Emerging Leaders Institute 

As community media faces new challenges and opportunities, it is essential to nurture and empower emerging leaders. In the face of profound disruption and great opportunity, what is required of you as a community media leader? How can you best develop, celebrate, and fulfill your leadership potential?

The Community Media Emerging Leaders Institute is a two-day immersive workshop, which will be conducted directly before the Alliance for Community Media National Conference on June 28 & 29, 2020. With a strengths-based and inclusive approach, the institute is designed to enable individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives in community media to come together as a community of learners. We will share stories and resources, tap the power of play, and introduce tools to strengthen participants’ leadership capacities and support their leadership journeys.


An opportunity to reflect on your personal leadership strengths and challenges in the context of a changing landscape for community media
An introduction to powerful leadership development tools and frameworks
Time for personal goal setting and developing a “leadership manifesto” to guide your next chapter as a community media leader
A supportive peer group of emerging community media leaders from across the country
An opportunity, as part of a team, to share back highlights from your institute experience within the ACM conference


Managers and coordinators in program, administrative or operational roles
First-time executive directors (less than 3 years in the role)
Board members
Others who are new to leadership and have a desire to develop their potential in a supportive community

Intensive and creative instruction by industry leaders and media professionals
Networking and practical, hands-on application of leadership concepts and practices
All Institute materials
Daily breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages
Instructor follow up post Institute


Paula Manley is a nonprofit consultant, educator and community builder with deep roots in the community media field. For 15 years, she co-founded and co-facilitated a national Media Arts Leadership Institute, in partnership with NAMAC, to support leaders at all levels in the media arts. She previously served in program and executive leadership roles in Texas and Oregon, including Austin Community Television, Tualatin Valley Community Access, and Open Signal (formerly Portland Community Media). Paula specializes in supporting nonprofits with leadership development, leadership transitions, and participatory planning; she is passionate about centering equity and inclusion within organizational change and transformation. Other passions include kayaking and art making.

Toni Tabora-Roberts has more than 20 years of experience working in the nonprofit and private sectors in a variety of roles, with expertise in leadership development, program management, communications, community engagement, and strategic planning. She has particular experience and passion for arts, culture, media, education, and social justice. Toni’s background includes leadership roles with the Center for Asian-American Media (CAAM) in the Bay Area, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) and KBOO Community Radio. Her approach to working with organizations favors team-based collaboration, interpersonal connections, experiential engagement, and culturally responsive, strengths-based facilitation. She is the founder of Esper House, a consultancy focused on management, projects, and communications. She also makes time to play and create through writing, improvisation, and whatever else strikes.


$1,100 per participant. Registration for the institute is NOW OPEN. Click here to reserve your spot (space is limited)! 

Register Now


This past year the ACM Foundation took the step of investing in future leaders for our field by creating the Emerging Leaders Institute, a two-day intensive training for folks who are new to leadership or are on the cusp of becoming leaders.   

How did we do?

Ask Kirimi Flitter from CCTV in Salem OR:

The Emerging Leadership Institute was an incredibly valuable experience.  It was an excellent mix of individual reflection and group work, which included opportunities to evaluate and develop my own personal leadership style.  I walked away with practical tools and resources and a new network of friends and colleagues.

Or Seth Ring from Metro East Community Media in Gresham OR:

If you are looking to be energized, inspired and supported; to sharpen your leadership skills; and to come away with new ideas and strategic direction – this is the place to find it.


The Foundation of the Alliance for Community Media is offering a limited number of Emerging Leader scholarships. If you or someone you know is interested in a scholarship, please find the application here . The deadline is to apply is Wednesday, April 1st at 5 pm CT