If you couldn’t make it to our Anniversary party last night, we want to share some news with our members.

First, and most exciting, we are honored and pleased to announce that the Missoula Area Resistance Collective (MARC) has decided to merge into our group. As many of you know, MARC was created by Rebecca Weston, and others, after the historical Women’s March that they organized. MARC has been doing incredible work which has taken on the form of Community Conversations. Because we seek to move forward in collaboration for the most impact, MARC will now be a subgroup of Missoula Rises, called “Community Conversations.”

What is “Community Conversations” and how does this fit in with Missoula Rises? Well, in accordance with our Vision Statement, Community Conversations seeks to facilitate change through education and dialogue. Community Conversations will be a safe space where we can discuss issues that progressives are grappling with. Because Missoula Rises has chosen to be action oriented, we don’t usually have these conversations. But for us to understand the “why” behind our actions, we need these conversations to occur. Community Conversations will be holding monthly in-person forums on topics that dovetail with the actions we are currently working on. There will also be a linked FaceBook page where on-line, moderated discussions surrounding these monthly topics can be held. Our collective hope is that people will move these discussions off-line and come together to discuss in person. For each monthly topic, Community Conversations has speakers who hold specified expertise in these areas who can guide us through learning through dialogue.

To that end, Lynn Purl will also be heading up a new subgroup that aims to incorporate the arts – in all various forms -as an element of our resistance. At the outset, we will be working to have films/documentaries shown monthly that mirror the Community Conversation and Direct Actions we are taking that month. Again, the goal is to effectuate change through education and action.

Finally, we are very excited to announce that we will be starting back up a Book Club that will be, in my humble opinion, phenomenal. In ways that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. So look for the Film Series and Book Club subgroups to be starting up in January.

OK! Now, last thing we wanted to share is administrative in nature. Missoula Rises has a real, bona fide, legit, Steering Committee. The Steering Committee, which also includes a leader from each subgroup, will be meeting once a month. We will publish our minutes to keep people updated on progress. Missoula Rises will be holding open membership meetings quarterly. Specified dates TBA.

SO – here we are one year later to the day Trump was elected and we informally came together. And we have done a kick ass job of taking ownership of our current situation and empowering OURSELVES to make a change. 2018, we are comin for ya. And we are feeling GLORIOUS about our work.

“We’re goin’ to be alright, put that on my life
When I open my eyes, hope I see you shine
We’re planting a flag, they don’t understand
The world is up for grabs.” -Macklemore

Let’s get after it by staying humble, hustling hard and never compromising our progressive values. #RisingStrong

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