portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements oregon & cascadia

faith & spirituality | legacies | social services

Sarah Bishop Memorial

Join the IWW on Saturday, September 4th, from 6pm to closing, to share memories and celebrate the life of Sarah Bishop.
Red and Black Cafe
SE 22nd and Division
for more information, call the IWW 503-231-5488
Sarah Bishop
Sarah Bishop
Our Sister has Fallen...

We Remember You Sarah Bishop (1977-2004)

On Thursday, August 26th, 2004 FW Sarah Bishop passed away. After a 4
day hike around Mt. Hood, Sarah drowned in the Sandy River while
attempting to cross. A temporary bridge was washed out from recent

Sarah worked at Harry's Mother, a homeless youth center in Portland,
Oregon for over four years. Unhappy with the inadequate funding for basic
social services and frustrated with the working conditions, Sarah started
talking with her co-workers about what they could do to help. The workers
contacted the Portland IWW and through many months of organizing, they
sucessfully organized one of Portland's first IWW union shops in the
Spring of 2000.

Sarah sat on the contract negotiation team and worked tirelessly to ensure
all her co-worker's concerns and opinions were represented during the
process. The workers were motivated and saw the connection between more
worker representaion and the quality of care for the homeless youth.
Sarah became an IWW delegate and shop steward because she wanted to take a
more leadership role in the union and she knew it needed to be done. In
______, Janus Youth Services finished negotiating their first contract.

Sarah also helped draft letters and materials to welcome and orient new
employees to the union. She knew it was important for all the workers to
understand what it meant to be a union shop. In one letter to new
employees, Sarah wrote "We advocate for a positive workplace and support
one another in our work through whatever means effective....it is our
responsibility to organize and express our concerns amongst ourselves and
to management."

When it came time to re-negotiate their contract, Sarah was there ready
and willing to help. Even when her employers were not being supportive of
the union, Sarah continued to organize her fellow workers to stand strong
on their demands. The bosses attempted to drag out the re-negotiations
and even threatened a pay cut for all non-management workers. Sarah was a
committed union organizer and even when she knew it was time for her to
move on professionally, she stayed at Harry's Mother because of her
dedication to homeless youth and the IWW.

When the Portland Women's Crisis Line workers began organizing a union,
Sarah stepped up to help. She met with workers and relayed her
experiences with the IWW. Going the extra mile, Sarah drafted a letter to
the PWCL Board of Directors expressing her support for their unionizing
efforts. She wrote "When we gather together in an intentional and formal
way, such as at a union meeting, our concerns for the cllients and the
program are brought to the table and addresses in a pro-acticve and
positive manner."

Ironically, Sarah thought she was never doing enough, and their was never
any ego involved in her organizing work. She remained motivated by her
desire for quality and adequately funded services to our most vulnerable
populations in society. Before she finally left Harry's Mother in early
August, Sarah helped recruit and train another IWW co-worker to be the new
delegate and shop steward.

Join us for a celebration of Sarah's life and a representation of the work she dedicated her life to. All are encouraged to attend, to share stories
of Sarah's life and accomplishments, to be there in support of her friends and family, and to have those lucky enough to have worked and organized
with Sarah to meet one another, in solidarity of her efforts. There will
be music, an open mike, and time to share stories and memories. The night
will begin around 6pm, please, come and show her family how loved Sarah
is, and how much her energy, dedication and friendship meant to us all. We
will be collecting things to put into a memory book for her family, so if
you have anything that helps represent her work, her love, or her
passions, bring it on that night. We will also be collecting donations to
make her next mortgage payment, and give her loved ones a little more time
and help with the costs involved with loosing our beloved friend and
fellow worker.

homepage: homepage: http://iww.org
phone: phone: 503-231-5488
address: address: 616 E Burnside Portland, OR