Making Waves on the Road: Prometheus Tour Update

On March 16th, the Prometheus Radio Project and Palabra Radio set out on a cross-country tour called Making Waves: Transmitting Popular Power. Over past three weeks, we have facilitated nearly 20 workshops in English and Spanish with grassroots organizations interested in exploring radio as a tool for social justice organizing. We’re documenting the tour on our blog, uploading stories, interviews, photos and videos.
Just as our country is vast and diverse, so are the groups interested in starting community radio stations. In Dothan, Alabama we met with the Ordinary People Society, a group of formerly incarcerated people interested in using radio to empower their community. They see radio as a way to help people access crucial services including computer training, GED classes, computer literacy, and to regain their voter rights. In San Antonio, we met with Local 782, a musicians’ union who hope to use low power FM to broadcast local music. In Denver we met with the Committee in the Defense of the People, Rights for All, and El Centro Humanitario, who hope to use radio to organize for workers rights.

We also had the opportunity to meet with a few groups recently awarded licenses by the FCC. We talked to a LPFM station in Baton Rouge who just won their license back after being snatched away by a right wing Christian group. Another group in Gallup, NM are planning on operating a full power station focused on Navajo Culture and the serious issues that affect their people, including uranium mining, loss of land, and preservation of language. 

As we move across the country on this tour, we are also listening to learn about the challenges facing existing low power FM stations and new full power stations. Most stations grapple with fundraising, volunteer capacity, transparency in governance, and lack of access to proper training. New stations face challenges  involving community members, finding the proper space and equipment, and raising the funds to get on the air. Wherever we go, we collect success stories that  will inspire groups and strengthen community radio networks.
The tour will culminate at the Allied Media Conference (AMC) on June 18-20 in Detroit. At the AMC, we are helping to coordinate Radioactive: From the Streets to the Airwaves. This “radio track” is a series of workshops to arm people with the necessary skills to record, interview, edit, broadcast and stream content. The track will also include discussions about the power of radio to transform and organize communities. We’re inviting everyone we meet along the way to join us at the conference, and we hope you can come, too!
The US Social Forum takes place the following week in Detroit. There, in a panel discussion, people we connected with on tour will share their experiences with people from social movements across the country. The Making Waves tour will be on the road for another week and hope you will be able to follow our journey.  We also hope we will be able to see you in Detroit at the Allied Media Conference and US Social Forum!