After leaving Dothan, AL we drove north, visiting many places that have played important roles in the Civil Rights Movement. At the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Alabama we learned about the famous Bus boycotts which were sparked by Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger and about Rev. George Lee , who was killed by White Southerners on May 7, 1955 for using his pulpit and printing press to urge African Americans to vote. We also visited Dexter Avenue Baptist Church,where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached and organized. In Selma, AL- we crossed the Edmund Pettis Bridge, the site of Bloody Sunday and interviewed a woman who was arrested at the march. Click here to see the interview.
Jackson, Mississippi may be well know for its civil rights struggles but it is also considered by many to be the birthplace of the Media Justice movement. In Jackson in the 1950's and 1960's, the TV station WLBT refused to broadcast any news about the civil rights movement. They would pretend to have technical difficulties any time there was news that referenced racial justice and also refused to broadcast shows that featured African American actors prominently. The United Church of Christ with Everett Parker petitioned the FCC to revoke the stations license because of their racist bias and after a long court battle The FCC took their license away.
Project South is collaborating with Prometheus to introduce their southern partners to our work around "participatory COMMUNITY radio." We are coming together to talk about the power of participatory radio/communication and provide our partners with inspiration/information/insight on ways that communities across the globe have utilized the radio airwaves to build transformative changes .
In an elementary school, converted into a community center, local reggae artists broadcast live programming from WRFG: Atlanta's community radio station. WRFG 89.3 Broadcasts 24 Hours a day at 100,000 Watts. WRFG provides a voice for those who have been traditionally denied access to the broadcast media and the involvement of a broad base of community elements to guarantee that access.
It has been one decade since the creation of LPFMs, and we now have an opportunity to learn from 10 years of experience of organizing community Low Power FM stations. So far, we got to visit three different LPFM stations in our first three days, WRIR in Richmond, Va, WCOM in Carborro, NC, and WMXP in Greenville South Carolina. We had the chance to speak with representatives of each station to learn about their successes and struggles, learning more about what needs stations have and what creative strategies can help address these challenges. Please click read more to learn about these stations.
Como dirían en México, en Atlanta “caímos en blandito”, llegamos directamente a la casa de Janvieve Williams, una mujer joven, de origen panameño con racíces afro mestizas, llegó a los Estados Unidos en 2004 y hoy entre muchas de sus actividades que tiene, se desarrolla como radialista del programa Radio Diaspora que se transmite los sábados de 5pm a 7pm por la WRFG 89.3 FM con 100,000 watts de potencia es la única radio comunitaria del estado de Georgia.
Student Action for Farmworkers facilitates theater, media, audio and arts projects with youth to portray the reality of farmworkers and advocate for their rights. They met with us to explore radio as a tool for building awareness of the structural inequities facing farmworker and immigrant communities in the United States. Together, we asked: how can we use radio not only to give information but to actually create transformation. We shared some of the incredible mechanisms that two farmworker-run Low Power FM radio stations, Radio Conciencia of the Coaliton of Immokalee Workers and Radio Movimiento of the Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers are using to build a participatory radio that works to transform their working conditions and organize their communities.
El Kilombo Intergalactico is a collective and also a community space in Durham where different groups who share similar inequities and situations come together to meet, strategize, and work.
Les conocimos hace un año (2009) cuando vinimos hasta Durham, NC para apoyar al Kilombo Intergaláctico en la actividad del primero de mayo, día internacional de l@s trabajador@s. (escucha los audios de ese 1 de mayo).
We started our Making Waves Journey in Harrisonburg, Virginia in the beautiful Shenandoah valley where we met with a mix of people who work with The People United, and The Fairfield Center as well as members of a worker owned coop The Little Grill Collective.
Just recently the FCC opened up a window for groups to apply for Non Commercial Full Power Radio licenses in 65 locations across the country. Prometheus partnered with Common Frequency to assist 28 different community groups who applied for these licenses. One of these groups is The Fairfield Center, a communications organization dedicated to “advancing dialogue and understanding” through conflict resolution, restorative justice and other strategies. We had the chance to interview Harrisonburg's Mayor, Kai Degner who also works with the Fairfield Center. He described The Harisonburg Summits they host where they bring together hundreds of residents to discuss a specific issue in one day. They utilize a Open Space Technology to allow the community members to set the agenda. Degner believes that a community radio station can also serve as a similar tool for open dialogue.
One of the groups who hope to host a program on this station is The People United, a multiracial movement building group who are currently in the process of opening up the Wayside Center, a Popular Education Center in Central Virginia. Over the past few years they have organized around a mulitude of issues including fighting the new construction of an Immigrant Detention Center in Farmville, Virginia. Unfortunately, construction has begun on the detention Center and the People United have issued a case study that includes an analysis of what they accomplished, what they struggled with and what lessons they take with them as they carry on. As we travel cross country we are meeting with many communities who are also organizing around Immigrant Detention Centers, Private Probation companies and Maximum Security Prisons. We hope to hear about their campaigns and help them explore communication strategies and radio as a possible tool for their organizing.