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Rena’s Staff Report for August 2016

The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity — in a good way! Lots of new directions, which is good. Still having to fight very, very old injustices, which is sad.

Read James’ report here.

Upwave Media

We named our media production and distribution project Upwave Media (learn more about the project on the linked page), because we think we are on the crest of a new global vision of media and the connections it can build and the difference those connections can make in the world.

I started doing the Peace Buzz podcast early this year and so far I’ve produced seven episodes, covering topics including Saudi Arabia, more ethical models of business management, the Women’s Boat to Gaza, and ending the death penalty in the US. I really enjoy doing this but still struggling with the issue of perfectionism, which means it always takes a lot more time than I think it will to get a show ready for sharing. But as much as I enjoy doing my own podcast, it’s even more satisfying to bring on other, diverse voices to the project. So far I’ve “recruited” Camille Landry to produce Nappy Roots Radio, a podcast on issues of concern to African-Americans, and built a distribution and technical support partnership with some folks who were already doing some form of radio/podcast but who needed help with distribution and marketing. So now our project also includes the. E.V.E. Radio Show, focusing on ways to end violence with personal and community commitment, and Red Town Radio, a show directed at the Native American community.

I really believe in UpWave. This is a whole new world of outreach that ties in to my existing interests and skills with digital communications. The next hurdle is finding the funding we need to keep it going and expand our distribution resources. It’s relatively inexpensive to create the shows, but time intensive to market and distribute adequately, and costly to get them aired in the commercially-based world of radio (which is done via a partnership with Broad Spectrum Radio*, which actually buys the time — for which we compensate BSR to the extent possible). We will be pursuing some grants specifically directed at this project, and possibly some crowd-sourced funding campaigns as well.

Technical and marketing support for local peace efforts

As a digital communications consultant in my other job, I have tried to support local organizers in some areas where they might need assistance. So, under the CCA umbrella, I have created flyers, websites, Facebook pages, etc. for various events and campaigns. So, for instance, I helped the organizers of the Oklahoma City Day of Peace Celebration get a domain and Facebook page. CCA became a co-sponsor of that event, and my contributions were just part of a wider network of many people and organizations that helped bring the day to fruition. Be sure to join us on September 24 in OKC!

Supporting movements led by people of color

Like so many Americans, I have been increasingly distressed by the all too frequent reports of people of color being abused or even killed by law enforcement officers. I guess I reached a moment of truth and decided to take some small but concrete steps to do my part as a white ally. So I found out about a group called Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and got approval from the CCA board to help get a chapter started here (CCA would only initiate the formation of the group, which would then be autonomous). This grew into bringing together a number of community leaders to meet with OKC Police Chief Bill Citty about our concerns for our African American neighbors, and led me to meet further with leaders in the Black community to support and assist them as requested. One such request is in finding people to serve on the Police Department’s Citizen Advisory Board. I am also helping to build a larger coalition of community groups to make longer term commitment to address issues that most impact people of color, working with members of NAACP and the Ending Violence Everywhere Coalition (same group with the E.V.E podcast, mentioned above).

Additionally, in June, I wrote a letter to the Norman City Council in support of Native American Activists who are seeking to make changes in the local Land Run celebrations to more fully represent the true history of this area. The letter was read to the council by a Native activist. I followed that up more recently with some media work to highlight protests led by Native Americans against pipeline construction in Cleveland County.

Fundraising

  • We had a small house party fundraiser on June 11. Jonathan Marshall, local singer songwriter, played. It was enjoyable and brought in a few hundred dollars.
  • We revamped our accounting system, thanks to Treasurer Britney Hopkins, digitizing it so that we can readily create reports for granting foundations.
  • I got our mailing list switch-over to Mailchimp finalized and created a newsletter template so we can send updates — and donation reminders — to our friends and supporters.
  • Started talking to James about a fall fundraising campaign focused on our Upwave Media Project, to not only solicit donations, but increase local awareness of and listenership to our shows.

*BSR is a project run by CCA staffperson James Branum, but outside the confines of CCA 

 

Brenda Golden of Red Town Radio, with CCA Upwave Media staff Rena Guay and James Branum.

Brenda Golden of Red Town Radio, with CCA Upwave Media staff Rena Guay and James Branum.

 

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CCA Program Director