The Media Institute for Social Change is a non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon that works to inspire, empower, and engage emerging media producers.
Our mission is realized through our Summer Documentary Program, Radio U, and The Non-Profit Hour. We operate out of citizen, our storefront and community space on North mississippi avenue.
Meet our Team
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: PHIL BUSSE
For the past 15 years, Executive Director Phil Busse has worked as a college instructor, a journalist, media producer and political advisor. Phil serves as an adjunct instructor for Portland State University and has written for publications like salon.com, The Believer, and The Oregonian.
Before starting the Media Institute, he helped launch the Portland Mercury in 2000 and served for six years as the Managing Editor. He helped build the weekly newspaper into a successful publication and one of the most popular sources of news and entertainment in Oregon. As a spin-off from his political reporting and columns, Phil ran for mayor of Portland in 2004. Out of 23 candidates and outspent by the lead candidate by $1 million, Phil placed third behind a two-time city council member and the former police chief.
Phil graduated from Middlebury College in 1992 and earned his law degree from the University of Oregon in 1997.
interim manager: molly JEAN bennett
Molly Jean is a writer and multimedia producer currently based in New York City. A 2009 Media Institute alumna, she also attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. She is a frequent contributor to Paste Magazine’s food section and her essays, features, and strongly worded letters have appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Atlas Obscura, VICE, Bustle, and elsewhere. Molly Jean worked most recently as an assistant to an oral historian, and she believes in the power of good questions. She hopes to relocate to Oregon full-time soon.
MANAGER: ROSE HOLDORF
Rose is a 2009 Media Institute alumna with a degree in Humanities and Media and Cultural Studies from Macalester College in 2011. A native to Oregon, Rose returned to Portland in 2014 and currently also works at the Northwest Film Center and for an organic produce farm as a Market Manager. With a strong background in media production and non-profit work, she took on the Program Manager position for the 2014 Documentary Program and loves working with students to discuss and develop their summer projects. Rose hopes to continue to empower aspiring media makers and strengthen our Portland community in her role at the Media Institute for Social Change. Rose is on sabbatical this year while she participates in a craft and education fellowship at North House Folk School in Minnesota.
producer OF THE NON-PROFIT HOUR: henry leasia
Henry is a radio/podcast producer from Portland. In 2016 he graduated from the University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland where he studied International Relations and Spanish. He's produced stories for KBOO radio's news and public affairs department, interned at Back Fence PDX and worked as a production assistant for OPB's weekday talk show Think Out Loud. He first caught the radio bug after starting a live storytelling show/podcast called It's a Wise Child with some friends in St Andrews. He's always seen radio as a powerful tool for projecting the voices of those who often slip through the cracks of mainstream media.
PROGRAM MANAGER: JOSH KLETZKIN
Josh Kletzkin is an editor and cinematographer based in Portland. He recently directed the documentary feature ‘A is for ASH’ about Irish rock legends Ash, and co-produced ‘Throw Down Your Heart,’ a documentary about musician Bela Fleck’s journey to Africa in search of the roots of the banjo. His recent credits as an editor include Bravo’s ‘Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style,’ Nickelodeon’s ‘The Wonder Pets’ and MTV’s ‘True Life.’ As cinematographer, Josh has shot music videos and live concert footage for artists including The Punch Brothers, Panic at the Disco, The Terrordactyls, and The Panama Kings. He was also camera operator for Live@MTV, a web based performance series that has featured Bjork, Fall Out Boy, John Mayer, and others. Josh graduated from Wesleyan College in 1995.