Party & Rural Organizing Intensive this weekend!

We are just a little bit away from getting our first glimpses into the May election results, and we are counting our lucky stars that we get to debrief, celebrate victories (we hope!), grieve losses (we hope not!), and plan for what’s coming next in rural Oregon at the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session this Saturday, May 20th in Albany! While we put the final touches on the confirmation packet (coming to all registered Caucus participants by email tomorrow!), we are getting even more excited for ROP’s 30th Anniversary Birthday Party on Saturday night and Sunday’s Rural Organizing Intensive! Read on for more details, check out what is in store for Saturday at the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session, email to save your seats and spots on the dance floor, and let us know at if you’re going to stay for Sunday!

Last year, ROP turned 30 years old, and we planned on celebrating at the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session in Redmond in June… and then the Supreme Court struck down Roe the day before. Instead of a party with music and food, we followed Redmond Collective Action’s lead and took our food, music, and supplies to the rally for reproductive justice instead.

Well, our day has come! This year we’re going to have a party – because if I can’t dance, it isn’t my revolution – with TWO live bands, delicious birthday cake, dessert, games, and fabulous company! We will kick the party off with Who Brought Opie leading us in a classic labor movement sing-a-long and warming up our dancing feet, and then the Doug Fury’s will take the stage! 

On Sunday, May 21st from 9am-1pm, we are holding the Rural Organizing Intensive where rural and small-town community leaders, activists, and organizers can build their skills in one of two tracks: creating and moving effective, values-based messaging for movement-building and community radio station management skills:

On Message, With Meaning
Join Robert Bray to learn how to do media messaging that breaks down complicated issues into clear statements and moves your target audiences without repeating your opposition’s messages, all while lifting up your worldview and values! In this highly interactive session you will learn a basic message model template that can be applied in just about any issue area. Always wanted to be an effective spokesperson and public speaker with a message to communicate? In this session, offered as a Messaging Strategy Lab, we will go deeper into messaging challenges and specific campaigns and issues in rural Oregon. The basics of messaging become part of a plan on reaching different audiences including those beyond the choir. We will also feature a special focus on your role as an effective communicator and hone and practice our spokesperson skills!

Robert Bray (he/him) has worked in social justice communications for more than 35 years, helping to give voice to those most underrepresented in the media and develop and fund strategic communications around some of the most pressing issues of our time. He is the former communications director of NEO Philanthropy, a national philanthropic intermediary, and in that capacity worked with funders and grantee advocates to communicate around anti-human trafficking, racial justice, democracy/elections/civic engagement, as well as NEO’s organizational communications. He launched the Four Freedoms Fund (FFF) Communications Initiative in 2008, which for more than a decade helped build communications capacity in the Immigration Movement. Bray is the former communications director of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund based in San Francisco, his home. In the late 80s and early 90s, he served as the first communications director of the Human Rights Campaign Fund in Washington, DC., the largest LGBTQ rights organization in the U.S., and led communications at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), all during the most explosive times of national media visibility around AIDS and LGBTQ rights. At NGLTF, he co-launched the Fight the Right Initiative, training activists in grassroots communities in more than 20 states. Bray subsequently founded the SPIN Project, a communications training resource for progressive movements nationwide. Early in his professional career, Bray worked in corporate communications for IBM. Bray was born near the U.S./Mexico border in Tucson, AZ. When not working on social justice communications, Bray enjoys hiking, yoga and is currently in a certification program to become a forest bathing and nature therapy guide.

Running & Managing a Community Radio Station
Join Oregon Community Media (OCM) for a two-part training on community radio. In part 1, What Stations Have To Do: the ins and outs of the FCC and other requirements, you will learn what reporting and paperwork is important to stay on top of for low-power and high-power radio stations. In part 2, How to Manage a Station, you will learn about everything else! Wondering how to manage your website and social media? Trying to figure out programming? Working to develop your fundraising and community engagement strategies? Wanting to dig in further around how to make your station as inclusive and welcoming as possible? Have other questions you would like to bounce off community radio leaders from across the state? Come strategize with radio leaders from across the state!

Oregon Community Media is an association of non-commercial radio stations working together to strengthen local independent media to better serve diverse communities. OCM is dedicated to the development, sustainability, and success of every community radio station in Oregon! They seek to support members in being vibrant, active and respected community institutions that offer public service through high quality, interesting, creative and diverse content. OCM has a strong conviction that the airwaves belong to you, the public, not to commercial interest and profit. OCM is committed to strong community radio stations reaching their full potential through collaboration, shared resources, and service.

Email to save your spots! We still have some community housing available if you’d like to stay over with your new best friends, but please sign up now so we can get you set up!