Bearing Witness at WJFF – Remembering George Floyd

“We must meet this moment of three potentially world-changing events: a global pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 and counting; an economic collapse that may lead to years of joblessness; and an imperative to finally face up to the racism and racial inequities that are America’s original sin.”
NPR President & CEO John Lansing

Dear Friends,

Let us be clear from the beginning, WJFF stands with the protesters and recognizes that #BlackLivesMatter. George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis is the latest in centuries of innumerable injustices to African Americans since the first slave ships arrived in North America and to all peoples of color in the United States. The senseless, callous killing has horrified all of us and has forced many to face this country’s institutional racism and white privilege head on.

As your community radio station, we are committed to bring community voices together on our airwaves and to bring events as they unfold to our listeners. We are here to bear witness to the events of the day and we will continue to do so.

To that end this Tuesday, June 9 at 3pm, the day George Floyd will be buried in a private ceremony in Houston TX, Radio Catskill will join a growing list of over 90 community radio stations nationwide organized by the National Federation of Community Broadcasters to simultaneously broadcast Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” in tribute to the life of George Floyd and to all who are working for change. Click here for details and the growing list of stations participating from Maine to Hawaii.

National events have local implications. Over the last days we have brought you word of the the breakup of the Sullivan County Human Rights Commission, the protest in Monticello involving a racist incident with a village DPW worker, the voices of citizens making a stand on the bridge in Narrowsburg and a community coming together in Honesdale to confront ignorance, facing threats without fear. Particular thanks go to Rosie Starr who went out and captured voices to bring to our air and offered live updates.

We also brought you the voice of Kusar Grace and his perspectives of what continues to occur. Janus Adams brought you the voice of Eric Garner’s mother – another in a seemingly endless line of victims of racial injustice in this country. Songs and music of protest have been heard throughout our locally produced programs including Living Jazz, Folk Plus, Ramble Tamble, The Mixtape and others. And there will be more to come.

There has been no time like this present moment at WJFF Radio Catskill and for the communities we serve. We face more external challenges than ever, we are proud of how we are facing them and we know we can do more. Expect program changes and interruptions as more news breaks.

Thank you all who have helped point us to new voices and to keep us abreast of events in your communities. Through all of your efforts along with those of Tim and Jason, your community radio station continues to bear witness to the difficult issues of the day and to keep our communities connected.

My best,

Dan Rigney
General Manager/Development Director
WJFF Radio Catskill

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