"We are at our best when we work together to keep each other safe, when we protect us."
Unite Oregon's leadership and staff took on the challenges brought by 2020 with unflinching stride, resulting in new endeavors to help members after a year of all sorts of disproportionate biases and a lack of resources for BIPOC and foreign-born families living in communities all over the state.
"We’ve risen up in defense of our neighbors and our families," Executive Director Kayse Jama wrote in the 2020 End Of Year Report. "We have fought for dignity and justice. We’ve built solidarity across communities, and shared struggles for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice. In doing so, we have achieved major victories."
The 2020 End of Year Report—our first ever annual impact statement—details our new programs that provide direct services to members and our communities, such as grocery food cards for families impacted by wildfires and COVID-19. Meanwhile, Unite's organizers in partnership with ImagineBlack, accumulated more than 38,000 emails and contact info of Oregonians, who want to stay up-to-date on our action. This power-house list, helped us last year to create momentum for the Black Lives Matter movement and the Defund the Police Campaign.
And when state leaders announced a moratorium on rent, Unite's team in Clackamas County was there to organize education session in multiple languages to ensure our members are covered and up-to-date with the resources and information that helped them home during this horrific pandemic. Several other great work by our teams in Multnomah and Washington counties, and in the Rogue Valley, where our Leadership Councils, and youth groups continue to inspire us all.
We undertook a few special projects, which included an effort that counted more than 15,000 Oregonians for the U.S. Census (#throwbackwhen Annie Narango-Rivera spoke to the Mail Tribune!), after training more than 30 organizers for the project. Speaking a combined eight languages, Unite's team covered homes in Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties and in the Rogue Valley.
"We will only succeed if we hold onto the key lesson of 2020: we thrive best when we work together to organize and build community," Jama wrote in his letter to Unite's dedicated supporters and members. "We are at our best when we work together to keep each other safe, when we protect us."
These necessary resources to support our teams, volunteers and most importantly families, grew out of urgent need and few resources. Our teams and leaders are busy as ever, thanks to generous donations from donors and supporters, but we're desperately in need more. Click here to donate. No cash? Pick-you-own volunteer opportunity found here. The report contains links to best connect you to our team.
Click on the image for our online publication and to download for offline reading.