Groundswell Co-Coordinator Sarah K. Loose is coordinating a participatory oral history project with the Rural Organizing Project (ROP), where she worked as a community organizer from 2008-2010. The project seeks to inform and contribute to ROP’s ongoing work by collectively documenting, critically analyzing and publicly disseminating the history of grassroots, progressive organizing in Oregon’s rural, small town and frontier communities. She’s also finishing up her M.A. in oral history at Columbia University, coordinating Oregon’s Coalition to Stop Wage Theft, and producing a Spanish-language audio documentary about the transnational organizing efforts of the Comite con Santa Marta – a hometown association of Salvadoran immigrants living in Herndon, Virginia.
Sarah’s background is as a popular educator and rural community organizer, and for the last eight years she’s worked in the Pacific Northwest with rural progressives, immigrants, people of faith, and low-income workers organizing for economic, racial and environmental justice. She first fell in love with the power and practice of oral history when facilitating a two-year, community-based oral history/sistematizacion project with popular educators in Santa Marta, El Salvador (2001-2003).