from brave folks fighting for the soul of their community.
11:00am-12:15pm: Who Speaks for Rural Oregon?
Who speaks for rural Oregon? Is it a white dude in a cowboy hat at an occupied wildlife refuge talking about a fairy tale version of history? Is it the agitators who try to pit white low-wage workers against immigrant low-wage workers, like crabs in a bucket? How can we make the new, beloved rural community that makes all the dispossessed whole? Let’s share stories and strategies across communities.
Chat with great friends over good food from Global Fusion, and cheer on this year’s Human Dignity Award winners!
1:30-3:00pm: Strategy Sessions I – Build, Defend, Protect Democracy
How is Rural Oregon Showing Up? Getting Ready for November 8th
Anti-immigrant, anti-worker, and anti-choice ballot measures, so-called “patriot” candidates, and Trump — it’s enough to make your head spin! This session will share and brainstorm strategies to take on this year’s election and amplify rural Oregon’s voice for dignity, democracy and justice for all. Get an update on what’s coming our way and start shaping our local plans to amplify a voice for fairness!
Get to Know Your Militia!
The Oath who? Three Percent of what? Wait, who are the “COWS” again? Their own grand juries – can they really do that? This session will cover the basics of who’s who and the tactics the militia and so-called “patriot” movement are using. ROP will bring the snacks.
How the Right Uses Constitutional Mythology to Mobilize Against Social Change
In this session, we’ll draw from history and an inside view to see how the far right abuses the Constitution, as well as learning how to turn the tables on those myths and advance a progressive vision for the future.
Privilege/Oppression (in Spanish with English interpretation)
How does a history of colonization shape dynamics in Latin American communities today? Breaking down privilege and oppression. This session will be in Spanish with English interpretation.
3:00-3:15pm: Break and snacks
3:15-5:00pm: Strategy Sessions II – Who Speaks for Rural Oregon?
Anti-Indianism and the Struggle for Tribal Sovereignty and Treaty Rights
This workshop will address organized anti-Indian activity in the region and how community members can support tribal treaty rights and sovereignty. The workshop will discuss the importance of cross-community alliances to turn back these attacks on all of our communities. The workshop will conclude with a discussion among participants about how these issues can be addressed in their own communities.
Building Local Resistance
Dig in more with our morning panelists and other human dignity groups who are leading impactful and strategic organizing in their communities. Go home with a set of tools and ideas! The toughest part will be deciding what to do from the many inspiring examples!
Our State, Our Voice
Occupations of bird refuges may steal the headlines, but this is our state and our voice matters! Join us as we plan listening sessions around the state that bring our whole communities together around real needs and real solutions.
Creating a Culture of Safety & Security
Every successful movement for change has experienced backlash, and we are in one of those moments. Join us to learn strategies to keep our people safe as we organize and build beloved community. Presented by Ahjamu Umi, organizer with the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party and lead of security for the recent “Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?” tour.
5:00-5:30pm: Closing and Gratitude
After: Join us for a tour of the local Social Justice Center and a delicious BBQ dinner!
Rural Organizing Institute – Sunday, May 15th, 8:30am-1pm
Join us for a day of training and skills building!
Racial Justice Train-the-Trainer
Organizer and trainer extraordinaire Carla Wallace will break down the steps and tools needed to lead popular education-based conversations for racial justice, including ways to talk about racial justice without requiring a dictionary, facilitating groups through oppressive moments, and moving folks into heartfelt action.
The tried and true organizing tools and skills to build a movement (and your local group!). How to pull together a group, look at your community, find opportunities, and the tactics you’ll need to organize for change! All the nuts and bolts of organizing, from successful one-on-one conversations to leading a good meeting.
From how to do doorknocking and phone banking, to targeting voters and winning elections, this track will cover the basics (and give us some practice) for small town folks looking to impact, shape and win local elections!