Rural Roots Rising

Rural Roots Rising

Rural Roots Rising is a monthly podcast by and for rural Oregonians who are creatively and courageously building stronger and more vibrant communities for a just democracy. Rural Roots Rising centers organizing stories and lessons from powerful multiracial organizing across rural and frontier Oregon and focuses on the issues that matter to rural Oregonians most, including migration, affordable housing, disaster response, and more. Visit for rural organizing resources and to learn more about the featured organizers! Rural Roots Rising is produced by the Rural Organizing Project, a statewide network of over 65 human dignity groups organizing to advance democracy and human dignity across small town, rural, and frontier Oregon. Learn more at!


July 14, 2021 29 mins

This is the Final Episode in Season 2 of Rural Roots Rising! We go behind the scenes of Tea, Toast, and Truth and talk with Ashland High School’s Truth to Power Club about how they pair education and action through their podcast and community organizing campaigns. If you missed last month, be sure and check out that episode to hear a shortened version of their work, Seeing Homeless. 

The transcript of this episode will be available ...

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In our second season of Rural Roots Rising, we’ve been on a state-wide mission to explore community-based, intergenerational, collaborative, rural media. Join us this month as we feature Tea, Toast, and Truth, a podcast created by Ashland High School’s Truth to Power Club. This podcast is a great example of everyday people using DIY media to amplify local voices and create community-driven change.  

Rural Roots Rising is both a podc...

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April 14, 2021 28 mins

This month’s episode continues our community media spotlight series with a behind-the-scenes interview with KPOV 88.9 FM, High Desert Community Radio station manager Bruce Morris. This episode is the second in a two-part profile of KPOV and features Bruce discussing KPOV’s early history and the role of local stations in community organizing. Bruce also shares firsthand insight on both the future of radio and the ways that community...

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This month’s episode continues our community media spotlight series by highlighting KPOV & The Point, a daily radio show hosted by a rotating cast of hosts at KPOV 88.9 FM, High Desert Community Radio. This episode is part one of a two-part series! In this first episode, you will hear how The Point and KPOV support and resource community organizing in Central Oregon. In our next episode, we’ll go behind the scenes with one of T...

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February 15, 2021 29 mins

Last month we introduced LaNicia Duke and her call-in program Rural Race Talks on Coast Community Radio. We recommend listening to Community Media Spotlight: Rural Race Talks first. This month’s episode, Behind the Scenes with Rural Race Talks, explores the power of learning in public with LaNicia and discusses how her radio show is an extension of her organizing. 

One lesson from this episode is that the small-town reality that eve...

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Rural Roots Rising is both a podcast and a radio show airing on 19 community radio stations, and it’s also an ongoing experiment in building up our media skills across rural Oregon. In Season 2 we are amplifying rural radio shows and digging into how they do what they do in the hopes of building up our collective rural media making abilities and supporting the work of the incredible community radio stations we partner with. In this...

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December 15, 2020 29 mins

For the last year, we’ve been producing monthly episodes of Rural Roots Rising to share stories of courageous and creative organizing across rural Oregon. But why? To get us rolling on our second season, we pulled back the curtain to share what inspired this show, and how the process of making it has changed our organizing. In this month’s episode, Behind the Scenes with ROP, we dig in with Rural Organizing Project staff members wh...

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November 15, 2020 29 mins

Over a year ago, when ROP committed to making 13 monthly episodes to share organizing stories from across rural Oregon, we had no idea what 2020 would hold! Hindsight 2020: Telling Rural Stories features Monica Pearson with North Coast Progressive Action in Clatsop County, Rita Schenkelberg, a new city councilor-elect in Deschutes County, Brenda Flores with Raíces in Umatilla County, and Kate Orazem, ROP’s new archivist! They share...

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As rumors fly about who can and can’t vote by mail, and threats to a fair election escalate, rural Oregonians are sharing paper and digital STAND Election guides with their neighbors to offer clear information about how people who are displaced by the fires or who were wrongfully evicted can still vote by mail, are leading car caravans to safely drop off ballots, and surveying their local candidates! On our special 2020 election ed...

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September 15, 2020 29 mins

As rural Oregonians, we’re not new to taking care of each other in a crisis. In the midst of the fear and grief, we’re returning this month to the story of thousands of committed people who joined together across county lines and faiths. By bringing their skills and networks together, opening the doors of their religious meeting places for shelter, and pooling resources, they successfully ended a human rights crisis in rural Oregon...

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August 19, 2020 28 mins

This month’s episode, Taking Risks highlights the voices of Suzanne Pharr, a renowned community organizer and movement elder, and Zachary Stocks, whose passion to make museums dynamic spaces accessible to everyone brought him into community organizing. 

Find out when your local radio station is playing Fighting for Rural and download this episode’s transcript at

More on what you heard in this episode: We begi...

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July 15, 2020 28 mins

Fighting for Rural features Kim Schmith, Kelsey Olivera, and Kelly Huang of the Madras Key Club sharing a story of multigenerational small-town organizing for equity! Madras Key Club is working inside the schools to build a more inclusive Jefferson County. You’ll learn about their work celebrating their family’s traditions in a local park, distributing Christmas gifts to families who can’t afford them, ensuring high school students...

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July 1, 2020 29 mins

Welcome to a Rural Roots Rising podcast extra! 

As protests of police violence against black Americans continue across the country, we have witnessed large scale police and National Guard deployment, many outfitted with intimidating and sophisticated warfighting gear. Countless videos have shown police officers and the National Guard using batons, tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets on protesters, bystanders and jour...

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We are in the midst of a global movement, with Black Lives Matter protests erupting all around the nation and beyond. Rural Organizing Project’s multiracial network of human dignity groups is answering the call. Here in Oregon, rural and small-town communities have hosted over 75 community events in every corner of the state. People are gathering on street corners, in churches and parks, and in socially-distanced car caravans to pr...

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May 15, 2020 29 mins

Community-based radio and other local media help us weather the storms we face, both literally and figuratively. When radio works for the good of all our neighbors, this free, accessible service, fosters the sense of belonging, resilience & connection necessary for survival. And the importance of local media has never been more clear than during this global pandemic. In Community Radio: Tune in, Speak out, we got to (virtually)...

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April 15, 2020 29 mins

The spread of COVID-19 and the insufficient response to it, has made it much more difficult to access safe and healthy food, especially for those most vulnerable among us. Feeding Our Communities features Harry MacCormack from Sunbow Farm in Benton County, Oregon and Martina LeForce with Berea Kids Eat in Madison County, Kentucky. Both Harry and Martina have worked to fill gaps in access to food whether it be through making free me...

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March 15, 2020 29 mins

Building an Ever Wider Circle features Gwen Trice from the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center in Wallowa County. Gwen is creating accessible ways for people to grapple with racism in Oregon through learning about the experiences of multicultural loggers who have called Wallowa County home for generations. If you are interested in connecting with rural Oregonians who are grappling with racism in your area, head to to ...

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February 14, 2020 29 mins

It Takes All of Us shares a story about the power of interfaith organizing and the successes that are possible when hundreds of volunteers join together in a moment of crisis. This month, we follow the story of Navneet Kaur, who took action in support of asylum seekers in rural Yamhill County with her Sikh community, Innovation Law Lab and ICE Out of Sheridan. Navneet speaks about the community mobilization that successfully pressu...

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January 15, 2020 28 mins

Building Community Power features Miriam Vargas Corona with Unidos Bridging Community in Yamhill County and Bruce Morris with KPOV, High Desert Community Radio in Deschutes County. They both won victories for human dignity by bringing people together from different segments of their communities. If you are interested in connecting with other rural Oregonians who are building power in your area, head to to learn more abo...

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December 16, 2019 29 mins

Rural Community Building features Martha Verduzco with Hood River Latino Network in the Columbia River Gorge and Katie Cook with Rural Voices based in Gilliam County. This episode emphasizes a core truth about rural community organizing: breaking isolation by building connections, relationships, and community through organizing is a skill that many of us learn through necessity. If you are interested in connecting with other rural ...

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