Hello and much love from Amy Dudley, former staff organizer at ROP! Since my cherished time at ROP, life has been full and chaotic and amazing as only life with 2 little ones, Cora, now 4, and Leo, 2, can be. How I miss you all and being on the open road heading to the far corners of our beautiful state! I recently had the treat of reflecting on just how amazing it was to work with the brilliant crew at ROP and the courageous and inspiring human dignity groups of rural Oregon…and I wanted to invite you to do a little thinking and appreciating with me.
Back in 2005, I was asked to write an essay for a forthcoming book that would include a chapter on ROP’s work growing an anti-racist movement in rural Oregon, at the time, primarily with white people as allies to the Latino immigrant community. It is thrilling to me how that work has advanced in the last three years! And now, not quite a decade later, I am holding that book in print. It’s entitled “Towards Collective Liberation” and it’s written by activist, organizer, and friend of ROP and movement people everywhere, Chris Crass.
As one of his many glowing reviewers says:
“Many call for a revitalized Left to challenge the neoliberal war on the 99%, but few explain what that might look like. Chris Crass not only shows us what an energized radical movement looks like, he demonstrates that it is already here—in anti-racist movements, in women of color feminism, in queer politics, in anti-imperialist and anti-war movements, and in a movement-based anarchism grounded in the struggles of ordinary people to collectively resist oppression and dispossession while building liberatory, democratic communities of resistance. Crass understands all of these movements as a source of strength and solidarity, not diversions from the class struggle. Towards Collective Liberation ought to be essential reading for anyone who believes a different Revolution is possible.”
– Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
For those of you in the Portland area, this is a special invitation to join me and others from ROP past and present in welcoming Chris to Oregon as he continues a national conversation on movement building as well as themes from his new book. ROP board chair Bruce Morris will also be on hand to speak about building a rural movement for human dignity and democracy across race, class, and gender in Oregon.
Towards Collective Liberation – We can’t build a movement without YOU!
Thursday, October 24th from 7pm – 9pm
1st Unitarian Church in Portland (Eliot Chapel – 1011 SW 12th Ave.)
A suggested donation of $5-$25 will be accepted at the door, but no one will be turned away because of lack of funds.
We hope you’ll join us!
In closing, I wanted to share the a few words from my essay (now in print!) inspired by ROP, and by many of the people I love most in this world who continue to fuel my passion to make this world a better place for all of us.
Like many young people who grew up rural, I left as soon as I could and never thought I would look back. What I have come to realize is that for me this “battle for the hearts and minds” of white folks is largely a rural struggle. There are many logical reasons for this, not the least of which is that the Right realizes this, but for me there is also a deeper, more personal logic. Rural folk are my people, my grandparents, the friends and family who made me what I am and whose love inspires and sustains me to believe in transformation and hope for justice. I want to do right by them. And I want them to do right by the world.
Thanks again for all you do ROP! Hope to see you October 24th.