Honoring a Year of Rural Organizing for Justice

As we close out another year, we invite you to reflect on the incredible work of human dignity groups across rural Oregon this past year. Thank you to all the courageous rural human dignity leaders that make this work possible.

Make a year-end donation here to support organizing in rural communities in 2019 and beyond.

In 2018, the 63 human dignity groups and hundreds of leaders that make up the Rural Organizing Project organized for our rural Oregon values: justice and liberty for all. This year we faced threats including skyrocketing white nationalist organizing, the abduction of rural Oregonians by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), and ballot measures that threatened democracy. Every rural county in Oregon responded, building people power for justice through neighbor-to-neighbor conversations, knocking on doors, writing letters, marching, and walking out. We are continuously inspired by the unbreakable resolve of rural Oregonians fighting to keep libraries, schools, and fire departments open while making sure their neighbors’ most basic of human needs are met.


Across Oregon, rural people are building stronger communities to fiercely resist and creatively counter white nationalist organizing.

Earlier this year, an “Aryan-style knife shop” was opened on Cottage Grove’s Main Street by people with known ties to white power gangs and who were convicted for hate crimes. In response, concerned teachers, business owners, and community members formed Cottage Grove Community United (CGCU) and immediately shared information so the entire community could take action! CGCU created “Cottage Grove Community United Against Hate” signs that downtown businesses put in their windows, printed shirts with their logo to send a visible message of unity and to start conversations around town about the community’s values, worked with the school board to formally condemn neo-Nazi activity in Cottage Grove, and hosted a standing room-only community forum on Creating Hate-Free Communities featuring faith leaders from across the county.

Corvallis community members formed Rapid Action Community Response (RACR) after neo-Nazis began interrupting local events. Over the last year, RACR has shown up to peacefully challenge neo-Nazis rallying at Oregon State University for a white nationalist hoping to be re-elected to a student body position, educated their neighbors about local white supremacist activity, and provided watchful hospitality at community events to keep everyone safe.


Small town and rural Oregonians had thousands of conversations about the issues on the ballot with their communities and neighbors at front doors, kitchen tables, and ballot parties.

Groups across the state visited businesses, wrote letters, knocked on doors, made phone calls, held ballot parties, and more to defend Oregon’s 30 year old sanctuary law that prevents the use of local, county, or state resources for federal immigration policy enforcement.

Oregonians delivered over 35,000 STAND Voter Guides with neighbor-to-neighbor conversations in all 36 counties.


Leaders from Yamhill, Wasco, Hood River Counties organized the March from Sheridan to NORCOR after it was exposed that ICE was holding parents separated from their children at the border in the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institute, and that ICE continued to have a contract with NORCOR, the Columbia Gorge’s regional jail. Hundreds of rural Oregonians marched from Sheridan to NORCOR, having conversations about Ballot Measure 105 and the impact of local law enforcement collaborating with ICE.


In the spring, after countless more school shootings, hundreds of young people walked out, sat in, held vigil, and demonstrated in more than 25 rural Oregon schools to start conversations about what safety means. Enduring harassment, threats, and backlash from school administrators, student leaders bravely challenged their peers and their communities to have the hard conversations about how we can keep our young people safe.


Over 150 rural organizers and community leaders convened in The Dalles for the 27th annual Rural Caucus and Strategy Session! We started off the weekend with a statewide solidarity action outside of NORCOR, the regional public jail, demanding an end to their contract with ICE. Throughout the weekend we shared strategies and tactics across rural and frontier Oregon, trained and workshopped campaigns and organizing skills, and planned for the 2018 election and beyond!

Who are the Rural Organizing Project?

ROP builds movement power for human dignity and justice in small town and rural Oregon. ROP’s heart and soul is our network of 63 all-volunteer, autonomous groups across the state organizing their communities for self-determination.

  Baker County People for Human Dignity
  Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
  Corvallis Showing Up for Racial Justice
  NAACP Corvallis/Albany
  Rapid Action Community Response
  Veterans for Peace Chapter 132, Linus Pauling Chapter
  Columbia Pacific Alliance for Social Justice
  Indivisible North Coast Oregon
  Pacific Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
  Columbia County Coalition for Human Dignity
  We All Belong Here Coalition
  Human Dignity Advocates
  Indivisible North Curry County
  Building Common Ground
  Central Oregon Jobs With Justice
  Peace and Justice Team at First Presbyterian Church
  Common Ground Coalition
Gilliam, Wheeler & Morrow
  Rural Voices
Harney & Grant
  Blue Sage Ministries
Hood River
  Building Community Connections/ Somos Uno
  Columbia Gorge Women’s Action Network
  Hood River County Rapid Response Team
  Hood River Latino Network
  Citizens for Peace and Justice
  Peace House
  Rogue Climate
  Jefferson County Human Dignity Group/Rapid Response Team
  Let’s Talk Diversity Coalition
  Grants Pass PFLAG
  Josephine Social Justice Alliance
  Peace Reading Group
  Indivisible Lake County
  Community Rights Lane County
  Cottage Grove Community United
  Springfield -Eugene SURJ
  Deadwood Resists
  Community Alliance Of Lane County/ Springfield Alliance for Equality and Respect
  Blackberry Pie Society
  Stand for Peace/Occupy Cottage Grove
Lane & Jackson
  Beyond Toxics
  Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women
  Immigration and Information Response Team
  Lincoln County People Power
  PFLAG of the Oregon Central Coast
  Albany Peace Seekers
  Linn County Rapid Response Coalition
Linn & Benton
  Corvallis Raging Grannies
  Linn Benton Greens
  Community Action for Racial Equity Mid-Valley
  Polk Community for Human Equality
  Polk Rapid Response Team
  Progressive Action Tillamook
  Economic Community for Healthy Opportunities
  Students Participating and Rebuilding Community
  Racial Justice in Eastern Oregon
  Gorge ICE Resistance
  Protect Oregon’s Progress
  Adelante Mujeres
  North Plains Grassroots
  West County Council For Human Dignity
  ICE Out of Sheridan
  Progressive Yamhill
  Unidos Bridging Community

Thank you to all the courageous human dignity leaders across rural Oregon that make this work possible.Here’s to a powerful and impactful 2019!

Make a year-end donation here to support organizing in rural communities.

Warmly, Cara, Jess, Hannah, Caroline, Rindy, Cathy and the ROP Team