Former FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn To Address Grassroots Radio Conference

Former FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn To Address Grassroots Radio Conference

Hosted by Community Radio KBOO-FM, Celebrating Its 50th Anniversary

Annual gathering of community radio broadcasters also welcomes award-winning journalist David Barsamian and ACORN founder Wade Rathke.


OCTOBER 2, 2018

PORTLAND, OR - On October 5, 2018 Former Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will address over 150 community radio broadcasters, advocates and activists from across North America at the 2018 Grassroots Radio Conference (GRC), hosted by Portland, OR community radio station KBOO-FM. Commissioner Clyburn is known for her staunch advocacy for community media, the public interest and a free and open internet during her nearly nine-year tenure at the Commission. She will kick off the GRC’s opening event, themed “Community Media Is the Future,” with her opening keynote beginning at 5:30 PM in the Native American Student & Community Center (NASCC) at Portland State University (PSU). This keynote is free and open to the public.

ACORN founder, labor organizer, publisher and broadcaster Wade Rathke will present a screening of a new documentary film about his life, “The Organizer.” The film is a portrait of Rathke, a former anti-war and welfare rights organizer who founded ACORN – once the largest community organization in the U.S. – in Little Rock in 1970, and who continues to build new organizations dedicated to social justice today. The screening will be held Sunday, October 7, at 1:45 PM in room 110 of the NASCC. It is open to the public for a sliding scale admission fee of $6 - $10, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

On Saturday, October 6 at 12:45 PM, veteran journalist, author and radio host David Barsamian will present a keynote speech titled, “Community Radio in the Age of Deceit.” Barsamian has authored books with Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Edward Said, and is the winner of the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism. His weekly radio show “Alternative Radio” has been on the air for 32 years and is heard on dozens of stations around the world.

Host station KBOO-FM is one of the oldest community radio stations in the U.S. It celebrated its 50th anniversary this year with a curated exhibition at the Oregon Historical Society, a block party and many more events. KBOO first played host to the GRC ten years ago, in 2008. Since then Portland has seen a further blossoming of community radio, with the addition of several new stations on the FM dial, including Freeform Portland, the Portland Radio Project and, all of which will be in attendance.

The Grassroots Radio Conference was founded in 1996 by “midwives” Marty Durlin, then-manager of community radio KGNU in Boulder, CO, and Cathy Melio, who served as general manager of WERU in East Orland, ME. The GRC was created to be an informal coalition and place where staff and volunteers from community radio stations could gather to share information and resources to support the flourishing of truly grassroots radio.

KGNU and WERU presented the first conference in Boulder, and a total of 18 have been held since. Each is hosted by a different community radio station, with previous GRCs happening across the country in cities like Madison, WI, Moab, UT, Jeffersonville, NY and Hot Springs, AR.

Attending GRC 2018 
Mignon Clyburn’s Friday keynote and the screening of “The Organizer” are open to the public. 

Registration is required to attend the conference, including the keynote by David Barsamian. 

Press passes are available to qualified media outlets; please contact Paul Riismandel,, 503–673–2962.

A limited number of walk-up registrations will be available to the public during the conference, beginning 8:30 AM on October 5 at the Native American Student Center & Community Center at Portland State University, 710 SW Jackson St., Portland, OR.

More information is available at the GRC website:

Media contact:
Paul Riismandel, GRC Outreach Committee,, 503–673–2962