message from the
Executive Director

Time is one of the
lingering paradoxes of
measuring social change.

One year is a handy span to seek signs of progress. Most of Resource Media’s work, including the projects we highlight here, unfold over weeks and months. One year can contain a full legislative session, numerous news cycles, and whole ranges of media research projects. Every year is festooned with fast turnarounds and driven by deadlines and deliverables.

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message from the
Executive Director

Time is one of the
lingering paradoxes of
measuring social change.

One year is a handy span to seek signs of progress. Most of Resource Media’s work, including the projects we highlight here, unfold over weeks and months. One year can contain a full legislative session, numerous news cycles, and whole ranges of media research projects. Every year is festooned with fast turnarounds and driven by deadlines and deliverables.

Yet these are just snapshots of a much longer journey.

At Resource Media, we fully embrace the guiding principle that just and sustainable change requires an eye on more lofty and distant goals, and a commitment to building relationships based on trust and two-way learning. Even our most short-term endeavors aim to build power and support long-term change. As we say in our strategic framework:

“Individual policy outcomes are important way stations. But we will also measure success by the breadth and reach of the coalitions we support, our ability to draw connections between issues and the strength of equity and social justice goals in the projects we take on.”

That commitment is reflected in the examples we share in this report.

I have another reason to reflect on time as I write this letter. My time as Executive Director at Resource Media is drawing to a close. I am confident that new infusions of diverse leadership will push this organization to be an even more innovative and vital force for just and lasting change. From my vantage point, it is natural to look back on the progress we’ve made: on internal equity, building important new partnerships, devoting real resources to support work in traditionally underserved communities, and connecting a wider suite of social change issues.

But the real story is about Resource Media’s future, as those distant horizons become clearer and closer. I will be as excited as the rest of you to see where that journey leads.

dedicated to supporting organizations that work with historically marginalized and underserved communities

Message from our Equity Impact
Program Committee

Resource Media is committed to supporting organizations that work with historically marginalized and underserved communities.

Oftentimes, these groups have limited budgets and staff, yet are doing important and powerful local work. That’s why we created the Equity Impact Program: to serve those causes and organizations, build relationships outside the scope of our existing funding, and work on issues our staff care deeply about.

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Message from our Equity Impact
Program Committee

Resource Media is committed to supporting organizations that work with historically marginalized and underserved communities.

Oftentimes, these groups have limited budgets and staff, yet are doing important and powerful local work. That’s why we created the Equity Impact Program: to serve those causes and organizations, build relationships outside the scope of our existing funding, and work on issues our staff care deeply about.

We dedicate two percent of our revenue to this program, to move beyond the constraints of our project and issue-based funding and quickly respond to opportunities and needs in these communities. We build relationships with, listen to, and learn from groups and individuals fighting institutional and systemic injustice. With their guidance, we work to provide the right communications tools and skills building for those we assist, whether it’s an extra pair of temporary hands or long-term capacity building. With the stories we tell, we aim to show funders the importance of supporting historically under-resourced groups focused on community organizing, equity and justice.

In 2018, the program supported five projects, including our partnership with the Northwest Immigration Rights Project (NWIRP). As the devastating news broke about the family separation crisis—which sent 200 asylum seekers to the federal prison at SeaTac—our Seattle staff needed to do something. Working with NWIRP, we mobilized and created an Action Network fundraising page, a visual identity and hashtag, multimedia ads and fundraising materials enabling anyone to get involved. The bail bond fund raised more than $500,000 in support of NWIRP’s cause, and we’re grateful to have played a role.

The fund raised in support of separated
immigrant families

Year In Numbers

Effective communications start with smart strategies, grounded in a deep understanding of the audiences we need to reach.
We know that pictures are worth far more than a thousand words—if they’re the right images. We help our partners learn which images might compel their audiences to action.
We don’t just do strategic communications—we teach it! From message development and social media to visual strategy, we help our partners bring out their best communications game.
We worked in partnership with nonprofits and community groups around the globe, strengthening relationships across sectors and within communities.
We develop videos, websites, infographics and other creative ways to support campaigns and narratives that promote a more just and sustainable world.

2018 Highlights

a strong foundation

Finding common ground on public lands

Are public lands protections doomed to be a “wedge issue” in the conservative, rural West?

Or could the right approach help communities and conservationists find common ground? To find out, Resource Media and Topos Partnership collaborated on ethnographic research in Western communities, exploring attitudes on public land, water and wildlife conservation.

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Getting Climate Woke

Linking social, racial, and climate justice

The climate crisis is hitting marginalized communities first, and worst.

Yet mainstream climate movements in the U.S. (and other parts of the world) are dominated by white elites. #ClimateWoke—a social media campaign co-created by CultureStrike (now the Center for Cultural Power) and Resource Media and launched around the Rise for Climate March in San Francisco—aims to shift climate change narrative by elevating the expertise and lived experiences of California’s climate experts:

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cleaning up
drinking water

Shining a Light on Dangerous Drinking Water

Every year, 1 million Californians can't safely drink their tap water

because it fails to meet basic safe drinking water standards. The problem often goes unrecognized, even where water is contaminated by nitrates, arsenic, or pesticides. We partnered with activists and environmental justice advocates to educate communities­—

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a healthier future

Images Boost Health Study Recruitment

In hopes of speeding health research breakthroughs and improving medical care,

the National Institutes of Health is launching a precision medicine study to build one of the largest health databases of its kind over the next 10 years. But first, they need to recruit a diverse group of participants!

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SAYING NO TO COAL

Amplifying Navajo Efforts Against Coal

Community-environmental groups on Navajo Nation have led decades of struggle against extractive industries like coal,

which have largely profited outside corporations and faraway cities—and damaged local land, water and health. Over the years, Resource Media has been proud to provide communications assistance when asked by Navajo grassroots groups, to gain a wider audience for their stories and vision for a clean energy economy.

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17 WAYS
17 DAYS

17 Days, 17 Ways to Help Orcas

In summer 2018, a heartbreaking image rocked the world:

an orca carrying her newborn calf, lost to malnutrition, across the water of Puget Sound. Washington Environmental Council, a leader in the governor-convened Orca Task Force, needed a way to keep alive the image and memory of Tahlequah and her baby. We created a campaign—17 Days, 17 Ways, honoring the number of days that Tahlequah carried her baby.

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Communicating for Equity

Grassroots Fellowships Build Capacity

At Resource Media, we view building communications capacity at grassroots organizations as an investment in community power.

In 2018, we launched a new communications fellowship model with Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) in Southern California, the North Carolina-based Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN), and Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA), providing one-on-one coaching for fellows working on campaigns of local and national importance.

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Financials

2018 Budget:
INCOME
EXPENSE

How to support our work

This summary of our impact throughout 2018 exemplifies how important the long game is in creating long-lasting social change. We’re always looking for new ways to advance our efforts toward building a more just and sustainable world, which includes flexible funding outside of our focused grants and contracts that allow us to nimbly adapt to the immediate needs and emerging strategies that support our long-range work.

If you’re interested in partnering with Resource Media’s unique, mission-driven communications work for a specific project, or supporting our efforts to explore new ideas and tools, foster collaboration and invest in equity, we’d love to hear from you! Contact Amy Frykman, Interim Executive Director or Cristina Friday, Grants Manager at Info@Resource-Media.org.

Our Issue Areas

Conservation & Public Land

We seek to shift the narrative that portrays land conservation as an elite and narrow concern and pits conservation against jobs and economic development. Our research, messaging, content, counsel and capacity-building helps amplify voices from a broader array of urban and rural residents who value land conservation for its multiple benefits.

Water

Clean, reliable and affordable water is a basic human right, and our work supports that narrative. Underlying our approach is the understanding that people connect most easily to the water they see and use. We work to prevent pollution, support healthy watersheds and strengthen alliances to protect waterways in communities across the United States.

Public Health

We work to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life by building capacity among NGOs and community-based organizations. We develop and implement strategies that influence social norms, strengthen key alliances, and pave the way for better public policies and investments.

Social Impact

We create strategies to support equitable solutions to an array of long-standing challenges, from immigrant rights to housing disparities. We believe smart communications is a key tool for people working to spark change in the US and abroad. By highlighting stories and successes, we support a narrative of sustained progress towards a more equitable world.

Climate and Clean Energy

Our goal: to facilitate an equitable shift from fossil fuels to clean energy and improved efficiency. We work to alleviate inequities experienced by communities of color and lower-income households. We elevate stories of families, workers, businesses and communities that can resonate and motivate, highlight the costs and risks of continued reliance on fossil energy, and expose dubious activities of fossil energy companies.

Oceans

Our strategies connect local residents, policymakers and consumers to our oceans, and seek common ground among groups historically at odds, including fishers, conservationists, recreation and tourism businesses. We mobilize support to protect coastal communities by defending public beach access, addressing sea level rise and ocean acidification, preventing offshore drilling, spurring effective coastal management and protecting ecosystem health.

Food & Agriculture

Food connects land, labor, health and communities. We work with partners to make every link in our food chain more just and sustainable. We share the stories of family-owned farms and farmworkers exposing corporate abuse; we uplift the voices of rural towns fighting for clean air and safe water; and we amplify programs that bring fresh food to disinvested neighborhoods.