Support the Columbia Gorge Resolution Center! 

As a result of decades of underinvestment from the state and our local governments, Oregon is currently ranked 50th in the country for providing mental and behavioral health services. We know that a reasonable standard of living is a core component of a strong democracy and that housing and mental health resources are vital for […]

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Save Our Post Offices 2024

Dear ROPnet, Post offices are a vital part of vibrant rural communities. Unfortunately, a big change is coming to 180 Oregon rural post offices and the USPS doesn’t plan to tell anyone about it. Like we did a decade ago, rural Oregon can have a big impact on post office policy if we make our […]

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Second Civics Training Makes Waves

Dear ROPnet, Following the lead of Linn-Benton NAACP’s event in 2022, Bandon Inclusivity Group (BIG) hosted Protecting Democracy: A Civics Workshop, on Sunday, January 21. They, like many other groups across the state, have seen an erosion of trust in local government and in democracy itself. So they decided to bring community members together to learn […]

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Youth Speak Out for Libraries

“If we aren’t making ourselves be heard, others can use our silence to invent false and harmful narratives about us. We are the youth who are going to inherit this world.” – Will Jaster In recent years Oregon has made real improvements to our school curriculum standards and to the range of resources that our […]

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Groups Kicked Off 2024 with Statewide Action!

Dear ROPnet, Last month, rural Oregonians in every corner of the state showed that democracy is not a spectator sport and got in the thick of the action to advance democracy in their communities! Here are a few highlights from January, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations, Women’s Marches, civics education workshops, and peace […]

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Join us in Woodburn on April 6th! 

In a moment when many rural and small-town communities across the state are recovering from historic blizzards and ice storms, we are looking forward to strategizing together about how everyday Oregonians can organize stronger, more resilient communities during and after crises. The annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session is coming up on Saturday, April 6th, and […]

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Lawsuit Victory is a Win for Rural Oregon

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that we won our lawsuit against the City of Cottage Grove for breaking the law by illegally collaborating with multi-billion dollar federal immigration agencies! ROP and Community Alliance for Lane County filed the lawsuit last year after years of community organizing to pressure the City of Cottage […]

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Rural Actions for Peace in Gaza

Over the past few months, rural Oregonians and people of all backgrounds have been organizing in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis impacted by the terrible violence in Israel and Palestine. This work, rooted in the belief that everyone has a right to safety and self-determination, builds on more than three decades of human dignity organizing. […]

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KTA: Prepare for the Legislative Session!

WHY THIS ACTIVITY? For Oregon’s democracy to thrive, rural Oregonians must have a seat at the table in state government! Every even calendar year, including 2024, Oregon has a “short session” that lasts just 35 days. Oregon’s next legislative session starts on February 5th, and our elected officials will be making critical decisions and passing […]

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The power to create positive, lasting change

The power to create positive, lasting change lies within rural communities! As we reflect back on 2023, a few things remain constant:   •  Human dignity groups in every county are the heart and soul of ROP   •  Our model succeeds because our priorities come from rural communities    •  We couldn’t do this work without YOU […]

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We Believe in a Greater Oregon

Dear ROPnet, As Oregonians, we know that we are stronger when we work together. Everyone deserves a seat at the table for solving the big challenges our communities and our state face! We wanted to share a powerful example with this story of how a small group of dedicated volunteers in Malheur County is organizing […]

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Democracy At Work: November Election Results

Dear ROPnet, While Oregon didn’t vote this November, most states did. A functional democracy requires a well-educated public that participates in the democratic process, so the turnout and results from last month are good news for those of us organizing to advance democracy and human dignity! Below we’ve included a few of the highlights we’ve […]

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Keep an eye on your mailbox!

Dear ROPnet, As 2023 comes to a close, we’ve been reflecting on what ordinary rural people can accomplish when we join together and organize. We shared some of the key victories made possible by human dignity groups organizing for democracy and justice across rural Oregon in our annual report. We’ve included a sneak peek below – […]

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Misinformation and Queer Inclusion Messaging Resources

Dear ROPnet, Last week we held our third and final session of our fall communications series, On Message, with Meaning, focused on leveling up our communications in time for 2024. Read on for highlights from the session, which focused on managing misinformation and advancing queer inclusion.  If you’re hungry for more opportunities for skill-building and strategizing with […]

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KTA: Sheriffs Must Follow Sanctuary Law

WHY THIS ACTIVITY? A University of Washington report determined that the majority of Oregon sheriff’s departments have immigration policies that violate the Sanctuary Promise Act (SPA). Rural Oregonians have organized for decades to build safe and welcoming communities for all, and we won a huge victory in 2021 by passing the SPA. The new law expands Oregon’s Sanctuary […]

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Unions, Strikes and Workers

Dear ROPnet, A basic standard of living is critical to a thriving democracy. After years of deregulation and tax breaks for the wealthy, inequality is at a record high. In response, workers are organizing and harnessing the power of unions to win improved conditions on the job and in their communities. Many unions have been winning! Sheet Metal […]

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On Message with Meaning: Highlights and Next Up

Dear ROPnet, Last week we held our second of three virtual trainings to gear up for the 2024 election by building concrete skills while discussing critical issues. You can still join us for Managing Misinformation, Advancing Queer Inclusion on Monday, November 6th from 6:30 – 8 pm PST. Read on for details about the upcoming interactive training that will […]

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Safety for Palestinians and Israelis

Dear ROPnet, Our hearts have been heavy the past two weeks as images and reports of awful violence in Israel and Palestine flood our screens. In the swirl of reactive messaging and confusing and often conflicting information, we return to what we know: everyone has the right to safety and human dignity. To ROP, a […]

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Save the Date: Caucus 2024!

Dear ROPnet, We’re counting the days until we’ll all be together again at the Rural Caucus and Strategy Session. Literally, counting: it’s in 172 days! Mark your calendars for the 2024 Rural Caucus and Strategy Session, which will be on Saturday, April 6th in Woodburn in Marion County! For 30 years, small-town and rural organizers, activists, […]

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Oregonians Demand Healthy Watersheds

Dear ROPnet, Rural Oregonians are deeply connected, despite the miles between us. The many human dignity leaders across the state who are organizing campaigns to protect their watersheds feel this deeply, especially when decisions by powerful upstream actors directly affect livelihoods downstream. An article by OPB last month described how federal lawmakers are considering the struggles […]

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KTA: Up Your Communications Game!

Background: Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects or groups […]

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Housing Justice in Bend and Cottage Grove

Dear ROPnet, Oregon has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the country, and our state has experienced a huge increase since the start of the pandemic. With hot summer temperatures spiking, not to mention the smoke rolling off wildfires and into communities, having stable housing is more important than ever.  Organizers across rural Oregon know […]

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KTA: Democracy Education for All

Background: Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects […]

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Maui Strong

Dear ROPnet, With wildfires raging across Oregon, we know how important it is in times of disaster for neighbors to show up for neighbors and for communities not directly impacted to spread the word and show up in support however we can. That’s why today we wanted to share with you a call for support […]

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Radio by and for the People

For generations, rural Oregonians have relied on community media to break isolation, share information about community happenings, survive crises, and celebrate art, music, and culture! As wealthy corporations buy up small-town papers and radio stations, human dignity leaders are working hard to support rural media makers. These partnerships allow us to amplify pro-democracy organizing, share […]

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Summer of Pride

All across the state, we are celebrating Juneteenth and Pride in living rooms, parks, and community art centers. Inclusion of all and equality for all is one of the four core pillars of a thriving democracy. In these times of culture war, public celebrations like these are a key way that organizers are holding space […]

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Native Youth Call for Dam Removal

You may have met the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) Youth Leadership Council at the Rural Caucus and Strategy Session, or read about them in last month’s ROPnet about Human Dignity Awards. In today’s ROPnet, we want to share with you the full story of their powerful campaign to remove the four […]

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Congresspeople are Home. Let’s Talk!

WHY THIS ACTIVITY? The August recess is prime time for human dignity group leaders to meet with their members of Congress since they are home in Oregon for the month. Currently, our two Senators have frequent, open, unscripted, in-person town halls. These “real town halls” are quite different from the sterile, “tele-town halls” that representatives […]

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What happened in the legislative session?

Oregon’s 2023 legislative session ended on June 25th, and if you’re like us, it was a bit overwhelming to keep up with the flurry of headlines as our lawmakers voted on dozens of bills in the final days! Now that we’ve caught our breath, what are the big takeaways from the session? Read on for […]

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A Caucus to Remember

This year’s Caucus was one for the books! On the weekend of May 20th, over 115 people from 23 counties and two tribal communities gathered in Albany for the Saturday Rural Caucus and Strategy Session. Many of us stuck around on Sunday for the Rural Organizing Intensive. We kicked off the weekend on Friday, where […]

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KTA: Building a Strong Leadership Team

WHY THIS ACTIVITY? Do you ever think: “Wow there are so many campaigns we could be working on, if only we had more people to share the load!” Many of us across the state have hosted public events in June, or are gearing up for summer fair booths and other ways to meet new people […]

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2023 Human Dignity Award Winners!

Each year at the Rural Caucus and Strategy Session, ROP gives Human Dignity Awards to several groups to lift up and celebrate the powerful organizing they have done over the past year in their communities. This year, we gathered for the Caucus on May 20th in Albany to swap stories, build community, and strategize for […]

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Welcome to the team, Sam!

If you were at this year’s Rural Caucus & Strategy Session in Albany, you already had the pleasure of meeting Sam Corti, ROP’s newest staff member! Sam joined the ROP staff team in early 2023 as our Development and Communications Coordinator, plus bagel wrangler! We have loved working with the incredible Sam on everything from […]

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Showing Up Against Attacks on Democracy

How have you been feeling following the May elections? At the Rural Caucus and Strategy Session last month, over 100 rural and small-town Oregonians dug in together to debrief the election results and strategize about our local organizing going forward. Some folks arrived having won major victories against anti-democratic candidates including members of People’s Rights […]

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Welcome Wagon!

WHY THIS ACTIVITY? With the arrival of summer, many groups have plans to host Pride, Juneteenth, or a summer barbeque. Others are setting up a booth at the county fair or local farmers market. Summer is a great time to meet new people, add them to your cleaned-up county database (if you missed last month’s […]

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We Believe We Will Win!

The 2023 Rural Caucus & Strategy Session is just a little over a week away, and below are a few reasons why you won’t want to miss getting together this year! Seats are limited, so please register now to save your spot for the Caucus on Saturday, May 20th, and the Rural Organizing Intensive on […]

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Major Funding for Housing

The Oregon Governor and Legislature put together an unprecedented funding package to address two of Oregon’s most pressing crises: houselessness and a shortage of affordable housing. Called the “Affordable Housing & Emergency Homelessness Response Package,” the new law authorizes over $200 million for a wide range of programs, including preventing people from losing housing, finding […]

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It Takes a Village to Raise a Caucus!

We are gearing up for our annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session! On Saturday, May 20th, more than 100 rural organizers, activists, and community leaders from across the state will gather in Albany, Oregon to connect with each other, reflect on the last year, and strategize around the work we will do for justice in […]

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School Board Elections & More!

For years, rural Oregonians have taken action during elections as an opportunity to grow the movement for human dignity for the long-haul while electing leaders who work to advance democracy and justice for all. Folks across rural Oregon are exercising their muscles for democracy and inclusion and to overcome the politics of fear and exclusion […]

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Building a Progressive County Database

Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects or […]

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Meet the 2023 Board Slate!

Over the last year, rural organizers have built community, defended democracy, and advanced human dignity across the state, from starting a new Gay-Straight Alliance at Lakeview High School to building a low-barrier shelter and resource center in Sweet Home, and passing powerful ballot measures that took slavery out of the Oregon Constitution and will hold […]

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Meet Oregon’s Budget Crafters

We believe in the power of a functioning democracy! For our democracy to work well, the people must actively participate in it all year round! The Oregon Legislature’s Joint Ways & Means Committee (the lawmakers who prepare the State’s budget), is hosting meetings across Oregon to hear from communities about the 2023-2025 budget. This is […]

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New GSA Gets Official Approval in Lakeview!

Students and their adult allies across the state are building power to make each and every school inclusive of 2SLGBTQIA+ people, from inclusive curriculum to welcoming hallway culture to gender-free bathrooms. Read the inspiring story of the Lakeview High School and Daly Middle School Gay-Straight Alliance below. After organizing for months, they convinced their school […]

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Action Planning for Sanctuary Promise

Rural communities and human dignity leaders have organized for decades to build safe and welcoming communities for all. We won a huge victory in 2021 when we passed the Sanctuary Promise Act (SPA) through the Oregon legislature to expand our decades-old Sanctuary Law. Oregon now has the strongest sanctuary policies in the entire country. They […]

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Register for the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session!

This month’s Kitchen Table Activity is to decide who will represent your group and your community at the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session on Saturday, May 20th in the Linn/Benton county area!  WHAT IS THE ACTIVITY? For 30 years, rural organizers and community leaders from across rural Oregon have come together for the Rural Caucus […]

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Taking Legal Action for the Promise of Sanctuary

Today the Rural Organizing Project and Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) filed a lawsuit against the City of Cottage Grove and its Police Department for violating Oregon’s Sanctuary Promise Act. With Oregon Law Center’s legal representation, ROP and CALC are asking a judge to order Cottage Grove to stop using local resources to assist […]

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Make Your 2023 Legislative Action Plan!

Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects or […]

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The Rural Caucus is Coming – May 20th!

Mark your calendars and get your group registered: this year’s Rural Caucus & Strategy Session will be Saturday, May 20th in the Linn/Benton county area! For more than 30 years, small-town and rural organizers and community leaders from across Oregon have joined together annually at the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session to reflect on the […]

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New Oregon Eviction Data and Housing Bill

When we had conversations with human dignity leaders around the state to create a Roadmap to a Thriving Rural Oregon in 2020, safe and affordable housing was a top priority. Now, three years later, more evictions are happening than even before the pandemic, and rental prices are skyrocketing! Many human dignity groups are working on creative local solutions, including […]

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Celebrating 30 Years of Rural Organizing!

It’s said that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does often rhyme. 2022 has included countless challenges to inclusive democracy that echo what rural Oregon experienced in 1992: the insistence that we should be scared of our neighbors and that our differences are too great to find common ground. What we knew then, and what […]

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Sanctuary Promise in Action

Over one year ago we celebrated a huge victory when we passed the Sanctuary Promise Act! Thanks to the hard work of human dignity leaders, Oregon now has the strongest sanctuary policies in the entire country. Now we get to make sure everyone knows about this big win so that we can uphold the new protections and […]

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Advancing Democracy in Rural Oregon

2022 has been another monumental year for rural Oregonians and for our democracy. As we begin to wrap up the year, it’s a good time to reflect back on what we’ve been able to accomplish together as more than 70 human dignity groups and thousands of everyday rural Oregonians.For ROP, 2022 included our 30th birthday […]

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Colorado Springs In Our Hearts

Dear ROPnet, Many of us are grappling with the devastating news of the mass shooting over the weekend at a queer nightclub in Colorado Springs. As we grieve, we also recognize that this attack is a backlash to some of the powerful victories won by and for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in this past election. Among these victories […]

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Democracy At Work: Counting Ballots

I woke up this morning to fresh snow sparkling in the sunshine, grateful that our country is carrying out a democratic election with no major reports of voter intimidation. While many races have yet to be declared, we can already celebrate two statewide ballot measures that advance democracy! Thousands of rural Oregonians have taken action to […]

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Election Day Final Push!

Election Day is here, and for many of us, it brings stress and anticipation after we’ve had so many conversations with neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers. Thousands of rural Oregonians have taken action to support their neighbors in voting, and there are still a few hours left! Here are a few Election Day actions that you […]

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[KTA] Election Day is Just the Beginning!

Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects or […]

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Misinformation & Transphobia

It’s been a wild few weeks since school started this fall. We wanted to share the below OPB article with you as an example of what we are hearing crop up across rural Oregon: attacks that use rhetoric about “protecting children” from 2SLGBTQIA+ scapegoats to undermine public education and other crucial public infrastructure. Culver School District pulled their students […]

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Rural Libraries Under Attack

Libraries and public schools are under attack, both in Oregon and across the country. The ongoing attempts to ban books, censor inclusive curricula and threaten and intimidate teachers, students and other community members working to advance inclusion are anti-democratic to their core! Oregonians in many communities are saying enough is enough and demanding that we […]

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[KTA] Make Your Election Organizing Plan!

Background: Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects […]

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Reproductive Justice From John Day to Ashland

Following the Supreme Court ruling revoking the constitutional right to abortion, communities across the country are experiencing ongoing attacks on reproductive rights including a proposed federal abortion ban. Two weeks ago the University of Idaho released sweeping new guidance based on state anti-abortion laws, prohibiting professors from sharing emergency contraception or providing abortion counseling. In response to attacks like […]

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Get the Web STAND Election Guide!

With just 38 days until Election Day, groups across the state are having conversations with their neighbors about what’s at stake this year and how we can use the power of our votes to advance democracy and human dignity! Visit our website to find more information about the 2022 STAND Election Guide(Small Town Actions for a New […]

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Human Dignity Awards

Rural community leaders and activists joined together in Redmond for the Rural Caucus and Strategy Session on June 25th to celebrate, strategize, and build relationships for the year to come! After over two long years of social distancing, we took the time to celebrate powerful human dignity groups that have won lasting victories for their […]

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Community Education to Protect Democracy

One of the biggest issues facing rural Oregon is the erosion of trust in local government and in democracy itself. In this ROPnet, we share how the Political Action Committee of the Linn Benton NAACP took action and held Protecting Democracy: Civics Circuit Training, a free and public event that brought together more than 80 community members […]

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Order STAND Guides: It’s Election Time!

Background: Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The theory is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results as groups of people gather to complete the same action throughout the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects […]

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What are your election plans?

From huge victories for reproductive justice in Kansas to Congress passing the Inflation Reduction Act, we’re seeing glimmers of hope about what people power makes possible in the face of recent bleak US Supreme Court decisions. We have exciting opportunities to make a big difference here in rural Oregon during the upcoming election, from local races for City […]

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Madras Key Club Serves 900 Youth

This ROPnet is a special feature! Read on for an update from Jefferson County human dignity group, Madras Key Club, written by Erika Olivera, ROP’s summer intern! Madras Key Club Organizes Jefferson County Fair’s First Ever Free and Culturally Inclusive Craft Booth, Serving 900 Kids in 4 Days! By Erika Olivera Many kids in Jefferson […]

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Rural Oregon Rises Up!

Since this morning when the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, rural Oregonians have been turning our anger into action plans. If you are in Central Oregon for the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session or for any other reason, please join us tomorrow night: Redmond Collective Action is hosting a rally Saturday, June 25th […]

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The Fall of Roe Means We Rise Up!

This morning, The US Supreme Court went through with their plans leaked a few weeks ago and struck down Roe v. Wade. We are angry, we are ready to organize, and we are taking action.  Today groups across rural Oregon are taking the streets to make our values visible in the face of fear. Tomorrow, we […]

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Rural Caucus This Weekend – Details Inside!

We are a few days away from our first in-person Caucus since 2019, and we cannot wait to strategize with you! More than 100 rural community leaders, activists, and organizers will convene in Redmond to share lessons from the hard and powerful work of organizing through overlapping crises, build organizing skills, and plan for the […]

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Build Your Toolbox at the Rural Organizing Intensive / Construya su Caja de Herramientas durante la Sesión Intensiva de Organización Rural

We are overjoyed to be gathering together in person again for the annual Rural Caucus and Strategy Session in Redmond on June 25th. Three years into the pandemic, we’ve heard countless requests for skill building, so we’ve created more space in the weekend to do just that! Stick around for the Rural Organizing Intensive on Sunday, June […]

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Gun Safety and Bodily Autonomy: Rural Oregon Takes Action!

In the past few weeks we have witnessed horrible acts of gun violence including against Black grocery store shoppers in Buffalo, NY; 4th graders and teachers in Uvalde, TX; Taiwanese worshipers in Laguna Woods, CA; and families at both an outdoor festival and a hospital in Tulsa, OK. In the midst of grief, rage, fear, and frustration, people are organizing all across the […]

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Bans Off Our Bodies

On May 2nd, Politico reported on the leaked draft opinion from the US Supreme Court that, if finalized, will overturn Roe v. Wade. Since then, thousands of rural Oregonians and millions of people across the country have taken action to make their support of reproductive justice visible, from rallies in front of town halls and post offices […]

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[KTA] Back to our Roots

It has been inspiring to see how many people are moving into action for the first time when faced with the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade, the attacks on 2SLGBTQIA+ students and neighbors, and beyond. Take action this month to build momentum and grow the movement for human dignity, reproductive justice, and democracy for […]

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8 Reasons Not to Miss the Caucus!

ROP is turning 30 and we are overjoyed to be gathering together in person again! Join us in Redmond for the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session on Saturday, June 25th, and the Rural Organizing Intensive on Sunday, June 26th. The registration deadline to receive the early bird discount has been extended to May 25th, so check […]

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Take Action for Reproductive Health Care Access!

The ability to access and afford healthcare is crucial to making sure that everyone can live their lives fully and thrive in rural communities. The Right has been spending huge amounts of money to restrict abortion access for decades, and yesterday Politico released the US Supreme Court’s initial draft opinion that, if finalized, will strike down the Roe […]

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An Unnatural Disaster

Knowing that many of us experience the consequences of climate crises, including harsh winter storms, mudslides, and wildfires, we wanted to share a powerful podcast series from the Truth to Power Club at Ashland High School that reflects on the Almeda Fire in Jackson County in 2020.

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Welcome to the Team, Sidra!

We are so excited to introduce the newest member to the ROP staff team: Sidra Pierson! As we are fitfully emerging from the winter omicron spike, rural community leaders are taking action right now and we are thrilled to share that ROP is expanding our staff team of brilliant, experienced, dedicated, passionate people focused on building […]

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Growing a Row for Joe & Flo

Background: Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects […]

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Collective action in Redmond & at the Caucus!

This year’s Rural Caucus & Strategy Session will be on Saturday, June 25th and Sunday, June 26th in Redmond! Register your group by May 1st for the early bird discount! In 2020, Redmond and Crook County leaders with the Central Oregon Diversity Project partnered to host a Black Lives Matter rally that included a resource drive […]

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Tillamook Expands Voter Education

Are you trying to increase voter education in your community? Organizers in Tillamook County figured out a way to guarantee that everyone can be informed about candidates running for local office. They devised a plan that encourages cities to distribute Voter Pamphlets to residents. So far, they have been successful getting resolutions passed in Wheeler, Nehalem and Bay […]

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Big Victories in the Legislature!

Did you hear? Rural Oregon won some big victories this year in the legislative session, including overtime pay for farmworkers; helping close the wealth gap for Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities; making sure every Oregonian in immigration court has access to a lawyer; and reducing the number of people stopped by law enforcement, just to […]

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Register for Rural Caucus & Strategy Session!

This month’s Kitchen Table Activity is to decide who will represent your group and your community at the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session on Saturday, June 25th and Sunday, June 26th in Central Oregon!  WHAT IS THE ACTIVITY? For 30 years, rural organizers and community leaders from across rural Oregon have joined together at the […]

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Peace in Ukraine & Beyond

The daily headlines are flooded with the latest updates as Russia invades Ukraine and US troops are sent to bolster North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries’ defenses. Human dignity groups across Oregon and communities around the world have responded, calling for peace and funding our communities instead of the global military expansion of Russia and NATO. Read on […]

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Thanks for Being Our Valentine!

Dear ROPnet,  The interconnections between communities and human dignity groups is what makes ROP strong. Thank you to everyone who shared their love this month by submitting Valentines to Rural Organizers, and thank you to all of you who show your love for rural Oregon through your daily work for justice and human dignity! Read […]

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The Town That QAnon Nearly Swallowed

We’re collecting Valentines to Rural Organizers to create a record of the creativity and care that flows through this web of organizers! How does it work? The ROP Staff team will gather notes, poems, recordings, or artwork from you and then share them back out over ROPnet. Share your words of encouragement with fellow organizers […]

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[KTA] Legislative Session Action Plan

Background: Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects […]

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Valentines to Rural Organizers

Want to send in a valentine to rural organizers? Read on for more details and submit it using the form below! We have a long history at ROP of taking time on Valentine’s Day to remind each other that we’re united by love and hope and that we’ve got each other’s backs! Some of you […]

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We’re Hiring a Communications Coordinator!

In times like these, when communities are facing rapidly evolving crises and clear, strategic communication is more essential than ever, we are excited to share that ROP is looking to hire a full-time Communications Coordinator. Do you know a skilled messenger who could lead the staff in building integrated, dynamic communications that strengthen the ability […]

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Connecting Rural Voices

One of the most important ways ROP is building a thriving rural Oregon for all is by connecting rural voices. We know how important it is for rural communities to be able to communicate with each other and stay up-to-date on current events, both as a way of building community and to keep members of […]

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Safe and Welcoming Communities

In 2020 as part of creating the Roadmap to a Thriving Rural Oregon, the ROP network of more than 80 autonomous human dignity groups, agreed that in order to thrive, rural communities must be safe and welcoming to all people, regardless of their background. This past year, human dignity groups have continued to organize that goal […]

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Building Community and Food Security

In February 2019, ROP was gifted the downtown Cottage Grove building that is now known affectionately as the Community Building Center. We had no idea then that the Center would grow to become a bustling hub of activity during the COVID-19 pandemic and catastrophic wildfires, bringing together dozens of service agencies and hundreds of volunteers […]

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ROP is growing! Now hiring!

Thanks to generous support from donors, ROP has expanded our ability to support human dignity groups and community leaders across the state! We are thrilled to introduce you to our two newest team members, and to announce that we are hiring a Communication Coordinator! Read on to meet Abelio and Emily, and please help us get the word […]

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Healthy and Accessible Learning Environments

School boards across the state have been ground zero in the work to defend democracy and ensure that everyone in rural Oregon has access to quality education. Together as a network of more than 80 autonomous human dignity groups, ROP identified healthy and accessible learning environments for all children as a crucial destination on the Roadmap […]

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Racial Justice from Kenosha to Rural Oregon

We are frustrated and angry at the news of Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal. In August 2020, Rittenhouse, a teenager from Illinois crossed state lines into Kenosha, Wisconsin with an AR-15, and shot three Black Lives Matter activists who were protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man. Two of those people died. Both the Kenosha […]

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Pride Across Rural Oregon

As school boards across Oregon receive homophobic and transphobic pushback for implementing basic safety and resource measures for LGBTQ2SIA+ students, we wanted to share and reflect on two stories of powerful rural Pride events human dignity groups organized in Wallowa and Harney Counties last summer. At the beginning of June, organizers hosted Pride at the Nez […]

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Newberg Fights for Equity

Human dignity groups have held weekly rallies and flag waves in support of the Movement for Black Lives at Newberg’s city flagpole since the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020. These weekly gatherings took on renewed urgency though this past August when the Newberg School Board enacted a ban on wearing or displaying Black […]

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I Affirm

After a Grants Pass teacher and administrator started a transphobic campaign in their school district this spring, middle and high school students in Grants Pass and human dignity group leaders across Josephine County formed the I Affirm Coalition to respond. Through powerful middle and high school-led rallies, passionate school board testimony, and county-wide organizing, the I Affirm […]

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Community Spaces are Essential

Background: Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects […]

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Justice for Barry Washington Jr.

On Saturday, September 18th, Barry Washington Jr., a young Black man, was murdered in downtown Bend. The murderer, Ian Cranston, was initially charged with manslaughter, meaning he was accused of killing someone unintentionally and was released on bond a couple of hours later. Cranston’s Facebook is covered in casual uses of the n-word, but the […]

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Taking to the Streets for Reproductive Justice

This Saturday, groups across the network will be rallying for reproductive rights. Check out the list below for information on what’s happening in your area. Mobilizing for reproductive rights is not new to the ROP network. In 2018, Ballot Measure 106 tried to amend the Oregon constitution to prevented public employees and working-class people, including […]

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Borders, Blackness, and Empire

The brutal treatment of Haitian migrants at the US-Mexico Border this past week has been horrifying, to say the least. Groups across the state and the country are participating in a national day of action on Wednesday calling on the Biden administration to end anti-Black and anti-immigrant policies and practices as well as ensure that […]

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Exhibits That Build the Movement: Then & Now

ROP is turning 30! Next year will mark the third decade since a grassroots network of rural human dignity groups from across Oregon joined together to fight a homophobic ballot measure put forward by the Oregon Citizens Alliance in 1992. Our team is hard at work to commemorate this anniversary by creating a traveling exhibit about […]

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Crisis Averted in Klamath – For Now

Last month we sent out a Kitchen Table Activity about the water crisis in the Klamath Basin and the ways that national far Right movement leaders were considering making Klamath their next big national stand. Luckily, things have cooled off some in Klamath, and it’s in no small part because of the response of the Klamath […]

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Supporting Asylum-Seekers in Lincoln County

Two years ago in Lincoln County, Acompañar formed out of community need. Asylum seekers were paying exorbitant rates for rides to their Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) appointments and local leaders got together to fix that. Now, 2 years later, they have expanded to raising funds and continuing to build systems of mutual support. Read on to learn more about […]

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Lessons From 30 Years of Fighting the Right

ROP recently experienced a new round of harassment and threats to our building and staff, which we believe to be tied to right-wing elements that oppose our goal to build equitable and welcoming communities for all across rural Oregon. While, thankfully, that harassment has eased in recent weeks after a strong show of solidarity by […]

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Broken Glass, Broken Trust

We were struck by Douglas County’s Robert Leo Heilman’s latest essay: Broken Glass, Broken Trust, published at The Daily Yonder. Robert eloquently describes what it’s been like living in Douglas County through the “Timber Wars” through now, when he recently had his home vandalized in the middle of the night in response to one of his […]

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When the Proud Boys Go Marching In

Summer is the time when rural communities and small towns gather together for the traditional farmers markets, community festivals, and county fairs. After the COVID-19 shutdown, communities and fair boards have been grappling with whether it’s safe to gather, whether they can even get the required insurance to hold their events, and so on. Two […]

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Truth to Power Club: Pairing Education and Action

This February, Ashland High School’s Truth to Power Club reached out to us on Instagram to share about their podcast, Tea, Toast, and Truth. We were impressed by how they connected the dots between issues like houselessness and the senseless murders of Black youth within the podcast while also calling the community into action through organizing […]

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What a year with the Rural Organizing Fellows!

The second cohort of the Rural Organizing Fellowship has come to a close and we are amazed by the Fellows’ commitment to helping their communities thrive in a year that was more difficult than any of us could have anticipated! In the midst of a global pandemic, wildfires burning across the state, and a presidential election […]

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Love & gratitude for my ROP family

Six years ago, just before the 24th annual Rural Caucus and Strategy Session, a friend called and asked if I’d like to go with them to the Caucus. I had no idea what the Rural Caucus and Strategy Session was and I’d never heard of ROP. My stunned friend replied, “you’ve never heard of ROP?! […]

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Victory in Vernonia!

Like so many communities around the state, local leaders in Vernonia came together in a new way in the Spring of 2020 to protest the murder of George Floyd and other Black and brown people killed by police. The organizing that grew out of those roadside Black Lives Matter actions led to the formation of Vernonia Equality […]

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Community Media Spotlight: Tea, Toast and Truth

In our second season of RRR, we’re on a mission to explore community-based, intergenerational, collaborative, rural media from across the state. We’ve been calling the episodes “Community Media Spotlights” and showcasing the diversity of rural media around the state. Throughout the season we’ve been on the lookout for other small town and rural podcasts that […]

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We had so much fun at the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session!

From building our skills to defend our communities from detention and deportation to organizer speed-dating to collectively dancing to “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics, the 30th annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session was powerful. More than 100 rural organizers, community leaders, and activists joined together virtually to reflect on the victories and immense challenges we’ve […]

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30+ Years of Rural Organizing Stories

Did you know ROP hired an archivist? Kate Orazem joined ROP in November 2020 and has started to process our collection of materials which document 30+ years of rural organizing in Oregon. What do ROP’s archives contain? What stories do these records tell? And why does all this matter for ongoing organizing happening today? To […]

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Welcome to the team!

** ROP is now hiring for a full-time Pantry Manager in Cottage Grove and a Community Organizer who can work remotely from anywhere in Oregon! Read more below and apply at rop.org/careers ** We are so excited to introduce the newest member to the ROP staff team: Monica Pearson! If you recognize the organizing powerhouse’s […]

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Let’s Dance This Saturday!

From a play created by organizers in Tillamook County on the local history of the Klu Klux Klan performed in schools, to anti-war poetry in the lead up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to the Barnyard Ruckus, where organizers came from around the state dressed in animal costumes for a day at that […]

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5 Reasons To Come To The Caucus

You don’t want to miss this year’s Virtual Rural Caucus and Strategy Session happening on Saturday, May 15th! We can’t be together in person, but this won’t stop us from celebrating all that has happened across the network this past year!  Will there be singing? YES. Will there be dancing? YES. Will there be inspiring conversations with organizers […]

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Kitchen Table Activism: No Special Duty

Background: Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects […]

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Behind the Scenes with KPOV & The Point

We know that truly local community media is essential to a thriving and just community. It’s resilient, accessible, and created by and for local communities. That’s why this season of Rural Roots Rising we’re highlighting locally-created rural media from around the state and exploring the deeper community building and organizing strategies behind rural community radio […]

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Black Lives Matter: Tools for Organizers

** Leaders from the ROP network invite you to join the #FreeThemAll Mother’s Day Letter Writing and Caravan event! This statewide letter-writing campaign is happening now through May 7. Community members are invited to write supportive letters to immigrants who are being detained in the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. The letters will be picked up […]

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Grief and Resistance

We share the pain and outrage that many folks across the ROP network are feeling in response to the terrible murders targeting Asian American women in North Georgia this week. We gather together with our loved ones, whether physically or virtually in difficult times because we know that we are the ones who will keep each other […]

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When community organizing meets local radio!

What do you get when community organizers build a community radio station? KPOV High Desert Community Radio and shows like The Point that lift up the voices of those most impacted by the issues that matter most to the community! This month on Rural Roots Rising, we continue highlighting rural community media by featuring KPOV and The Point, a […]

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Kitchen Table Activism: Meet Your Legislators!

Background: Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects […]

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Behind the Scenes with Rural Race Talks

If you tuned into Rural Roots Rising last month, you know that we created our first Community Media Spotlight, a series we plan to continue throughout this season to highlight folks working at the intersections of rural organizing and media making! This two-part episode features LaNicia Duke, the host of Rural Race Talks on Coast Community Radio!  If you missed the […]

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Thanks for Being Our Valentine!

The love you poured into Valentines to Rural Organizers is leaving us in puddles of gratitude! We are so excited to share this collection of creativity and care from across our network with each and every one of you. The Valentines below are just a small snapshot of all the gratitude we hold for all the heart […]

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Better Broadband, and Affordable Utilities for All!

Across the network, rural organizers have been calling for broadband internet to be considered a public utility. Given the massive power outages of recent weeks both in Oregon and across the country, we are excited to expand tomorrow’s strategy session about internet access to include improving our utilities more broadly. From electricity to broadband internet, […]

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Rural Communities Safe from State Violence

We are looking forward to tomorrow’s rural strategy session: Keeping Rural Communities Safe from State Violence! Speakers from across rural Oregon will be joining us to share how they’re building stronger and supportive communities that hold each other through crisis and conflict, and we’ll strategize together about: Creating safe places for people living outside to warm up […]

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Owning Our Histories, Shaping Our Futures

The ROP network is powerful and has been confronting racism and winning local victories across the state! Over the past year and beyond, groups have been protesting against police brutality, holding elected officials accountable to a high standard of human dignity, and paving the way to an Oregon where every community member feels truly welcomed. […]

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Valentines to Rural Organizers

Want to send in a valentine to rural organizers? Read on for more details and submit it using the form below! Rural Organizing Project has a long history of taking time on Valentine’s Day to remind each other that we’re united by love and hope and that we’ve got each other’s backs! For those of […]

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Building Growing Fighting: Strategy Session Recap

On Friday night, more than 70 rural Oregonians virtually gathered for Build, Grow, Fight: A Rural Movement Strategy Session! We shared space with organizers from across the state and beyond to discuss the attempted coup, celebrated the victories that community organizing and building people’s power have made possible, and focused on how we’re going to […]

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You all are the best – thank you!

Thank you to everyone who was able to send a gift to ROP and those who helped us to meet our Collins Foundation match for new and increased donations in November and December! Thanks to you, we did it–hooray! It takes all of us doing what we can to build and sustain this vibrant and […]

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Powerful Rural Organizing in 2020!

We knew we had our work cut out for us at the beginning of 2020, with an obvious struggle for democracy taking place across the country. Little did we know that we would also be contending with things straight from a dystopian sci-fi novel, including a global pandemic, a recession, catastrophic wildfires, and a violent […]

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Extend the Eviction Ban!

The legislature is set to open for an emergency session on Monday, December 21st. On the shortest day of the year, our state must prioritize community members on the brink of losing their homes. The legislature has the opportunity to extend the eviction moratorium through the end of the school year. They will also vote […]

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Broadband for All!

The pandemic has made clear what many rural folks have known and organized around for years: access to affordable broadband internet is a necessity for all. From online school and working from home to telehealth, folks without consistent access to high-speed internet are unable to access the resources, services, and education they need. The ROP […]

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We ALL help Rural Oregon Thrive!

Wow. We couldn’t have anticipated all that 2020 would ask of us, but we are incredibly proud of the way thousands of rural people across Oregon took action even when facing threats, violence, and the health risks that come with working together to take care of our most vulnerable community members in the midst of […]

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Hindsight 2020: Telling Rural Stories

Over a year ago, when ROP committed to making 13 monthly radio show and podcast episodes to share organizing stories from across rural Oregon, we had no idea all that 2020 would hold…A pandemic! Wildfires! A renewed movement for Black liberation that is winning major victories! What a year! What we did know is that […]

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Defend Democracy Hotline Round Up

As we take a moment to celebrate both local and national wins and catch our breaths after an anxiety-inducing election season, we are also keeping a watchful eye on the upcoming transition of power and Georgia Senate runoffs that will shape the national balance of power over the next four years. On the local level, […]

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Mutual Aid and Mobile Hotspots

On Friday, Governor Brown announced another two week period of stricter COVID precautions that will go into effect on Wednesday, November 18th. In response to spiking cases and increasing deaths in our state, the new restrictions include limiting restaurants to take-out service only and limiting gatherings both indoor and outdoor to no more than 6 people.  We […]

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We Won and We’re Not Done!

We did it! We showed up in so many ways for democracy and human dignity this election season. Our victories wouldn’t have been possible without rural folks across the nation talking with their neighbors across the fence, phone banking at home and in swing states, and mailing stacks of handwritten postcards and letters. And we […]

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We’re in This Together

The big day is here and I woke up this morning feeling queasy with nerves. Like many of you, I have been inspired by the reports of overflowing ballot drop boxes across rural Oregon from human dignity groups who have been working for months to support their neighbors voting while talking about the issues! Today […]

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Rural Elections: Fighting for Every Last Vote

Dear ROPnet,   From neighbor-to-neighbor conversations about the issues to responding to voter intimidation, rural Oregonians have been defending democracy in every county at every turn! Join us by phone or computer on Thursday, November 5th from 6:30 – 8 pm PST to recap all of the work rural communities and small towns are doing […]

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Defending Democracy for a Fair Election

Have you checked your mail today? Small Town Actions for a New Democracy (STAND) Election Guides, the only statewide election guide by and for rural Oregonians, is landing in mailboxes this week! As voters face a barrage of election spin, rural Oregonians are sharing paper and digital STAND guides with their neighbors to offer clear […]

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Defending Democracy At Every Turn

With the election just around the corner, rural Oregonians are taking action and crafting plans to keep temperatures low(er) in their communities, to keep each other as safe as possible, and to make sure everyone who is eligible to vote can do so safely in the weeks to come. ROP invites you and your group […]

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Building Power to Free Them All

Today we celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the powerful organizing and resilience of Indigenous people all across the continent! In celebrating this day, we recognize that the borders of the United States “crossed” many people, not vise versa, and how the militarization of borders and immigration has impacted Indigenous peoples. Many of you have been […]

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Small Town Actions for a New Democracy

With 27 days to go until November 3rd, many groups across the ROP network are working hard in the lead up to the election. We know that no one candidate will provide a magic bullet solution, but electing candidates with a vision of safe and welcoming communities for all is one simple way for many […]

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Rural Mutual Aid and Wildfire Response

In the face of the devastating fires that have led to the complete destruction of several towns and the mass evacuations of thousands of people, communities all across Western Oregon are pulling together to help each other get through. Some folks are focused on evacuating families and livestock and leading mutual aid drives as new […]

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Tools for Creating a Culture of Safety and Security

Over the summer of 2020, we have witnessed white supremacist militias and counter-protestors threaten, harass, and intimidate Black Lives Matter organizers in rural communities. We have also seen local law enforcement ignore these threats to community safety, and in some cases even encourage them. And we have seen federal officers kidnap undocumented community members and […]

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2020 STAND Election Guide & Resources

Online ordering is currently closed. If you want to order guides call us at (503)-543-8417 ASAP! We have a limited supply but if we have enough left we can mail you what we’ve got! *Mensaje Bilingue / Bilingual Message* Election season is upon us, and across the ROP network, people are taking action to save the […]

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Victory! ICE is Out of NORCOR!

Today, organizers across the Gorge successfully ended NORCOR’s contract with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), the last ICE contract with a jail in our state. This is a huge victory for immigrant justice in Oregon and the entire nation! It has taken years of on the ground organizing and multiple concrete victories to get to […]

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Rural Roots Rising: Taking Risks

In rural Oregon, we know that building a better world together is only possible through forging strong community relationships, building networks, breaking isolation, and Taking Risks. In this month’s episode of Rural Roots Rising, you’ll hear from Suzanne Pharr, a movement elder and the founder of the Arkansas Women’s Project, and Zachary Stocks, an organizer, […]

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Time to Save the USPS!

Communities across the country have been in an uproar after Postmaster General DeJoy put into motion plans to cut hours, remove post boxes, slow down the mail, and dismantle the ability for the United States Postal Service to deliver ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rural Oregonians are familiar with this decades-long campaign by the Right […]

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ICE Out of Central Oregon

Wednesday afternoon, I found myself in a hotel parking lot in Bend with a crowd of at least 100 people surrounding two ICE transportation buses holding captive two central Oregonians who were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at 5 am. The families and children of the two men held inside the buses stood […]

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Feeding our Communities Through Pandemic

Back in April, we convened a COVID-19 Strategy Session about feeding our communities through pandemic. Still in the early days of the pandemic, and unsure of how long it might last, farmers, food banks, and rural organizers came together to share how they were ensuring our communities could access food when grocery store shelves ran […]

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Join us: Organizing For Everyone!

So many new people are taking action at this moment and we couldn’t be more excited to continue offering skill-building training and workshops– with one coming up next week!  While the pandemic continues to hit our rural communities hard, the nationwide Movement for Black Lives, widely reported to be the largest in American History, has brought a wave of energy through Oregon, […]

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Meet the 2020-2021 Rural Organizing Fellows!

We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to this year’s cohort of brilliant and creative Rural Organizing Fellows! The Rural Organizing Fellowship is for rural folks between the ages of 16 and 30 years old who are eager to organize and make change in their small-town, rural, or frontier community! The 2020-2021 Fellows began […]

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Now Hiring: Archivist & Administration Support!

Dear Rural Organizing Project leaders and friends, I am excited to announce that we are immediately seeking candidates for our newest staff position: Archivist & Administration Support! This position will be based out of our Community Organizing Center in the heart of Cottage Grove and will focus on supporting ROP’s day-to-day functions while making ROP’s […]

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Fighting for Rural!

Fighting for Rural, the ninth episode of Rural Roots Rising, is available now! The Madras Key Club is more than a community service club at Madras High School; it’s a multiracial, multicultural group focused on making sure every person feels welcomed and included in Jefferson County. In this episode, you’ll hear from Kim Schmith, Kelsey Olivera, and […]

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Remembering Kent State

As protests of police violence against Black Americans continue across the country, we have witnessed large scale police and National Guard deployment, many outfitted with intimidating and sophisticated warfighting gear. Countless videos have shown police officers and the National Guard using batons, tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets on protesters, bystanders and journalists, often […]

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Rural Organizing In Defense of Black Lives

Upcoming Trainings and Strategy Sessions: De-escalation for Organizers with Ahjamu Umi. This training has passed, but you can watch a recording HERE Join us to learn de-escalation skills for organizers from Ahjamu Umi, long-time activist and organizer with the All African People’s Revolutionary Party. Across the state of Oregon, communities are responding to the Movement for […]

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Taking Action Together for George Floyd

As protests erupt in Minneapolis, Louisville, Georgia, and beyond, people across the country are taking action (many for the first time!) to call for the end of centuries of state violence targeting Black communities and communities of color. National media is broadcasting the images and stories of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud […]

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Economics for Everyone!

Español abajo] The first session in an interactive workshop series: Economics for Everyone is happening tomorrow! Join us Tuesday, May 12th at 6:30 PM PST. Register here! This workshop is the first of many strategy sessions we are hosting as part of this year’s virtual Rural Caucus and Strategy Session. Click here to register for […]

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Powerful Rural Organizing During Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic exposes gaps in social safety nets that leave rural communities without reliable access to emergency resources, food, housing, healthcare, childcare, and more. In response, rural Oregonians are hard at work setting up dozens of mutual aid networks that are feeding up to hundreds of neighbors, sharing health and safety information, and making […]

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The Caucus Goes Virtual!

[Español abajo] This year’s Rural Caucus & Strategy Session is happening by phone and computer on Saturday, May 30th from 10-11:30 AM PST and throughout the month as a series of strategy sessions! Read on for more details about these exciting upcoming gatherings. For 29 years, small-town and rural organizers, activists, and community leaders from across the […]

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Welcome to the team Meredith, Monica, and Sasha!

As thousands of rural community leaders are taking action right now to keep their communities as safe as possible during the pandemic, we are thrilled to share that ROP is expanding our staff team of brilliant, experienced, dedicated, passionate people focused on building the rural movement for human dignity and justice! Many of you have […]

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Feeding Our Communities

The latest episode of Rural Roots Rising, ROP’s radio show and podcast, is available now! Listen to Feeding Our Communities to hear how Harry MacCormack in Benton County, OR and Martina Leforce in Madison County, KY are organizing to bring quality food access to their communities and adapting to meet the changing needs during this […]

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Building Rural Power: Coronavirus and Beyond!

There are many ways that the ROP network is actively organizing during Coronavirus. Around the state, rural leaders are creating systems of mutual support to get us through this pandemic and build power toward our long-term vision of dignity and justice for all! Member groups can access ROP’s Zoom account to host virtual meetings to […]

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Facing Coronavirus with Community

The impact of Coronavirus and the slow response to test, treat, and prevent the spread of this pandemic has been alarming. Countless stories of under-resourced hospitals turning potentially infected people away and prohibitively expensive testing (if you can even find one!) are on the news every night. Many Oregon families are struggling to figure out childcare […]

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Kitchen Table Activism: Budgets as Moral Documents

February  2020 Kitchen Table Activism: Budgets as Moral Documents   WHY THIS ACTIVITY? Oregon has more millionaires than ever before, but we also have record-breaking rates of houselessness and poverty. How can we make sure that our tax dollars are going toward our priorities: funding services and infrastructure that serve our communities? As Dr. Martin […]

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Support Rural Justice in 2020 and Beyond

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” – Howard Zinn   Dear friends and supporters of the Rural Organizing Project, This year we have seen how the small acts of thousands of everyday rural Oregonians can win crucial victories on the issues that impact our communities most. Thousands of us […]

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An Incredible Year with the ROP Fellows!

The inaugural year of the ROP Rural Organizing Fellowship has come to a close and we are amazed by the fellows’ passion, curiosity, and commitment to help their communities thrive. The fellows met for quarterly organizing retreats in different communities around the state to build a collective understanding of what our rural communities need and to strengthen […]

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ROP Staff Changes and Program Updates

Dear ROP Community, When I became involved in ROP just 3 years ago, I was thankful to be connected to people all across the state committed to ensuring human dignity for all. As Board Chair, I am honored to help lead ROP and to share some important news with you. Beginning December 1st, 2019, Jess […]

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IP43 is Disqualified!

We have fantastic news to share: the Secretary of State has disqualified IP43, the initiative petition that was an attempt to overturn our victory on the Driver’s Licenses for All bill (also known as HB 2015, The Equal Access to Roads Act) that passed the Oregon legislature earlier this year! Driver’s Licenses For All was passed […]

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Take Action to Defend Driver’s Licenses for All!

Our hard-fought victory of Driver’s Licenses for All is being threatened by the misleadingly named Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR). With our neighbors reeling or numbed by the onslaught of national news about the systematic mistreatment of asylum-seekers and migrants by the US government with our tax dollars, this moment calls on us to raise […]

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ROP is Hiring a Finance and Operations Manager!

We are excited to announce that ROP is hiring a Finance and Operations Manager based out of Cottage Grove. Our ideal candidate will combine strong financial management and organizational operations oversight and is rooted in a personal commitment to racial and economic justice. Check out the job announcement below. We need your help to find the newest addition to our staff […]

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Building Alternatives through Rural Resourcefulness

Almost two months have passed since this year’s Rural Caucus and Strategy Session, but the words of our keynote speaker, Meredith Martin-Moats, are still echoing through our work. For those that weren’t able to join us in Cottage Grove on June 1st and for those who want to listen again, you can watch Meredith’s keynote speech here or […]

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Rural Oregon is Breaking the ICE

As Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tears people from rural Oregon communities, rural Oregon is showing up and demanding an end to human concentration camps, detention, and deportation. At least 20 counties across the state in the last week have held vigil in parks, on street corners, and at city hall to demand the closure of […]

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Lights for Liberty Across Oregon

The outcry happening across the country in response to the horrific conditions in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are holding children and families begs the question: how will we, as people who care about human dignity and justice, make our opposition visible? On the heels of a landmark victory in the legislature to pass drivers […]

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Strengthening Rural Oregon’s Web

Over 140 rural organizers and community leaders from 25 counties convened on Friday, May 31st and Saturday, June 1st in Cottage Grove, OR for the 28th annual Rural Caucus and Strategy Session! In this ROPnet, we share highlights from the weekend including the affordable housing tour, the city-wide art walk and a full day of […]

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Meet the 2019 ROP Board Slate!

Over the last year, human dignity leaders have led courageous work to defend justice in their home communities. Rural Oregonians have fiercely fought to end the detention of immigrants in our prisons and jails, community members defended our state sanctuary law, and leaders in Cottage Grove jumped into action and ultimately shut down a knife shop owned […]

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Help wanted: ROP is hiring!

  We are excited to announce that ROP is looking to hire! We are searching for a skilled and experienced community organizer in rural Oregon to support the exciting work our member groups are doing all over the state of Oregon! Check out the job announcement below! If you’ve always dreamed of having a ROP […]

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From Rural Arkansas to Rural Oregon!

  We are excited to announce the keynote speaker for this year’s Rural Caucus & Strategy Session will be rural and small-town organizer Meredith Martin-Moats of the McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources in Dardanelle, Arkansas! The 28th annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session will be Saturday, June 1st in Cottage Grove. Space is limited […]

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Organizing in Support of Driver’s Licenses

On Wednesday the Equal Access to Roads Act was introduced in the Oregon State Legislature. This bill, if passed, will give Oregonians access to a standard driver’s license regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. It will ensure that our immigrant community members–as well as survivors of domestic violence and others without access to proof […]

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Rural Caucus & Strategy Session on June 1st

  This year’s Rural Caucus & Strategy Session will be on Saturday, June 1st in Cottage Grove! Mark your calendars and talk to your group about getting registered in time for the early bird discount! For over 27 years, small town and rural organizers and community leaders from across Oregon have come together annually at the […]

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Organizing in Response to NORCOR Court Ruling

Over the last two years, immigrants and refugees detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) inside the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) and communities in the Gorge have been organizing to challenge the regional jail’s collaborative relationship with ICE. In addition, several community members in Wasco County and their attorneys sued NORCOR for violation of […]

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Hate has no place in Cave Junction

On Saturday morning, January 5th, 2019, the community of Cave Junction woke up to discover “KKK” had been spray painted in bright red paint all over their town. Vehicles, homes, and businesses were covered, and weapons wrapped in a Don’t Tread On Me flag were found nearby, sparking fear and outrage. Neighbors immediately joined together […]

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Rural Oregon’s Unbreakable Resolve

December 17, 2018 Dear members, friends, and supporters of the Rural Organizing Project, We began the year with you, in the streets. We are proud that rural Oregonians showed up in record-breaking numbers in town after town to protest the attacks on our communities by the Trump administration. We salute that spirit of resistance. It […]

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Join the Fight for Dignity at the Border

November 30, 2018 Dear ROPnet, This week thousands of migrants who traveled hundreds of miles on foot to assert their right to seek asylum were met at the US-Mexico border by the US military, armed militias, and tear gas. Instead of meeting the asylum seekers with the congressionally mandated opportunity to apply for asylum, the […]

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Rural Oregon Votes Values

November 14, 2018 Dear ROPnet, Since the last presidential election, folks across the nation have been organizing for the midterms and rural Oregon has been no exception. From ballot measures that threaten democracy to emerging progressive candidates, rural Oregonians rolled up our shirtsleeves and dug in. We connected with our neighbors and communities by knocking […]

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“Words may fail us, but actions cannot”

  Like you, we are reeling from the latest violence that has rocked the country and the unconscionable rhetoric inspiring wave after wave of violence targeting communities of color, Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ+ folks, migrants, refugees, and folks engaged in political work. In the midst of escalating racist and xenophobic rhetoric about the caravan of refugees […]

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Sheridan to NORCOR: 7 Days of Rural Action

  October 12th, 2018   Dear ROPnet, With over 500 participants, covering 145 miles and marching over 30 miles, the Sheridan to NORCOR journeyers have returned to our home communities to carry forward the message of our march and to continue the work to end detention and deportation. We’re excited to share photos and stories about […]

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7 Days of Action: Journey Highlights

  *Español abajo*September 20th, 2018Dear ROPnet,It’s nearly here! From Sept 30th – Oct 6th, over 100 people from around the state are on the move to join in the 7-day journey to create sanctuary everywhere and for all of us. Hundreds more are making plans to join us at stops along the way. Some are […]

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The Moment is Now: Why We March

  September 17th, 2018 Dear ROPnet,  From September 30th through October 6th, rural and small-town Oregonians from across the State are putting their lives on hold and their bodies in the street for a 7-day journey to demand an end to detention and deportation. We will walk, march and caravan from FCI Sheridan to NORCOR regional jail […]

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Meet the Rural Organizing Fellows!

We are excited to introduce you to our Rural Organizing Fellows! They will begin their work with us in October, joining ROP leaders, member groups, and allies at the final event of the Sheridan to NORCOR: journey to demand an end to detention and deportation on Saturday, October 6th in The Dalles. We hope they’ll […]

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The Power of Political Art in Rural Oregon

    August 31st, 2018   Dear ROPnet,   As rural Oregonians rise up around the state to demand an end to the detention and deportation of their family members, friends and neighbors, the combined creativity and power present in the signs, posters, t-shirts and other artwork brings beauty and clarity to our messages.   Incorporating […]

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Sheridan to NORCOR: A 7-day Journey to Demand an End to Detention and Deportation

Rural Organizing Project invites you to join: Sheridan to NORCOR: A 7-day journey to demand an end to detention and deportation Sunday, Sept 30 – Saturday, October 6th *Español abajo* For one week, rural Oregonians, members of faith communities, immigrant and long-time residents of our state will march together from Sheridan Federal Prison (FCI Sheridan) to […]

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Reminder: Order STAND Election Action Guides Now!

August 17th, 2018 Dear ROPnet, As we head into election season, human dignity groups are already having powerful conversations about what it looks like to integrate an election action strategy into our ongoing organizing. We will not stop resisting the policies and practices that tear apart our communities, from the detention and deportation of our […]

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Order your STAND Voter Guides

  July 25th, 2018 Dear ROPnet, Last week we learned that IP 22 (now Measure 105) gathered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. This measure will repeal Oregon’s 30-year sanctuary law, which prevents state resources like law enforcement from being used to enforce federal immigration law. An anti-immigrant group, Oregonians for Immigration Reform, has brought the […]

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Courage & Community for the Times Ahead

July 13th, 2018 Dear ROPnet, These past few weeks have been filled with bad news, and in times like these we must reach out, be with each other, and showup for our neighbors and the future of our communities. The 25+ actions across rural Oregon last week demonstrated that human dignity leaders are doing just […]

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Apply for the Rural Organizing Fellowship!

The Rural Organizing Fellowship Application is Due July 15! As we celebrate local victories in Springfield and Josephine County toward ending systems of detention and deportation, we are reminded that community organizing is as important as ever. And as we face news of the recent Supreme Court decisions, including the upholding of the third Muslim Ban and the dismantling […]

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Rural Oregonians Resist Detention & Deportation!

June 26th, 2018 Dear ROPnet,  In the wake of anti-democratic Executive Orders, where over 3000 children have been ripped away from their families at the border and 123 immigrants and refugees have been locked up in Sheridan federal prison in Yamhill County, rural Oregon is responding! Communities are taking action to end indefinite incarceration of […]

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Sunday Service at Sheridan

Dear friends of ROP, Yamhill County leadership and the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ) will be holding a public worship service this Sunday morning, June 24, 2018 at 11:00am just outside the Sheridan Federal Prison. All are invited to join in solidarity with the 123 immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and […]

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Rural Human Dignity Groups Rise!

June 19th, 2018 Dear ROPnet, Over this past year, human dignity groups across rural Oregon have been leading inspiring and visionary organizing. Just yesterday, Unidos Bridging Communities, in partnership with other local and statewide groups, organized a vigil with over 1,200 people at the federal prison in Sheridan. Groups from Yamhill, Marion, Polk, Deschutes, Linn, […]

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Vigil at Sheridan Federal Prison to Resist ICE

In the last month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has torn hundreds of children away from their parents and placed both in separate detention facilities across the country. The sharp increase in the number of immigrants incarcerated has led ICE to turn to five federal prisons to house over 1,600 immigrants, including many seeking asylum. 123 immigrants and asylum […]

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Strength for the Year Ahead

Over 150 rural organizers and community leaders from 28 counties convened on May 18th, 19th, and 20th in The Dalles, OR for the 27th annual Rural Caucus and Strategy Session! We started off the weekend with a Statewide Solidarity Action outside of NORCOR, the publicly funded jail that has a contract with Immigration and Customs […]

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Announcing the Rural Organizing Fellowship

Announcing the Rural Organizing Fellowship! The Rural Organizing Project is thrilled to announce that after 26 years of breaking rural isolation by supporting and bringing together thousands of small town and rural community leaders to organize for human dignity and social justice in their hometowns, we are launching the Rural Organizing Fellowship! We are seeking […]

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Organizing for dignity in Echo, population 706

Last fall, ROP was contacted when an Echo City Councilor posted violent, anti-LGBTQ slurs on social media directed at filmmaker Joe Wilson of “Kuma Hina” and “Out in the Silence” (you may remember Joe from our rural tour of “Out in the Silence” in 2010). Word traveled quickly about Councilor Lou Nakapalau’s social media rants […]

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Meet ROP’s newest staff!

We have experienced record-breaking organizing across rural Oregon over the last year in response to growing threats to democracy and human dignity; dozens of communities organized public actions for social justice for the first time, several counties organized their largest marches ever, and students and young people walked out of dozens of rural schools, some […]

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Drum roll please… the 2018 ROP Board Slate!

Over the last year, human dignity leaders have led courageous work in their home communities. Students have organized walkouts for school safety, leaders in the Gorge have fiercely supported hunger strikers inside their local regional jail demanding an end to the jail’s contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, groups across the state have incorporated rapid […]

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Resisting Neonazis in Cottage Grove

In Cottage Grove, a banner in an empty storefront that used to house a local museum announces a new business: Wolfclan Armory. The store, previously located in the neighboring community of Creswell, sells knives and survivalist gear, but more importantly has been used as a gathering place for neonazis across the I-5 corridor. It is […]

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Rural Students Walkout for Safety

On March 14th, Maria from Culver High School joined 24 of her peers walking out. Maria shared, “To me the walkout meant a lot because in Culver speaking about gun control is very controversial, but we wanted to show that it wasn’t just about gun control — it was about the student’s lives lost, not […]

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Introducing the newest member of Team ROP!

We are thrilled to introduce to you ROP’s newest staffer, Caroline Randall! Caroline is joining the ROP staff team as our Operations and Finance Coordinator, a new role focused on keeping ROP’s internal systems singing so our organizers and Co-Directors can focus on our member groups in this powerful moment of movement growth! Read on […]

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Healing through action

Demanding that their grief not be swept under the rug, powerful youth from Stoneman Douglas High School have inspired waves of bold student activism and organizing for change, including here in Oregon! In the wake of yet another mass shooting at a school, students across Oregon are organizing actions from walkouts to press conferences to […]

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ROP is searching for our next organizer!

The Rural Organizing Project’s network of local, autonomous groups organizing for human dignity is growing and we are excited to expand our staff team of organizers to meet this moment! Hundreds of leaders across Oregon are bringing their neighbors into the movement for human dignity. ROP’s work supporting ordinary Oregonians organizing for the soul of […]

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Marching Again & Bigger Than Ever

On Saturday, January 20th, thousands took to the streets to mark the anniversary of historic protests against Trump’s inaugurations — and many were thrilled to see even bigger turnout this year! While marching and rallying for justice and democracy, many local organizers were surprised to see the faces of neighbors and friends who were demonstrating […]

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Save the date: Rural Caucus on May 19 in The Dalles!

January 29th, 2018 Dear ROPnet, Mark your calendars! This year’s Rural Caucus & Strategy Session will be on Saturday, May 19th in The Dalles! We are planning a whole weekend of direct action, strategic conversations, and people’s movement assemblies kicking off Friday, May 18th and continuing through Sunday, May 20th. Join us for the main […]

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We won 101, but the fight’s not over

January 25th, 2018 Dear ROPnet, We hope you’re finding a moment to celebrate the passage of Measure 101, an inspiring organizing victory made possible through thousands of conversations that cut through the anti-immigrant rhetoric and amplified what Measure 101 would do for rural Oregon! We are grateful to hear stories about folks reaching out to […]

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Silence is Betrayal: Action in Rural Oregon

January 12th, 2018 Dear ROPnet, At this time last year folks across rural Oregon were preparing to take to the streets to show our resolve, our righteous anger and our commitment to protecting each other in the days, months and years to come. From post-inauguration rallies and marches to events honoring the legacy of Dr. […]

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We All Do Better When We All Do Better!

January 9th, 2018 Dear ROPnet, Here in rural Oregon we are no strangers to the right seizing power to slash budgets, privatize services, and fight for regressive economic policies that hurt the most vulnerable in our communities. With the Trump administration targeting and scapegoating immigrants and refugees, the door is open for these attacks to […]

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ROP is Hiring an Operations Coordinator!

January 2, 2018 Dear ROPnet, Rural Organizing Project (ROP) is dedicated to creating communities that are accountable to a standard of human dignity: the belief in the equal worth of all people and the need for equal access to justice. We are a statewide organization of locally-based autonomous groups by and for small town and […]

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Honoring a Year of Organizing for Rural Justice!

As we close out another year, we invite you to reflect on the incredible work of human dignity groups across rural Oregon in 2017. Click here to make a tax deductible year-end donation to support organizing in rural communities. [pdf-embedder url=”https://rop.org/wp-content/uploads/ROP-2017-Annual-Report.pdf” title=”ROP 2017 Annual Report”] In 2017, Rural Organizing Project reached across boundaries and borders […]

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Small Towns Fight for Measure 101!

December 21st, 2017 Dear ROPnet, Sometimes an election needs a rapid response. This is the case with Ballot Measure 101, a January 23rd Oregon special election that could decide the fate of Oregon’s rural health care system and medical coverage for over 300,000 people in our State. What is Measure 101? Since 2014, Oregon dollars […]

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Alabama Senate Victory Is A Rural Organizing Win!

Friday, December 15th, 2017 Dear ROPnet, The victory on Tuesday of Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race over Roy Moore, a Republican accused of multiple counts of sexual assault and harassment, felt miraculous — but it wasn’t a miracle. A miracle is something that happens through luck or magic. This victory was nothing […]

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ROP is hiring an Operations Coordinator

Rural Organizing Project (ROP) is dedicated to creating communities accountable to a standard of human dignity: the belief in the equal worth of all people and the need for equal access to justice. We are a statewide organization of locally-based autonomous groups by and for small town and rural Oregonians since 1992. We are on the search for a full-time Operations […]

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Tax Scam Leaves Rural Oregon Behind

Friday, December 8th, 2017 Dear ROPnet, Last Friday afternoon, while most Oregonians were doing the dishes and putting their kids to bed, Senate Republicans in DC released the final draft of a nearly 500-page tax bill. Members of Congress had just a few hours to skim the surface of the bill and its hand-written edits […]

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Put on your dancing shoes! Join ROP on Dec 2nd!

Join Rural Organizing Project on Saturday, December 2nd at 6pm in Portland to celebrate our collective resistance and resilience!(Traducción en Español abajo) You won’t want to miss this shin-dig! Join us for a party featuring…. A live bluegrass folk band A pie auction where you can bid on sweet treats like the Hood River Apple […]

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Hunger Strike Victory!

Sunday, November 5th, 2017 Dear ROPnet, On Wednesday, 19 immigrants and refugees detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in The Dalles went on hunger strike to amplify their demands for humane conditions inside of the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility (NORCOR). After four days without food, the hunger strikers in NORCOR have paused their […]

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Join ROP Dec 2nd – Resistance & Resilience!

Join ROP on December 2nd to Celebrate 25 Years of Organizing for Justice in Rural Oregon! (Traducción en Español abajo) 2017 marks 25 years of the Rural Organizing Project! Here at ROP, we believe 25 years is reason enough to call together our network. We are in a moment that has been engineered to marginalize […]

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South Coast Speaks from the Heart

As crisis becomes a daily reality for so many, rural organizers and activists have been reaching out to their neighbors and searching for ways to keep each other safe. As we learn how to have the backs of those who are most impacted in this moment, let us listen to and draw from the stories […]

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ICE Observer Webinar, Update on DACA & ICE!

Last week, several national immigrant rights organizations publicly released leaked information that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) planned mass raids aiming to detain between 6,000-10,000 immigrants during a two week period in September. As soon as the information hit national news, the Department of Homeland Security announced that operation was canceled due to hurricanes Harvey […]

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We are gonna fight ’til this is right

Today, Attorney Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration will be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program within six months. During his speech, Sessions managed to promote just about every ugly stereotype you can imagine about our immigrant neighbors. From the events in Charlottesville, to the pardoning of Joe Arpaio, and this […]

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Rural Oregon shows up with Charlottesville

In the days following the horrific violence by the white nationalists who descended on Charlottesville, VA, rural Oregonians gathered with their neighbors in action, remembrance, and commitment to the work ahead of us. From towns as small as 500 people to the largest cities in the state, communities chose to confront fear with courage, heart, […]

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From Oregon to Charlottesville

  Like you, we are disturbed, angered, and grieving after torch-wielding white nationalists descended on Charlottesville, VA last weekend, killing one, injuring many, and threatening hundreds who showed up for human dignity and justice. As one rural leader told us, “I feel that if there was a white nationalist rally happening here, all of the […]

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Host Architecture of Internment in your town!

At this year’s Rural Caucus and Strategy Session, folks from across the state were stunned when they learned about their community’s history from Architecture of Internment: The Build-up to Wartime Incarceration, an exhibit created by Graham Street Productions that illustrates the lead-up to Japanese internment during WWII in original letters and headlines from that time. Architecture of […]

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Organizing puts jail working with ICE into hotseat!

After months of deeply committed organizing for immigrant fairness in the Gorge, including immigrants inhumanely detained at NORCOR (Northern Oregon Regional Correctional facility in The Dalles) going on hunger strike, Gorge ICE Resistance and the brave hunger strikers inside the jail have one more victory to celebrate! Several taxpayers from the Gorge have filed a […]

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Creating a Culture of Safety & Security

  In rural Oregon, we know how the Right hopes to control our communities through the politics of fear and rejection. For 25 years, ROP has supported rural communities combating the dehumanization and marginalization of our neighbors, including when the Right’s crosshairs have been focused on LGBTQ folks, Jews, immigrants, Muslims, and other all-too-convenient scapegoats. […]

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Presenting the Marcy Westerling Award!

June 28th, 2017 Dear ROPnet, Every year, the Rural Caucus and Strategy Session provides countless opportunities for rural Oregonians do what we do best–story telling! On Saturday June 3rd, more than 160 activists gathered at the Madras United Methodist Church in Central Oregon. We made time throughout the day to celebrate and share stories of […]

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ROP Caucus at 25: Bigger and Radder Than Ever!

This year is ROP’s 25th anniversary and guess how we’ve been celebrating? With the largest Rural Caucus & Strategy Session in ROP’s history! On Saturday, June 3rd, over 160 people representing 31 of Oregon’s 36 counties gathered for a day of making connections with peers across the state while strategizing, visioning, and building our movement […]

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Drum roll please! The ROP Board slate

May 4th, 2017 Dear ROPnet, There’s much happening around Oregon and the country right now. All ROP staff are currently in The Dalles supporting Gorge ICE Resistance, a growing local coalition of groups throughout the Columbia Gorge, that are supporting courageous hunger strikers inside of NORCOR, a county jail that is illegally detaining immigrants. We […]

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Hunger strike victory – and more action to come!

On Saturday, several immigrant detainees in The Dalles went on hunger strike to amplify their demands for humane conditions inside of the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility (NORCOR) alongside the hunger strikers in the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. After six days without food, the hunger strikers in NORCOR have ended their strike (for […]

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War is Not The Answer

April 7th, 2017 Dear ROPnet, During the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, human dignity leaders showed up to be the voice of reason. We held vigils, rallies and town halls to ask: what is the Co$t of War to our communities? We wrote letters to members of Congress. We published op-eds and […]

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Youth Lead the Way in Rural Oregon

Please join us in welcoming the new Jefferson County human dignity group to the ROP family! Two weeks ago, nearly 50 people from across Jefferson County filled the Madras library annex for the group’s first official meeting. Every seat in the room was taken by members of the Teen Book Club, supportive parents and teachers, […]

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Where’s Walden? Taking away our healthcare.

Friday, March 10th, 2017 Dear ROP Friend, For years, the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the USA has been medical bills. However, since the Affordable Care Act was activated in 2014, 20 million Americans have been able to afford health insurance, many for the first time in their lives. The law isn’t perfect. In […]

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Rogue Valley Resists

Between the daily headlines about the Trump agenda, and the incredible mobilizations of resistance that are forming in response, we are in an astounding political moment. Folks across Oregon are savoring marching, rallying, and trying to figure out “Where’s Walden?”, and many are hungry for ways to publicly resist that are fun and reach beyond […]

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Welcome to ROP’s newest organizer!

March 1, 2017 Dear ROPnet, I am thrilled to introduce you to ROP’s newest organizer, Hannah Harrod! Some of you might have already met Hannah through her contract work at ROP to help pull together two contingents of rural Oregonians who went to Standing Rock. Not only did Hannah excel in that work, her ability […]

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Rural Oregon Stands With Standing Rock

Much is happening out at Standing Rock right now. Drilling under the Missouri River has begun, and Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II recently told reporters that he landed in Washington DC en route to meet with the Trump administration to learn that the Army Corp of Engineers granted an easement that allowed for […]

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Inspiring rural resistance, and more to come!

  Last weekend was inspirational! Over the inauguration weekend, millions of people around the globe took to the streets to publicly demonstrate our commitment to human dignity, justice, and inclusion over the politics of fear and division. Oregon was no exception, with dozens of marches and rallies across the state, led by seasoned organizers and […]

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The fight for immigrant rights

This weekend hundreds, if not thousands, of people are going to come together in Salem for the United for Immigrant Rights March & Rally. Oregonians from across the state will join in this national day of action to declare our commitment to becoming a welcoming and inclusive state, and to working together to respond to […]

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To Standing Rock from Rural Oregon

January 8th, 2016 Dear ROPnet, Last month, the water protectors at Standing Rock celebrated an unprecedented victory when the US Army denied the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross the Missouri River. This partial but critical victory, along with a brutal blizzard marking the beginning of a particularly harsh North Dakota winter, changed […]

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Celebrating Rural Resistance & Justice

As we close out another year, we invite you to celebrate all that we have accomplished together over the last year. We share a snapshot of successes across rural Oregon below. Thank you to all the courageous rural human dignity leaders that make this work possible. Visit our webpage to make a year-end donation and […]

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Organizing for Rural Justice in 2016 & Beyond

Make a donation today to support justice in rural Oregon December 23rd, 2016 Dear members, friends, and supporters of the Rural Organizing Project, ROP’s work supporting communities on the frontlines of militia and paramilitary organizing, and our almost 25 years supporting human dignity groups organizing for justice and democracy, have built our reputation as an […]

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Update on ROP Solidarity with Standing Rock

December 9th, 2016 Last month, rural and small town leaders within the ROP network came together to plan how rural Oregon can best stand in solidarity with water protectors and Native leadership organizing at Standing Rock. Thousands of indigenous and non-Native allies from across the continent had come together at Standing Rock to stand up […]

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Rural Oregon stands with Standing Rock – join us!

Rural and urban Oregonians alike are transfixed by what is happening out at Standing Rock. In the midst of an ugly and disempowering presidential election, we are bearing witness to a fight for the self-determination of the people of Standing Rock who are, along with thousands of indigenous and non-native allies from across the continent, […]

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Nov. 16th: Dispatch from the Frontlines Event

Dear friends of Rural Organizing Project, You are invited! Join us for: Dispatch from the Frontlines: Oregon’s Patriot Movement, the Acquittal of the Bundy Bunch, and Discussion in Connection to Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter, and the Overall Quest for Social Justice. Wednesday, November 16th 6:30-8:30pm SEIU Local 503 * Ballroom 6401 SE Foster Rd, […]

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Solidarity with Standing Rock

Over the last few weeks human dignity group leaders across the state have been exchanging information, holding events, and contacting ROP, looking for ways to stand in solidarity with rural and indigenous people who are under attack in North Dakota. We are heartbroken and incensed that the courageous water protectors in North Dakota are being […]

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Rural Oregon deserves better

  Many of us across Oregon are reeling after the acquittal of the Bundys and some of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers. How can seven people who orchestrated a 41-day armed standoff that held an entire community hostage be acquitted, especially on the same day over 100 indigenous water protectors in North Dakota were […]

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ROP is growing – help us find our next organizer!

Dear ROP family and supporters, The Rural Organizing Project is in the midst of exciting times! Our network of local, autonomous groups organizing for human dignity is growing, hundreds of leaders are bringing their neighbors into the movement during this historic moment for racial justice, and ROP’s cutting edge work supporting ordinary Oregonians counter-organizing on […]

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Introducing ROP’s New Organizer!

[ROPNET] Introducing ROP’s New Organizer! Jessica Campbell – Rural Organizing Project Yesterday, 12:36 AMYou Forward this message to a friend. October 20, 2016 Dear ROPnetters, It is with great enthusiasm that I introduce you to ROP’s newest staff organizer, Grace Warner! Grace has been on staff the last few weeks, putting her incredible skill and […]

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ROP’s 2016 STAND Voter Guide

ROP STAND Voter Guide English (pdf) ROP STAND Guía Electoral Español (pdf) Read on for our featured articles including: What Kind of Future Do You Want? Confronting fear, reclaiming hope this election season Welcome to Our 2016 Voting Guide Let’s Reclaim Democracy Oregon Ballot Measures: Do these measures uphold democracy and rebuild communities? A Rural Oregon that Works for All […]

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Beyond Burns: Tour Reflections

We wrapped up our statewide tour of Beyond Burns: the Growing Patriot Movement last week with two more engaging and energizing stops in Wallowa and Union Counties! As we dug into the research and tools we’ve compiled in Up In Arms: A Guide to Oregon’s Patriot Movement, both communities began connecting the dots between what […]

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Beyond Burns: Convos in Eastern Oregon

We are on the last leg of our tour, traveling through the high desert and pine forests of Eastern Oregon. We love it out here! On Friday and Saturday we visited Grant and Baker Counties where community members packed the rooms to learn about the impacts of the Patriot movement statewide and within their own communities. We are visiting with […]

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Beyond Burns: Dispatch from Central Oregon

  We are six stops into our tour around the state on “Beyond Burns: the Growing Patriot Movement in Oregon.” We’ve been to St. Helens, Albany, Eugene, Medford, Grants Pass, and Bend.  Each stop has had over 50 participants anxious to dig into the political and economic roots of the Patriot movement, how this movement […]

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Beyond Burns: Report from Rural Oregon!

We are three events into our statewide tour of “Beyond Burns: the Growing Patriot Movement in Oregon” and the response has been overwhelming.  At every stop, we have packed the room! Over 50 people from Columbia County joined us on Thursday to learn more about the economic and political roots of the “Patriot” movement in […]

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Beyond Burns: the Growing Patriot Movement

We are thrilled to announce that the Rural Organizing Project is hitting the road! We are travelling around the state for the next two weeks to share our research, analysis, and organizing strategies gleaned from the last 18 months of working with frontline communities in response to the Patriot movement. Join us for an event […]

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Temperatures are Rising

This is an email alert to our friends and supporters about a new round of violence and intimidation in rural communities in Oregon.  Courageous leaders in Douglas and Josephine Counties have been threatened by members of the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters for feeding the hungry, memorializing the Black lives lost to police violence, […]

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ROP is hiring an Operations Coordinator

Rural Organizing Project (ROP) is dedicated to creating communities accountable to a standard of human dignity: the belief in the equal worth of all people and the need for equal access to justice. We are a statewide organization of locally-based autonomous groups and was founded by and for small town and rural Oregonians in 1991. We are on the […]

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Help ROP find our next organizer!

Organizing in rural communities is one of the most rewarding and challenging organizing vocations we know of.  We are on the search for rural organizers to join our team at a crucial time for small towns, our state and our country. Do any of these questions describe you or someone you know? Do you have […]

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Rural Organizing Institute

Thank you for joining us for our first Rural Organizing Institute on May 15, 2016 in Bend! You’ll find all handouts and materials distributed below. Feel free to reach out to Jess at jessica@rop.org with any questions! Racial Justice Train-the-Trainer Organizer and trainer extraordinaire Carla Wallace will break down the steps and tools needed to […]

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Remembering Marcy Westerling‏

June 10, 2016 Dear ROPnetters, One year ago today ROP’s beloved Founder, Marcy Westerling, passed away. Her five and a half year battle with Stage IV ovarian cancer was shared so publicly, exposing people across the country to the injustices of our medical system as she organized with fellow cancer warriors. Marcy was a visionary. […]

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A Chance to Re-Energize, Strategize & Organize!

We are counting the days until our favorite weekend of the year, the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session!  Over 100 leaders from across rural and small town Oregon are already registered and we have a great team of trainers and organizers joining us to lead sessions.  The Rural Caucus & Strategy Session is about more than […]

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Announcing our Rural Caucus keynote speaker!

This year’s Rural Caucus & Strategy Session’s theme is Who Speaks for Rural Oregon? We will convene as rural organizers, activists, and community leaders in beautiful Bend to reflect and strategize around how our organizing can elevate our collective voice for justice. Click here to register! We are thrilled to announce this year’s keynote speaker will be Carla Wallace, an awe-inspiring […]

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The Kind of Oregon We All Deserve

This week, hundreds of rural Oregonians are coming together to discuss history, power and racial justice through the small town tour of “Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?: A Hidden History”.  Friday night, after over 75 people came together at the Cottage Grove Public Library for the powerful program, several people were surveilled, harassed and threatened for their participation […]

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Why Aren’t There More Black People In Oregon?: A Hidden History

It’s time! This week ROP in partnership with Oregon Humanities kicks off our second rural tour of the conversation project “Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?: A Hidden History,” presented and facilitated by organizer and educator Walidah Imarisha. Starting tomorrow, the tour will travel to the communities of Cave Junction, Cottage Grove, Monmouth, La Grande, Prineville, and Scappoose. Scroll down […]

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Register for the Caucus! Who speaks for rural Oregon?

April-May 2016 Kitchen Table Activism: Rural Caucus & Strategy Session Register today for ROP’s annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session on Saturday, May 14th (and Sunday, May 15th) in Bend! Join ROP rural organizers and leaders and unite our voices and strengthen our movement for justice in Oregon. WHY THIS ACTIVITY? This year’s theme for […]

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Rural Oregon speaks out!

Last week was a whirlwind of resistance from across the state! Across Oregon, thousands of people have taken the streets to tell paramilitaries and militia groups to leave Harney County, including 350 folks outside of the Harney County Courthouse who chanted a simple message to the militia occupying their community: you are not our voice! […]

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#OregonStandoff: it’s far from over

Scroll down for details on local actions on Saturday, Jan 30th & Sunday, Jan. 31st Friday, January 29, 2016 As I write this, four people continue to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, one of the leaders of the occupation is dead, and a call to action has been issued by the Pacific Patriots Network […]

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ROP Statement on Day of Action in Solidarity with Harney County and Burns Paiute Tribe

Click here for details on local actions around the state. STATEWIDE DAY OF ACTION: END THE OCCUPATION OF HARNEY COUNTY Contacts: Jessica Campbell, Organizing Director, Rural Organizing Project: 541-999-8144 Cara Shufelt, Director, Rural Organizing Project: 503-349-3918 January 29th, 2016 The Rural Organizing Project is coordinating a statewide Day of Action in Solidarity with the people of Harney County […]

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Update on Harney County and Taking Action‏

January 27th, 2016 Dear ROPnet, Last night, eight leaders of the armed takeover at Malheur Wildlife Refuge were arrested outside of Burns en route to a meeting in Grant County dedicated to setting up a shadow county government the way they had attempted in Harney County. One of the occupiers was killed during the confrontation […]

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Free Occupied Burns!‏

Day of Action across Oregon on Saturday, January 30th! Click here for updated information on the Day of Action and resources for planning a local event The armed occupation of Malheur Wildlife Refuge has gone on too long. One day was too long, and now it’s three weeks and counting. It’s time to show our […]

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Action in Solidarity with Harney County‏

Join ROP and human dignity groups to take action in support of the people of Harney County. Scroll down to read more! January 14th, 2016 If you have been following the headlines as the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge unfolds, you could come away with the sense that Harney County is divided. […]

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#OregonUnderAttack: Update on Harney County

January 5th, 2016 Rural Oregon has been making national news after militia and “patriot” groups from across the country descended on Harney County and led to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County. For weeks brave Harney County residents have repeatedly and publicly asked for militia and “patriot” groups to not […]

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ROP is hiring an Organizer!

Rural Organizing Project JOB ANNOUNCEMENT Organizer Rural Organizing Project (ROP) is a statewide organization of locally-based autonomous groups that work to create communities accountable to a standard of human dignity: the belief in the equal worth of all people, the need for equal access to justice, and the right to self-determination. ROP was founded by […]

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Stand with ROP against threats and intimidation

ROP is facing escalating harassment and intimidation.  Please stand with us! We are all watching in horror as the media helps Donald Trump to introduce racist and xenophobic ideas into the mainstream political debate. For some time now here in rural Oregon, we have experienced the ugly underbelly of this rising right wing with the […]

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Marcy Westerling Memorial webpage‏

Marcy Westerling Living Legacy Memorial Celebration Webpage December 3, 2015 Dear ROPnet, Last weekend, this beautiful bench was placed at Marcy Westerling’s grave site. Marcy, our founder, started the Rural Organizing Project in 1992. As most of you know, Marcy died in June of this year, and on August 23rd, we celebrated her life and […]

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How many more divisions can we bear?

Like you, we are grieving, shocked, and heartbroken by the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg last week. The senseless killing of students and an instructor on their campus, attending their classes, has left every Oregonian reeling, asking, why did this happen? More importantly, all of us are asking, how do we respond? As […]

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Patriot Movement Paramilitaries in Oregon

Patriot Movement Paramilitaries in Oregon Spencer Sunshine, PhD, Associate Fellow at Political Research Associates This is an expanded version of a talk given at the Rural Organizing Project’s Rural Caucus and Strategy Session in Woodburn, Oregon on June 13, 2015. The Patriot Movement: From Posse Comitatus to the Oath Keepers In April 2015, armed right-wing […]

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Marcy Westerling Living Legacy Memorial Celebration‏

Hold the Date Marcy Westerling Living Legacy Memorial Celebration Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 Portland, Oregon Dear Friends, Marcy Westerling was a powerful force: a visionary organizer, movement leader, cancer warrior, friend, partner, mentor and an inspiration to many. From the living rooms of small town Oregon to the halls of the medical industrial complex, Marcy […]

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Visionary and Fierce: the 2015 Caucus!‏

June 29th, 2015 Just over two weeks ago, over 120 rural and small town leaders convened at the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session hosted by PCUN, Oregon’s farm worker union and one of ROP’s longest allies. Together we honored the spirit of ROP’s founder Marcy Westerling through song and diving deep into bold, innovative, exciting […]

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A Day to Celebrate Dignity & Justice!‏

June 26th, 2015 Dear ROPnet, Today will go down in the history books as a momentous victory for justice and dignity. It took thousands of people and decades to build the political power that has led to the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same sex marriage in every state. Today is a day to […]

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Racism is NOT welcome in Oregon!‏

This is an action alert! The Oregon Republican Party and Oregonians for Immigration Reform (a recognized hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) are hosting Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Saturday, June 27th for fundraisers and a rally at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona has become the national […]

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In Solidarity and Mourning‏

June 20th, 2015 Dear ROPnetters, Last weekend at the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session, we discussed in depth the moment we are in; a moment of great hope and inspiration as the movement builds for Black Lives Matter, but also acknowledging that there is a growing counter-movement and potential for backlash. For many, the killing […]

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Honoring Marcy Westerling’s Legacy

June 16th, 2015 Dear Friends of ROP, There are so many of us who have been touched by ROP’s Founder, Marcy Westerling, who died of ovarian cancer on June 10th, 2015. A fierce organizer, a visionary and a movement leader, Marcy brought many of us into justice work or inspired us to lead in our […]

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In Memory of Marcy Westerling

Marcy Westerling March 25, 1959 – June 10, 2015 Marcy Westerling, a long-time community organizer with a passion for justice who founded the Rural Organizing Project, died late June 10th in her home in outer southeast Portland amidst the flowering gardens she loved so well, in the devoted care of her husband Mike Edera, family, […]

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Organizing lessons from Linn County‏

  Today we would like to share with you the incredible story of how Linn County leaders went from hosting an event to helping form a multigenerational and multiracial group who, in the face of hate activity, led their community in action and response! Community Action for Racial Equity (CARE)’s work is sure to inspire […]

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Oath Keepers stand down and choose next target

We wrote you on May 7th to tell you about right wing and militia groups from across the country converging in Josephine County for an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over what was in reality a matter of paperwork. After over a month of armed encampments, threats to BLM employees, intimidation […]

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They are the Oath Keepers, we are the Peace Makers

One evening a couple weeks ago, I received a call from a human dignity group leader in Josephine County: “ROP! Help!” The Oath Keepers of Josephine County, a local chapter of a national right-wing organization that recruits police, military, and others to “uphold their oath to the Constitution” and to refuse any orders that violate […]

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A Chance to Re-Energize, Strategize & Organize!‏

April 24th, 2015 Dear ROPnet, Every year rural and small town activists and organizers come together for the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session, a day to share incredible organizing from across the state, reflect on our last year and make plans for our rural human dignity movement in the year ahead. This year’s Caucus looks […]

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Where can you find ROP this Spring?‏

April 16th, 2015 Dear ROPnet, Where is ROP this Spring? The answer is… in your town! ROP is in the middle of “Winter & Spring on the Road 2015 – ROP Everywhere.” We have lessened the needs that can keep us tied to an office and we have been hitting the road. In the last […]

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Going After Capital: $15 Minimum Wage Action

March 30th, 2015 Dear ROPnet, The following is a call to action from 15Now Oregon and 15Now PDX, the organizations that have been doing grassroots work to raise Oregon’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. The Rural Organizing Project is active in this coalition and several human dignity groups are currently organizing around $15Now in […]

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Addressing homelessness in Crook County

March 26th, 2015 Dear ROPnet, Housing insecurity is a crisis that impacts every county in Oregon. We have witnessed the fallout of 30 years of cuts to mental health resources, the systematic dismantling and privatization of social safety nets, the costs of living increasing while wages remain the same, and an economic recession that has […]

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“We Need These Stories”‏

March 16th, 2015 “Who gets to define what history is and what matters?” – Deb Ross, National Movement Leader and ROP Supporter “This is what we do. We suit up, we show up, and we give. We do it – over and over again – because we love our democracy, our state, and our beloved […]

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The Caucus is coming! June 13th!‏

March 11th, 2015 Dear ROPnetters, Mark your calendar! This year’s Rural Caucus & Strategy Session will be Saturday, June 13th in Woodburn! Join small town and rural Oregonians from across the state as we reflect on the last year, share our local strategies for bold and innovative organizing, and think big about what we’d like […]

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Legislators: have a heart!‏

March 2nd, 2015 Dear ROPnet, Thirteen counties have taken on the most recent Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) to send our legislators “10 things I LOVE about Wage Justice” post cards and hand-crafted Valentines asking our electeds to have a heart, including Jackson, Lane, Douglas, Polk, Yamhill, Clackamas, Hood River, Wasco, Lincoln, Crook, Deschutes, Baker and […]

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Celebrate Rural Organizing on March 1st!‏

February 18th, 2015 Dear Friends of Rural Organizing Project, ROP is spreading the love…. the rural organizing love! We are thrilled to announce Rural Organizing Voices, a project dedicated to expanding knowledge and strategies that advance rural organizing. We would like to invite you to join us to celebrate (and support this project!) on Sunday, […]

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Organizing for Reproductive Justice in Josephine Co

February 18, 2015 Dear ROPnet, I’d like to share a story of inspiring and creative organizing from Josephine County that experiments with connecting the dots between reproductive justice and gender justice and racial justice. An intergenerational group of Josephine County folks have been organizing together for racial justice for over a year now, building a […]

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Rural Organizing Voices

Support Rural Organizing Voices: donate here. ROP is spreading the love…. the rural organizing love! We are thrilled to announce Rural Organizing Voices, a project dedicated to expanding knowledge and strategies that advance rural organizing. Over the last several years ROP’s Founder, Marcy Westerling, and our own oral history project coordinator, Sarah Loose, have been […]

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Join other small town Oregonians to rally for Healthcare for All!

Oregonians To Rally For Health Care For ALL–February 11 Dear ROP Human Dignity Groups, The Rural Organizing Project is a member of Health Care for All—Oregon (HCAO), a coalition of 100 organizations working to bring universal, publicly funded health care to Oregon. Coalition members include unions, businesses, advocacy organizations, and political, religious and local community […]

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Creating Beloved Community Through Radical Action

January 17th, 2015 Dear ROPnet, Martin Luther King, Jr. believed we needed to topple the triple threats of militarism, racism, and materialism/capitalism in order to truly realize Beloved Community. And we needed to use radical actions to get there. As National Peoples Action states, “Dr. King and his fellow civil rights leaders regularly asked everyday […]

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‘Let me Help You Breathe’

January 9th, 2015 Dear ROPnet, How do we sustain ourselves in the long-term struggle for human dignity? How do we grow our movement, overcoming systems that pit us against each other to reduce the mighty power we could wield collectively? With so many spotlights being shone on the many injustices in our world, how do […]

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Life in Rural Counties

January 8th, 2015 Dear ROPnet, What is the economic reality of living in Oregon’s rural counties? Two recent studies share details on life in rural counties and across Oregon. The University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center released today the Oregon Workforce Report 2014, The High Cost of Low Wages in Oregon. New York […]

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A Year to Remember

Are you ready for 2015? Before we jump into the New Year, let’s look back at some highlights from the past twelve months as we share the Best of 2014! From statewide wins to inspiring local organizing, we have much to appreciate, learn from and celebrate. We’d like to share our appreciation of a powerful […]

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A Story of Peace & Justice in Central Oregon

While reflecting on a recent march through downtown Bend, Rev. Ron Werner, Jr. remarked, “Why would a mostly rural town show up and speak out when it looks nothing like Ferguson, Staten Island, or Cleveland?” He goes on to share: “Bend could have stood silent and allowed the headlines of recent weeks to slowly fade […]

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Is It Bad Enough Yet?‏

I believe that deep within our being as a nation there is a longing for a moral movement that plows deep into our souls. We are flowing together because we recognize that the intersectionality of all of these movements is our opportunity to fundamentally redirect America. -Rev. Dr. William Barber II December 18th, 2014 Dear […]

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Connecting the dots across struggles

December 12th, 2014 Dear ROPers, Last Saturday, human dignity group leaders from across Oregon joined a conference call to collectively digest and brainstorm how rural and small town Oregonians can be a voice for human dignity in this moment. From Redmond to Grants Pass to Astoria to La Grande to Newport to Cottage Grove, folks […]

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Building Together for the Long Haul

Marcy Westerling, Rural Organizing Project Founder December 8th, 2014 Dear Friends of the Rural Organizing Project, Big-time elections can make genuine political conversation impossible. And when the voting is over, superficial analysis often leads to over-simplified conclusions. But human dignity leaders in the ROP have a tradition of taking the time before, during and after […]

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Big questions in small towns‏

December 4th, 2014 Dear ROPers, Last week doing holiday errands and walking through my small town, I ran into many human dignity activists who shared passion, confusion, anger, and much more on a continuum around Ferguson, leaving me thinking, “Wow, we are all struggling so to figure out how one death in Ferguson is creating […]

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How can rural Oregon show up?‏

December 1st, 2014 Dear ROPnet, Like a lot of you, our Thanksgiving celebrations were filled with conversation, digesting what’s going on in Ferguson, what happened to Michael Brown, and how this relates to us and our communities. Ferguson has sparked a national conversation about race that doesn’t often make it into mainstream media or into […]

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Giving thanks for resistance

November 25th, 2014 Dear ROPnet, Over a year ago, I wrote you all to express my grief, dismay, and feeling of paralysis with the news that George Zimmerman was acquitted for Trayvon Martin’s murder. Last night, I watched a livestream of Ferguson protesters absorbing the news that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted, and […]

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Giving thanks for resistance

Over a year ago, I wrote you all to express my grief, dismay, and feeling of paralysis with the news that George Zimmerman was acquitted for Trayvon Martin’s murder. Last night, I watched a livestream of Ferguson protesters absorbing the news that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted, and I sobbed as I helplessly […]

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Movement lessons from the South‏

November 24th, 2014 Dear ROPnetters, It’s great to be back home and at work in rural Oregon after having a fantastic few days in Dallas, TX for the Facing Race conference put on by Race Forward. Thanks to our friends at Welcoming America (of which ROP is an affiliate), I was able to join over […]

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This Win is Ours

November 21st, 2014 Dear ROPnet, The photo to the right was snapped last night at Central Oregon’s Social Justice Center. Over fifty people gathered together at the heart of Central Oregon’s human dignity movement to hear firsthand what President Obama planned to do with his executive action on immigration reform. The room was overflowing with […]

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Finding Inspiration

November 20th, 2014 Dear ROPnet, Over the last few weeks, ROP staff have been on the road and in communities, meeting with human dignity groups, debriefing the election and building strategies and ideas for moving forward in 2015. We have been taking time to talk about what we are seeing in our communities, what we […]

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Reflections on Election Eve

November 3rd, 2014 Dear ROPnetters, Over the last few months rural and small town Oregonians have made their voices heard. We have knocked on doors, hosted and attended forums, and made hundreds of phone calls. We have delivered STAND Voter Guides, marched through the streets, written letters to the editor, and talked with our neighbors. […]

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Livingly Dying – Marcy in Yes! Magazine

October 30th, 2014 Dear ROPnetters, If you’re a reader of Yes! Magazine, you might have already spotted the article written by ROP’s brilliant founder, Marcy Westerling. This article helps illustrate how, even through terminal illness, Marcy is organizing communities, speaking her truth, and sharing sharp analysis on death in a death-phobic culture. You’ll find the […]

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A bittersweet farewell

October 28th, 2014 Dear ROPnetters: In spring of 2008, I sat at my computer in San Salvador, El Salvador, and poured my passion into an application to become an organizer at the Rural Organizing Project. … my conscience told me that I had to find a different organizing model, based on slow gains over the […]

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The War at Home

October 22nd, 2014 The War At Home and Abroad  A few weeks ago we sent you a message looking at the war abroad and what is likely to be endless war into the next presidency.  You can read that ROPnet here. Today is the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality.  Let’s talk more about […]

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The right to be heard

August 18th, 2014 I have lived in Columbia County for 25 years. I raised my children here, I work here, I was married here. This is my community and I have the right to drive, to participate, and to be heard. – Lionila Jimenez, Columbia County Cultural Coalition We need to do more than just […]

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Cost of War 2014, And What We Can Do About It‏

August 12th, 2014 Dear ROPnetters: Mike Edera is a long-time ROP volunteer, leader of a human dignity group in Washington County for many years, activist, organizer, and strategic thinker. We share with you this timely and thoughtful piece by Mike on “the Cost of War 2014” – a conversation many rural communities are having right […]

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Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?

After months of hard work and planning, six rural communities will host conversation projects on Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?: A Hidden History, presented and facilitated by organizer and educator Walidah Imarisha. On September 4-9th, the tour will visit Grants Pass, Redmond, Astoria, Albany, Newport, and Bay City.  Several tour stops will also host […]

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100 Days of Stories

It’s time! Are you ready? Today marks the official launch of the Yes on Measure 88 – Driver Card for Safe Roads campaign. The Rural Organizing Project is proud to be a supporter. Join us in supporting M88. Visit the campaign website (launched today!): www.VoteYeson88.com This November, vote YES for an Oregon Driver Card. We need […]

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Reaping the Rewards of Movement Building

June 19th, 2014 Dear ROPnetters, Sometimes you can really feel how our endless hours and labors towards justice have a real and direct impact. These past few months, Oregonians have many victories to celebrate and we have hundreds of human dignity leaders to congratulate for how they’ve kept the light of justice illuminated in their […]

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Many Thanks and a Farewell‏

Dear ROP family, I would like to thank ROP and its amazing staff for being incredible women to work alongside. It is with a sad heart that I am writing you all to say I have decided to move on from ROP. I have learned to so much and grown so much in my time […]

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A moment to celebrate! And the struggle continues.‏

Dear Ropnetters, Congratulations Rural Oregon! For years Human Dignity Groups pushed local law enforcement to stop collaborating with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) in their mission to deport our community members. We met with sheriffs, held community forums, published letters in the paper, did candidate questionnaires, even took our message – “No to Deportations, Not […]

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Inspiration and Perseverance

May 15, 2014“I’d never had such a mind opening experience, with all the shared knowledge, inspiration and realized community.  I left the Caucus and Sunday training with deep newfound focus in both activism and life.” – Rebecca Ince Dear Ropnetters, Wow! What a Caucus! On May 3rd and 4th we held our incredibly successful 22nd annual Rural Caucus & Strategy […]

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Easy Action, Big Ripples – time for Oregon to join in!

April 23rd, 2014 Below is a message from ROP Founder, Marcy Westerling and long-time ROP wise thinker and local leader, Mike Edera. Join us on Saturday, May 3rd at the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session in Hood River to talk about ‘Foreclose on Wells Fargo’ and other home defender strategies. Dear ROPnetters, Here is a question: What do hundreds […]

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Urgent: County Sheriffs say no to ICE holds

Dear ROPnetters, In the last 24 hours, 9 counties in Oregon have announced that they are no longer honoring ICE holds.  This comes after a federal court ruling that states that Clackamas County violated the 4th Amendment when it held a woman in their custody based solely on an ICE request. (See this article from The […]

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Rural Community Emergency Response

March 27, 2014 Dear ROPnetters, As the aftermath of the deadly mudslide in Oso, Washington unfold, rural emergency response is topic of many conversations happening across the country. Human dignity organizers in Cottage Grove are mulling that same topic since February after responding to the aftermath of the worst ice storm in Lane County history […]

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Rural Community Emergency Response – 2014

March 27, 2014 A message from Jess Campbell: As the aftermath of the deadly mudslide in Oso, Washington unfolds, rural emergency response is the topic of many conversations happening across the country. Human dignity organizers in Cottage Grove have been mulling that same topic since February after responding to the aftermath of the worst ice […]

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Stopping Deportations and ICE Holds: Where does your county stand?‏

March 7, 2014 Dear ROPnetters: You may remember our October 2013 KTA: Tools for pushing back against police-ICE collaboration in small-town Oregon, featuring a great interview with Jorge Hernandez, a leader in two human dignity groups in Newport, Oregon and a member of ROP’s Latino Advisory Board. Jorge talked about immigration detainers, which are requests made by U.S.  […]

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The Growing ROP Family!‏

March 6th, 2014 Dear ROPnetters: I am thrilled to introduce the newest members of the ROP family, Sam Hamlin and Julie Braker! Sam joins the ROP staff as an Organizer.  Julie is ROP’s new legal fellow, splitting her time between Immigrant Law Group and ROP.  Read more about Sam and Julie in their letters below. […]

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Taking Action on Wage Theft‏

February 18th, 2014 Dear ROP Immigrant Fairness Network, This week the Coalition to Stop Wage Theft has been active at the Capitol.  Workers have testified and ROP Board and Latino Advisory Board Members have met with legislators – all to keep the issue of Wage Theft in the forefront this session.  Many of you, over […]

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Check out where your legislators stand

Dear ROPnet, Yesterday, our legislators got individual report cards delivered to their office in Salem. Some were great! Others, well… They could use some work. Check out how your legislators did on the Facing Race: 2013 Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity — download it here and bring it to your group! The report card […]

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Feliz Año Nuevo from Central Oregon!

January 10th, 2014 Dear ROPnetters, Feliz Año Nuevo from Central Oregon! The Recursos team from Central Oregon with allies from Crook County Human Dignity Advocates, Central Oregon Jobs with Justice, and ROP Organizer Rosa Navarro The holidays are always a busy time for human dignity groups. Everyone is getting everything ready for the next year […]

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You are my inspiration

January 2nd, 2014 Dear ROPnet, What a year it has been! As we begin 2014 – an election year when the rights and dignity of so many of our neighbors will be put up for a vote – let’s remember to look back and celebrate our victories and our movement for human dignity. Together we […]

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The Power of Community Organizing

Can you invest in the power of community organizing? Support rural justice by making a gift to ROP today. December 10th, 2013 Dear Friends of Rural Organizing Project, 2013 reminds us why organizing matters. In June, the front page of the New York Times announced two big Supreme Court decisions of 2013. Above the fold, […]

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Celebrate the Postal Service with ROP!‏

November 26th, 2013 Dear ROPnetters, Before everyone sits down around the table for Thanksgiving, we wanted to announce something we are grateful for: the United States Postal Service. The United States Postal Service is a vital lifeline for rural communities across the state, and it is being systematically dismantled for corporate profit. If this is […]

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Economic Justice Film Screening… In Your Town?‏

November 11th, 2013 Dear ROPnetters, Our friends at the Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP), a progressive think tank based in Silverton, want to collaborate with human dignity group leaders who would be interested in screening the film American Winter in their communities, which digs into the economic realities working class families across America are […]

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Help Occupy Roseburg keep the heat on!‏

Last May we sent out a ROPnet describing Occupy Roseburg’s incredible success fighting a proposed “exclusion zone” that would unfairly target folks who appear to be low-income in downtown Roseburg, all while they continued to do their community-building work of their weekly Feed the Burg potluck.  For those of you who would like the refresher, […]

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Background on Drivers Cards Referendum

Many of you have asked for more information about the Drivers Card Referendum, where the Driver Card law passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor earlier this year will be referred to the November 2014 ballot. It will be important for us to stay connected during the coming months and year – it is […]

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Crook County’s summer “vacation”‏

Every summer we see several human dignity groups take the opportunity slow down, recharge, and do what they need to keep their families happy and healthy, from camping to gardening to canning.  During these slower moments, many groups consider ways they can remain active and visible in their communities, and here is a great examples […]

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A Historic Walk through Central Oregon‏

Last Week- Over 100 walkers marched through Oregon’s 2nd Congressional district and walked from Madras to Bend in a historic 42.2 mile walk. The three day walk was from September 15th-Spetember 17th to Congressman Greg Walden’s office in downtown Bend to deliver over 1,500 signatures from rural Oregon citizens and over 100 small business owners’ letters, calling Walden […]

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ROP is Hiring an Organizer!‏

If you’re a human dignity group leader, rural justice seeker, ally, or ROP supporter, you were probably thrilled to hear the news that the ROP organizing staff is growing!  Rosa Navarro joined our all-star organizing team in early September as our Latin@ Community Organizer, joining Jessica Campbell (brilliant and beloved ROP Organizer), Amanda Aguilar Shank (Associate Director), and Cara […]

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Walk for Citizenship – The Home Stretch!‏

Dear Immigrant Fairness Network, Today marks the last day of the the Walk for Citizenship, also known as the Peregrina para la Ciudadania.  Dozens of Oregonians are walking 42 miles from Madras to Bend calling on Rep Greg Walden to take leadership in the House of Representatives and call for a vote on immigration reform. Cara & […]

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Join us for the Walk for Citizenship!‏

September 12th, 2013 Dear ROP Immigrant Fairness Network, In just a few short days dozens of folks will be walking across Central Oregon for the Walk for Citizenship/ Peregrina para la Cuidadania.  Hundreds more will join marches and vigils in Madras, Redmond and Bend from Sept. 15-17th. Join us to bring the voices of consituents directly […]

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No War With Syria

With the drumbeats of war growing ever louder as the US prepares to begin military action in Syria, human dignity leaders are stepping up to be the voice of reason. Without Congressional approval and without public debate, how can we hold space in our hometowns to discuss what it means when our leadership goes to […]

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In Central Oregon, We March

August 28th, 2013 Dear ROPnetters: This Spring, 50 of us traveled by bus across Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District and into Washington and Idaho to call for just immigration reform and drivers licenses as part of the March for ONE Oregon.  We experienced incredible highs: the largest march ever known to Hermiston, hundreds lining the streets […]

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Scapegoating of the Disabled 2013‏

August 13th, 2013 Dear ROPnetters: Before there was a Rural Organizing Project, there was Marcy Westerling driving around trying to build solidarity and support between progressive small town Oregonians. There were so many of them that they formed community-by-community human dignity groups and the ROP was born in the early nineties. Marcy functioned as lead […]

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What can Rural Oregon do about Immigration Reform?‏

The House of Representatives has now closed down for their month-long August recess after not having come to a vote on immigration reform, and community leaders are letting Congress know that they’re sick and tired of the stalling. Last week, our compañeros Ramon Ramirez, President of PCUN Farmworker Union, and Reyna Lopez of Causa Oregon were arrested […]

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2 hours a week

Volunteers make it all happen. Hundreds of you volunteer to bring human dignity one step closer in your community.  Volunteers are the way we combat attacks on democracy, educate our neighbors about key issues, stand up for undocumented immigrants, for LGBT families, for poor and working class Oregonians. Did you know that volunteers are also […]

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Do It Then Defend It

July 26th, 2013 Dear ROPnetters: Earlier this week we shared a blog post with you about the Reverend Barber and North Carolina’s “Moral Mondays,” a direct action every Monday in the North Carolina legislature. Nearly 1000 have made the moral and ethical decision to be arrested in order to stand against an all out war […]

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Hundreds Arrested on Moral Mondays

This Monday we bring you a blog post from our Board Member, Cathy Howell. She lived and organized in North Carolina and has kept a close watch on their Moral Mondays lead by the North Carolina NAACP. They are a model for us all to study – NC NAACP has kicked off Moral Mondays, weekly […]

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The Verdict Is In

We are in a telling moment where the racism and white supremacy so many of our systems are built on and serve are being reflected back to us. With the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin, and, in the same state, Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in jail for firing […]

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Watch the March for ONE Oregon Documentary!‏

  Friday, July 12, 2013 Dear ROPnet, Last March, over 50 bus riders and thousands of others took part in a historic bus tour that covered central Oregon, eastern Oregon, Idaho, and southeastern Washington featuring rallies, community forums, and press conferences calling for just immigration reform and drivers licenses for Oregon drivers. As one bus […]

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Aqui Estamos y No Nos Vamos

Last March, over 50 bus riders and thousands of others took part in a historic bus tour and related events that covered central Oregon, eastern Oregon, Idaho, and southeastern Washington featuring rallies, community forums, and press conferences calling for just immigration reform and drivers licenses for Oregon drivers. As one bus rider shared, “I will never […]

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ROP is Hiring an Organizer!

   With everything, a silver lining.  Just a month ago we were tearful we held a despedida – a goodbye party – for Keyla Almazán, as she transitioned from a staff organizer role to a Yamhill County representative of the ROP Board of Directors and the Latino Advisory Board.  (It turns out ROP is a hard place to leave!)  […]

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Legislature: Standing Up for Family Farmers!‏

At the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session, small town Oregonians came together for a session on “Debt & Economic Refugees.”  We discussed strategies for fighting back – from foreclosure resistance strategies to innovative policy approaches that address student and farmer debt.  The energy in this session was high, many expressing hunger for direct action and bold next […]

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20 Years of the ROP Caucus

Being a committed human dignity and social justice activist is not an easy life path. At certain times it can be downright dangerous. Other times range from frustrating and exhausting to exciting and energizing. Being such a person in a rural community can be very isolating. Oregon is blessed to have an amazing organization that […]

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