Kansas City: Labor, Justice and Youth Radio
Organizers with MECHa from UMKC, helped to organize an event bringing together families and youth from latino immigrant communities in NorthEast Kansas City, along with active members of KKFI- Kansas City's community radio station. MECHa is not only active on UMKC's campus but also within local high schools- and they have placed an enormous amount of their organizing efforts to work for the DREAM ACT- so that youth, irregardless of immigration status can gain a college degree.
The presentation we did, explored how radio can be used as a tool for organizing- and many of the youth were interested to know about existing youth radio programs. Thanks to this tour, we were able to tell them about Youth Speaks Truth Radio in Atlanta, GA and KUNM Youth Radio! in Albuquerque as well as sharing resources from Youth Radio in Berkeley.
Members from KKFI attended the presentation and shared about some of the unique programming that they offer, including shows like the Heartland Labor Forum- a program focused on labor issues, as well as their new program called The Jaws of Justice, which talks about the criminal justice system and works to provide useful information for people who must deal with the system. KKFI offers training and like many community radio station in the United States- they are interested and open to Spanish language programming but the bridges between their station and immigrant community organizations still need to be built and strengthened.
(We are also interested in learning about successful spanish-language programs that air on English-language stations...if you have stories about these, we would love to know what your tricks are....)
We encouraged the youth from MECHa to join us at the Allied Media Conference in June so that they can connect with other Youth Radio projects- and learn first-hand how different youth organizations are utilizing radio to build power and organize around important issues that are facing their communities.