In this month’s MaineShare member spotlight, we will explore the question of “What has ROSC been up to lately?” As it turns out, and not surprisingly, they have been doing a lot! ROSC- Resources for Organizing and Social Change – is a MaineShare member who has been around since 1977 and focuses on organizing to dismantle root causes of injustice, led by those with lived experiences of these injustices.
A main focus for ROSC lately has been preparing for the 20th convening of the Maine Youth Activism Gathering– or YAG, for short. This gathering, hosted by ROSC and led by and created for youth, will be held April 15 through April 17 at Pine Tree Camp in Rome, ME. “It is a balance of activism and community building”, explains Sass Borodkin, the Executive Director of ROSC. Workshops for this year’s gathering will highlight topics from water justice, harm reduction, and community de-escalation to consent 101, homelife skills, handling community grief and crisis, and more. The event will also incorporate intentional spans of free time, providing space for participants to reflect on and process their learnings, and cultivate relationships with each other. The gathering seeks to provide a welcoming space where youth can learn from each other and build autonomy. If you know of youth who might be interested, please direct them to the website to learn more and register– the workshop fee is on a sliding scale, with participants asked to contribute $0-100 per day based on what they can afford.
Other activities that ROSC has been involved in are convenings of SNAHP- the Solidarity Network Against Hunger and Poverty. This group was responsible for the publication of a 32-page report that provided feedback on the recommendations of the Interim Report on Ending Hunger in Maine by 2030, from those with lived experiences with poverty and hunger. SNAHP continues to gather to organize, engage, and educate around issues that impact those who experience classism and other forms of systemic oppression.
ROSC has also been busy planning for GROW– their grassroots organizing workshops for adults in the fall– as well as participating in advisory councils aimed at anti-hunger and anti-poverty initiatives. They have also been developing educational materials for those holding power about how best to invite the voices of those with lived experience into authentic opportunities to influence oppressive systems in ways that don’t cause further harm or tokenize. Our community is better because of the work that ROSC does day in and day out, and MaineShare is grateful to have them as a member!