The Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) is a non-profit organization that offers advocacy and support to Indigenous and community organizations that wish to explore licensing, funding, and launching their own non-profit broadcasting organizations.
Our organization is uniquely comprised of academics, lawyers, policy consultants and experienced community media practitioners who prioritize the perspectives, voices and lived experiences of Indigenous Peoples, people of colour, third language and disAbility communities. CMAC prioritizes these voices because they are underrepresented in the media landscape generally.
CMAC promotes community access to multimedia (radio, television, in print and online) Indigenous and community owned communication infrastructure by advocating for community-based, nonprofit and noncommercial broadcasting, as well as media produced by volunteers and/or underrepresented communities.
CMAC’s Board of Directors reflects the diversity and priorities of our organization’s goals. Members of the board Annie Clair, Kristiana Clemens, and Omme-Salma Rahemtullah represent years of experience in the Indigenous and community media sector. Read more about our Board Members here.
Cynthia Khoo, External Legal Counsel: Cynthia is a public interest lawyer whom CMAC retains as external legal counsel for specific proceedings or matters as needed. She runs a solo legal practice in Toronto, Ontario, representing a variety of non-profit organizations, with a focus on advocating for digital rights and citizen-centric Internet law and policy. Cynthia also acts as external counsel to OpenMedia, an international digital rights advocacy group based in Vancouver, BC, and has led or contributed to interventions in proceedings at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as well as at the Supreme Court of Canada. She has a background in telecommunications law and Internet policy, including privacy law and copyright reform, and recently began representing the Vulnerable Energy Consumers Coalition at the Ontario Energy Board, as external counsel with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Cynthia sits on the Public Policy Committee of the Internet Society (Canada Chapter), and has presented at conferences such as RightsCon, speaking on topics including net neutrality, digital rights advocacy strategy, and the intersectionality between digital rights and social justice issues more broadly.
Gretchen King, PhD: Gretchen is an award-winning community news and public affairs programmer. She completed her PhD in Communication Studies at McGill University (2015) based on research she facilitated at Jordan’s first community radio station, Radio al-Balad 92.4 FM in Amman. Previously News Coordinator at CKUT 90.3 FM for ten years (2001-2011), Gretchen was a post-doctoral research fellow from 2016-2018 at the University of Ottawa where she is facilitated several projects related to community radio newsrooms and communication policy processes. This year, Gretchen began a post-doctoral research fellowship with the Canada Research Chair in Media Education and Human Rights at Université TÉLUQ in Montreal. Her work focuses on non-profit, Indigenous, and community media research, policy, teaching, and practice; journalism studies; critical audience studies; alternative media and community radio in the regions of North America, North Africa, and West Asia. She has helped to co-found numerous multimedia initiatives, such as the Independent Media Centre or IndyMedia.org, and community radio programs, including Aboriginal Day Celebrations, the Homelessness Radio Marathon, Radio Free Palestine, and GroundWire Community Radio News.
Laith Marouf, Senior Consultant: Laith is a multimedia consultant and producer currently serving as the coordinator of Independent Community Television – Montreal, a project to secure a multilingual community television license. He worked with the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) and developed a business plan with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation to build multimedia community hubs in 49 Indigenous communities (2014). Laith worked as the Executive Director of Community University Television (CUTV) and developed its Quebec Spring live broadcasts embedded within the student movement (2010-13). He served as the Equity Officer and Board Member for Quebec at the NCRA (2009-11). Laith launched and hosted “Under the Olive Tree” the Palestinian community radio show airing on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal and CFRC 101.9 FM in Kingston (2005-10). He won the “Best Special Programming” award at the NCRA for his work on a 12-hour radio marathon with stations from Palestine, England, Canada and the United States that commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakbah (Radio Free Palestine, 2008).