In 1992 Marcy Westerling crisscrossed Oregon, logging thousands of miles, visiting hundreds of local human dignity activists, and catalyzing nearly 20 new Human Dignity Groups in rural and small towns across the state. Eventually, these groups would come together to form the Rural Organizing Project.
Many of the core elements of ROP’s approach to political education are captured in this short description of ROP’s “Political Education Philosophy & Practices,” written in the mid-1990s.
Following a July 1993 visit to meet with a group of local human dignity activists in Tillamook County, ROP Director, Marcy Westerling, wrote this letter to several of the group’s key leaders, offering advice and support as they considered next steps in building their group.
In 2005, ROP brought national movement leader and long-time ROP advisor, Suzanne Pharr, to Oregon for a “rolling think-tank” tour. Some 75 community leaders from 16 communities meet in living rooms across the state to reflect on the political moment and plan for a 7-day Walk for Truth, Justice and Community.