Building Community Power features Miriam Vargas Corona with Unidos Bridging Community in Yamhill County and Bruce Morris with KPOV, High Desert Community Radio in Deschutes County. They both won victories for human dignity by bringing people together from different segments of their communities. If you are interested in connecting with other rural Oregonians who are building power in your area, head to www.rop.org to learn more about Rural Organizing Project (ROP) and how you can get involved.
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More on what you hear in this episode:
In response to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detaining community members at the Yamhill County Courthouse, Unidos Bridging Community built a volunteer-run system to document constitutional rights violations by ICE through in-person video recording. Miriam Vargas Corona shares how Unidos Bridging Community worked with the community to record these violations and build towards a powerful victory of a statewide Courthouse rule banning ICE from making warrantless detentions inside and in the immediate vicinity of courthouses. Find more information about the November 14th, 2019 Oregon Supreme Court Justice ruling that Unidos helped pass here! Want to stop detention and deportation from your community? Contact ROP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the early 2000s, Human Dignity Coalition brought together many different community members and human rights groups in response to an attack at a queer dance night in Bend. Bruce Morris shares how they started by hosting a screening and discussion around the 1995 documentary Not In Our Town which highlights the story of everyday people in Billings, Montana organizing to build a stronger community out of attacks on Black, Native, and Jewish communities and congregations. Let us know if you want a copy to screen in your town by emailing email@example.com and we can send you the DVD! The Not In Our Town website also has additional films and discussion guides available.
Bruce and the Human Dignity Coalition focused the energy they built from the screening on passing an Equal Rights Ordinance protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity. He also shares about how this story connects to other work he has participated in in Deschutes County including creating the Social Justice Center and maintaining the strength of KPOV, Central Oregon’s community radio station. As we mentioned in this episode, ROP is taking many lessons from the Social Justice Center and other places like it as we create our new Community Organizing Center in downtown Cottage Grove.
Rural Roots Rising is a production of the Rural Organizing Project. Thank you for listening!