Meet ROP’s summer intern, coming to a town near you!

June 20th, 2017

Dear ROPnet,

We would like to introduce you to ROP’s summer organizing intern: Emma Ronai-Durning! If you participated in this year’s Rural Caucus & Strategy Session, you likely saw Emma hard at work helping manage logistics for a smooth event. What you might not know is that the Caucus was Emma’s fifth day interning with us! She jumped into the organizing alongside our staff team, offering her wealth of savvy to help us convene, feed, and celebrate with over 170 folks from across rural and small town Oregon. You can learn more about Emma’s background from her bio below.

This summer, Emma will be traveling across the state and talking with community leaders about how their communities are showing up to defend the most vulnerable of their neighbors, including forming rapid response teams around deportations and/or hate or bias crimes. Emma has already begun documenting resources and tools that small town leaders are developing and using. Emma has been supporting ROP staff in creating additional resources for communities hungry to develop grassroots infrastructure that responds to crisis.

Emma says, “Ever since I first heard about ROP a year and a half ago, I have been eagerly seeking out a chance to engage more deeply with the amazing work that rural organizers have been committed to for so long. Growing up in Oregon, I feel connected to Oregonians new and old, especially those who feel as connected to both the people and the land as I do. It was an honor to meet so many of you at the Caucus earlier this month, and I am so excited for the opportunity to meet and work with so many more incredible people in the months to come. I have learned so much from my first couple weeks and am so grateful for your commitment and engagement as I reach out and get more connected throughout the summer.”

We are thrilled Emma has chosen to spend her summer with us at ROP! We are deeply impressed and inspired by Emma’s initiative, commitment to justice, and skill, diving right into the organizing at ROP to support human dignity groups across the state. We can’t wait for you to meet her! Send Emma an email welcoming her to ROP at!


Emma Ronai-Durning, Intern
Emma is interning with Rural Organizing Project for the summer of 2017. She will focus on documenting support systems and rapid response networks being created to support undocumented Oregonians.

Born and raised in Salem, Emma is currently a senior at Middlebury College in Vermont. She started organizing in her first year, focusing mostly on climate justice issues through a campus-based fossil fuel divestment campaign, fighting the Vermont Fracked Gas Pipeline, and pushing world leaders to take more radical action at the Paris Climate Talks. Later her focus shifted and she participated in performance activism against campus rape culture, cofounded “Wonder Bread: White Students for Racial Justice” with some of her classmates, and helped shut down a lecture by white nationalist Charles Murray. Planning to move back West after college, Emma is excited for a chance to start digging in to rural Oregon and supporting the incredible people working across the state she calls home. Send Emma an email at

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