Jan 2011 KTA: Telling our Civil Rights Stories

What is your Civil Rights story?

The KTA for January 2011 is to write our civil rights stories, on our terms, from our perspective.WHAT IS THE ACTIVITY? Commissioner Brad Avakian who oversees the state’s Civil Rights Division is hosting a project to “document the historic and present day civil rights struggles experienced by our diverse Oregon communities.” The best of those stories will then be published in a book format. Let’s make sure that our story, the story of a progressive rural Oregon, is present in that project.WHY THIS ACTIVITY? Remember the story of Rosa Parks on the bus in Montgomery? Or of the March on Washington which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964? Or what it meant when one couple in rural Oregon consistently had their “No on 9” sign torn down, putting it up again and again at the foot of their property? These are our stories.

Storytelling is a primary way that we can show our impact over time, and inspire future generations with a movement history that they inherit. Stories that you all write will become part of our collective memory that shapes our view of the past, and our hopes for the future.
STEPS TO COMPLETE THE ACTIVITY:1. Review the guidelines and suggestions on Brad Avakian’s site http://www.mycivilrightsstory.net/.2. Think about a story from your own personal history that should be shared. Or, think of a friend or family member you know that you should recruit to write a story, or who you could interview and help to share their experience.

3. Light up your wood stove or fireplace if you have one, and turn those dark January evenings into chances to fit in some writing and reflecting.

4. Be sure to submit your story to Brad by Valentine’s Day, Februray 14th. Share your story with ROP be emailing it to cara@rop.org.

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