Showing up for Racial Justice

April 1st, 2013

Dear ROPnetters:

In two weeks, ROP will be in Seattle co-presenting in a 2-day institute with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) about engaging white people in racial justice work.  We have something to be proud of here in Oregon: our human dignity groups are a national model for organizing white people against racism in our institutions, and against the ideas our culture passes down: that white people are better, smarter, and more deserving of basic dignity that people of color.

Our values state that every person has inherent dignity that must be defended, and that in our democracy all voices must be valued and heard.  This includes immigrants, people of color, racial and ethnic minorities.

From our foundations in the early 90s, the ROP community has been diverse in gender, sexuality, race, and background – though our members have also been aligned with the reality that Oregon is overall a very white state in a very white region of the country.  We have organized white people.  Also from our very foundations, we have used an intersectional approach: which means that while each of us comes in the door for different reasons – to advocate for health care, for LGBTQ rights, for immigrant fairness – by sticking together we develop a broad view of how injustices impact us all. 

From building cross-race alliances in small-town Oregon to white allies showing up to include a pro-immigrant voice in town halls, to events like the recent March for ONE Oregon showing unity beyond the bounds of race, we have a deep history here.

But we are also imperfect. We do not come with all of the tools and analysis we need. We were born to a society where racial injustice is the mainstream – shown in our laws, our attitudes, and our opportunities.  Of course this has impacted us.

ROP would like to invite you, especially if you are a white seeker of racial justice, to attend this 2-day institute organized by our friends at the national group Showing Up for Racial Justice.  You’ll share time with ROP, as well as the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites and Washington Community Action Network of Washington State.  You’ll meet like-minded folks, and leave with more inspiration, support, and tools to continue walking this long road towards justice.

Contact me at if you’re thinking about coming.  Carpools are available from Oregon to Seattle.


Base-Building for Racial Justice Training
April 13-14, 2013
Seattle, WA

We would like to invite your organization to participate along with several other groups from around the country in Showing Up For Racial Justice’s Base-Building Training. SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice.

We are reaching out specifically to west coast organizers, who are from a mix of volunteer and staffed organizations, and with various experience levels with explicit engagement in anti-racist organizing.  This training is in collaboration with the White Privilege Conference, which will be occurring in Seattle the week leading up to the Base-Building Training.

Training:  The training will include the following components:

  • The historic role of white anti-racist leadership,
  • An overview of the community organizing process,
  • Powerful examples leadership development and base-building,
  • Framing issues with a racial justice lens,
  • Strategies for engaging white people,
  • Building successful, accountable alliances with organizations of color.

Cost:  This training is based on a sliding scale of $50-500.   These funds are critical to sustaining our work, and will go toward supporting our collective housing, food, transportation, and training-related needs for the weekend.  If you are coming with an organization, we encourage you to seek funding and fundraising support from your organization.  If you wish to attend but don’t have the funds, or if transportation is an issue, please contact to discuss a scholarship.

Confirmation:  Please confirm your organization’s representation as soon as possible.  We will send a follow-up message requesting participants to fill out an online Pre-Training Survey.  If you have a large group, please designate one organizational lead who can provide us with participant names and contact info.

We look forwarding to working with you!