Happy inauguration day! We know it ain’t over and there is so much work to be done, but doesn’t this victory feel good?! We hope you’ve gotten to take a minute to revel today in how powerful we are with a dance break or a sigh of relief or your favorite donut. We know that the end of the Trump administration may also feel like a time for grieving the harm done to our communities and our democracy. Did you tune in to the inauguration today? What is this moment raising for you?
In President Biden’s first day in office, he has already signed executive orders to rescind the travel ban, protect Dreamers, stop border wall construction, revoke Trump’s plan to exclude non-citizens from the census, cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, and extend the eviction moratorium, among other things! All of these are victories only made possible through tireless community organizing!
In the months to come, we know that we are going to have to keep pushing the Biden administration to get to a rural Oregon where all of us can thrive, and we are ready for it. We’ll draw on the tools we already have as rural organizers and the networks we’ve been forming for decades to defend human dignity and uphold democracy. And we’ll keep building up our collective skills, too!
If you’ve been listening to Rural Roots Rising, you know that it’s both a podcast and a radio show airing on 19 community radio stations statewide. It is also an ongoing experiment in building up movement media skills across rural Oregon! Our goal for season two is to increase our shared knowledge of rural media making while uplifting and supporting the incredible community media makers and stations we partner with. We’re calling these feature episodes Community Media Spotlights, and we’re kicking off our first one with LaNicia Duke of Rural Race Talks on Coast Community Radio!
Rural Race Talks is a monthly live and unscripted call-in show that carves out space for rural Oregonians to grapple with our unique legacy of systemic racism and what that means for our present in ways that are honest… and sometimes messy. LaNicia is a self-identified brown-skinned girl and community organizer in Tillamook County, a county that is nearly 94% white. Rural Race Talks these conversations from multiple angles, including from how we can begin to heal from our collective, social, and generational traumas to what 2020 has taught us about race. LaNicia and Graham, the show’s producer, open up the conversations and the phone lines and invite people to engage. She considers the radio show an extension of her organizing and the real life conversations she is having off-the-air with friends and neighbors up and down the coast.
A huge part of Rural Roots Rising is learning how to make media by, well, actually making media. This episode is an excellent example of that process of learning by doing. When we first started working on this episode, we originally planned to highlight bits of Rural Race Talks while playing clips from a behind-the-scenes interview with LaNicia. But there was no way to really capture the spirit of both the interview and the show in such a short timeframe. It would have meant cutting up too many stories in ways that changed the original meaning or oversimplified the live conversations, which is the exact opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish. The world is full of oversimplified and easily digestible media, and we want you to hear some of the nuances of Rural Race Talks in its true form.
We decided we’d cut this Rural Roots Rising Community Media Spotlight into two pieces:
1. In this month’s episode you’re going to hear sections of Rural Race Talks, particularly the episode from November 4th, 2020, where LaNicia models what it looks like to make space on the airwaves for meeting people where they’re at.
2. Next month we’ll go behind the scenes to learn more about LaNicia’s organizing and the history of her show! Be sure to keep an eye out for next month’s conversation where we’ll talk about how LaNicia got started organizing, what she’s learning from the show, and what it’s like to run into listeners in the grocery store. If you’d like to hear more episodes of Rural Race Talks, head to coastradio.org.
Does creating and sharing out exciting and experimental rural media content get your juices flowing? Do you have a show, know of one that should be featured here, or want support in making one? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to connect!
Hannah and the ROP team
Thank you for your support in helping ROP to meet our Collins Foundation match! It’s never too late to help! Your support for ROP helps us to stay focused on the work at hand, to support more than 80 autonomous human dignity groups building community power and organizing for justice, democracy and dignity across Oregon. Go to ROP.org/donate to make a gift. Thank you!