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Another WILD time at Menucha

The heavy rains couldn’t dampen our spirits when the 2009-2010 WILD class (Western Institute for Organizing and Leadership Development) got together again November 5th - 8th! We spent four fabulous days at the Menucha Retreat Center outside Portland renewing our friendships, refreshing our skills, and rejuvenating our commitment to social justice organizing.   


Our WILD class – affectionately know as the WILD-Cats – traveled in from six states in the region, and everyone was ready with experiences and energy to share. Washington WILD-Cats were fresh off an important election, which included victories in two ballot initiative campaigns, Referendum 71 and Initiative 1033. Meanwhile, Oregon WILD-Cats are in the thick of gearing up for a special election in January. Folks from Alaska to Idaho were wrapping up a fall’s worth of planning and organizing on issues ranging from LGBTQ non-discrimination to green jobs and racial justice.


The third session of WILD included learning some core tools used in the Center’s movement-building work: Multi-Oppression Analysis, Communications 101, and Base-Building. We also took time to think through current issues affecting our work and our communities right now, including Health Care Reform—Liz Baxter from the Archimedes Movement joined us for a discussion on the current federal legislative fights and what they mean for us. As always, we spent time learning from one another as WILD-Cats shared their victories and struggles over the last few months. And last but not least, we managed to save space for fun, including an amazing, impromptu karaoke tribute to Michael Jackson!

The WILD class of 2009 – 2010 will meet once more in February 2010, but the learning, organizing, and friendships will continue long after the class has graduated. Stay tuned for information about our WILD graduation—and watch out for these leaders as they take the Western States region by storm!


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