Grassroots Radio Conference May 13-16

Grassroots Radio Conference May 13-16

The Grassroots Radio Conference is coming to town May 13-16. It will be centered in the Garberville Vets’ Hall, and utilize several other Garberville venues, plus KMUD.

For community radio people this is as exciting as it gets. The GRC is a national conference which offers a chance for people from volunteer-powered, community radio stations to connect with each other, learn new skills, discuss issues, and party. This conference is for everyone interested in community radio: listeners, programmers, volunteers and paid staff.

The Grassroots Radio Coalition was born in 1996, as a response to increasing commercialization of public radio and lack of support for volunteer-based stations. It is an informal coalition that hosts a national conference in different places each year, and maintains an email listserve for ongoing networking.

In the past 15 years different community radio stations have hosted the conference, and brought their own special flavor to it. This is the first time it is being hosted in Northern California. KMUD is honored to be the host this year.

There will be many workshops in community journalism, interviewing skills, and creation and online distribution of independent radio programs. Another workshop will focus on team building through constructive communication. That is a small sample of over thirty workshops to be presented. Workshops are posted on the website,, as they are approved.

There will also be demonstrations of the Earthcycles Media Bus, a solar- wind- and veggie oil-powered school bus, from Mendocino County. It has satellite internet, a 100-watt FM transmitter, and a 2000-watt PA system. It will broadcast in LPFM and webcast from the conference. See their web page at to learn more.

Laura Flanders will be the keynote speaker at a special event at the Garberville Theater on Friday, May 14th. She is host of the current events show GRITtv, has written for The Nation, In These Times, The Progressive and Ms. Magazine, and is the author of several books, including Blue Grit: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians and BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species. She was the founding director of the Women’s Desk at the media watch group, FAIR and for more than ten years she produced and hosted CounterSpin, FAIR’s nationally-syndicated radio program.

Following Flanders’ speech there will be a showing of the award- winning documentary Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad (A Little Bit of So Much Truth). The film documentsthe broad-based, non-violent, popular uprising in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca in 2006. Filmmaker Jill Freidberg captured the unprecedented media phenomenon that emerged when thousands of school teachers, housewives, health workers, farmers, and students took 14 local radio stations and one local TV station into their own hands, using them to organize, mobilize, and ultimately defend their grassroots struggle for social, cultural, and economic justice.

KMUD programmer Gary Hughes (Latino América Sonando) will provide a welcome to Maka Muñoz from Oaxaca, who will introduce the film. Together they will facilitate a discussion after the film.

Then, to top off the conference weekend, a Saturday night event at the Vets’ Hall in Garberville will share a bit of our local history – a commemoration of Redwood Summer, the 20th anniversary of the bombing of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney. and their subsequent legal victory defending civil rights. There will be music by Darryl, Francine Allen, and Alicia Littletree, followed by an Open Mic.

Registration for the conference is $125 for adults, $50 for youth for the entire conference, including workshops, meals, and special events. Single day registration is also available. The evening events alone are $15.

For more information visit the website, email [email protected], or call KMUD, 923-2513, x 116.


Leave a Comment