Equality State Policy Center – Community Organizing

ESPC’s community organizing work grew out of our VOTE Project (Voter Organizing, Training and Empowerment.) With three organized Leadership Councils in the state — in Rock Springs and Torrington and on the Wind River Reservation — and an emerging council in Rawlins, we are training community members to advocate for themselves and their communities. The council in Rock Springs, TRIBE (Tolerant Race Initiative Bringing Education), and the council in Torrington, Citizens Organizing for Respect and Advocating for Justice and Education (CORAJE), have a core of active members and leaders, most of whom are Latino/a. They are working on civic engagement and have identified campaigns relating to racism in their communities. TRIBE is working on a campaign against racial profiling. CORAJE is working to address diversity issues with regard to Eastern Wyoming College, the local community college, and with other community institutions. The council on the Wind River Reservation, RezAction, has a small group of active youth members and leaders. They have identified health equity and education issues that they are working on, again relating to racism experienced by tribal members. As part of those campaigns, they partner with adult community leaders to develop their strategies and plans. This summer, RezAction raised funds to send three leaders, Micah Lott, Willow Pingree, and Gary Collins, to Western States Center’s AMP Camp in Portland in late July. This was an outstanding opportunity for them to learn more about community organizing and to meet and connect with activists and organizers from all over the West. Our emerging leadership council in Rawlins, where there is a significant Latino population, has a small core of leaders. They are building their group and eventually want to run a campaign to address educational inequities with local Latino youth.