In Oregon, July is a celebration of community on every level – from the block party, to the state fair, to the national celebration of US independence from European colonialism. We know that there are ugly histories interwoven with our national story (with injustices against Native cultures at the top of the list), but we also know that pride and celebration of our country is a bridge that speaks to our neighbors. In the spirit of community, the July RMC message is about migration, laying roots and acceptance.
I’m 21 years old and my family has lived in St. Helens for thirteen years. My sense of community started with my sense of family. I think the most important thing about the concept of "community" is that it is a support system that motivates individuals and gives life to the spaces and places that we call home.
What is a city without a community? Just a bunch of buildings, and individuals with no sense of common purpose and no connection to each other. My parents taught me that helping others is the most useful thing that I could do with my life and that is what I intend to do.
To think that if my parents hadn’t immigrated when they were young that I wouldn’t be here is hard to fathom. Oregon is my home, the place that has shaped the person I have become. I do not know who I would have been without it.
Keyla, Yamhill County,
Newberg Coalition for Human Dignity
All the while we were in Mexico [over 13 years ago] my parents moved us from place to place looking for work. As a young adult I moved a lot, not because of work, but because I was looking for a place where I would feel safe, at peace, a place where I and my future family could call home.
Newberg has been the place that I’ve picked to raise a family. I only knew one person here in town so that’s what motivated me to volunteer, to make new friends. A group of volunteers and I have been working on a community garden for the past 2 years and it’ll be completed in July ’10. But I’ve never been so proud and passionate about a project like our community garden here in Newberg.
This town has felt like home ever since I’ve moved here and I’m not leaving 🙂 I’m here to contribute to my community, to my town, Newberg.