Season 1: Episode 13

Hindsight 2020: Telling Rural Stories

Over a year ago, when ROP committed to making 13 monthly episodes to share organizing stories from across rural Oregon, we had no idea what 2020 would hold! Hindsight 2020: Telling Rural Stories features Monica Pearson with North Coast Progressive Action in Clatsop County, Rita Schenkelberg, a new city councilor-elect in Deschutes County, Brenda Flores with Raíces in Umatilla County, and Kate Orazem, ROP’s new archivist! They share stories of election organizing in their towns and the importance of both celebration and reflection in sustaining and growing our work, especially in the hardest moments.

If you are interested in connecting with other rural Oregonians who are building power in your area, or sharing your own rural stories to be featured on our upcoming season, head to www.rop.org to learn more about Rural Organizing Project (ROP) and how you can get involved.

Find out when your local radio station is playing Hindsight 2020: Telling Rural Stories at ruralrootsrising.org

Download this episode’s transcript here.

More on what you heard in this episode:

Monica and Brenda were both featured in our first episode of the season, Anyone Can Be An Organizer, and we checked back in with them to hear about their election organizing and what’s changed for their work over the past year. You can follow North Coast Progressive Action on Facebook here and watch one of their election Tik Toks here, featuring group members in T-rex and pumpkin costumes. In Deschutes County, Bend elected 4 new city councilors including Rita Schenkelberg, Bend’s first person of color and openly queer person elected to the city council. Follow Rita on her website or on Facebook

In Umatilla County, Brenda and other Latinx organizers formed Raíces in 2018, a group focused on organizing for immigrant rights and supporting the growth of powerful new community leaders. Follow Raíces on Facebook and Instagram. This year, they have been fundraising and distributing money to people struggling to make ends meet through the recession. They also distributed 500 newsprint STAND Guides in English and Spanish at mask distribution events in their area. Brenda also participated in ROP’s first Rural Organizing Fellowship from 2018-2019. The second annual Rural Organizing Fellowship is currently connecting 10 emerging leaders from rural and small-town Oregon between the ages of 15 and 30 making change in their communities. Learn more about the fellowship here and read about the incredible young people who are a part of the current cohort here

If you would like to get involved in North Coast Progressive Action, Raíces, or find a group in your area, reach out to us at office@rop.org.

The last segment of this episode is a conversation between two members of the ROP staff team: Meredith and Kate. Meredith Martin-Moats has been working behind the scenes on Rural Roots Rising since day one, editing, producing, and teaching the rest of us how to make quality radio. She sat down with Kate Orazem, ROP’s new archivist. Do you love pulling stories out of saved scraps of years past? Do you want to know what organizing looked like in your county in the mid-1990s? Reach out to Kate at kate@rop.org! She is really excited to get to know people across the network!

 

Did you like the music in this episode? We featured The Road Sodas, Josh Woodward, Scanglobe, Robin Allender, and Yacht.

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