IDEA Commitment

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Policy 

Adopted by Board: September 20, 2021

WSLR+Fogartyville’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility is reflected in our mission, vision, and values.  As a media and arts organization, we work to address the inequity of existing privilege and to reflect the diverse cultures, issues, and life experiences of residents of the greater Sarasota area by:

  • Providing equitable access to the media for marginalized communities.
  • Lifting the voices of overlooked and underserved communities through our programming and presentations.
  • Pursuing diversity in our content, Board of Directors, volunteers, interns and staff which reflects the communities we serve
  • Broadening cultural understanding by exposing listeners and audiences to different cultures and communities through music and public affairs programming.
  • Fostering an inclusive environment built on respect and dignity.
  • Valuing and encouraging every person’s voice, as we believe that no one person can or should be called upon to represent an entire community.
  • Improving accessibility to our programs and building facilities for all members of our community.

We define diversity as all the characteristics and experiences that make each of us unique, including but not limited to: age, race, color, ethnicity, culture, language, religion, national origin, geography, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, marital status, military or veteran status, physical and mental difference, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, political views and life experiences. 

We define existing privilege as the advantages of white, heterosexual, non-disabled persons in our society.

WSLR+Fogartyville formed an Anti-Racism Task Force in January 2021 to address issues of inclusion, diversity, equity and access both on the airwaves and at our community space.

BACKGROUND FOR RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE ANTI-RACISM TASK FORCE

“Serving the American public in all of its diversity is an important part of the mission of public media articulated in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. But the overwhelming consensus now is that the system has failed to live its values, that structural racism plagues our institutions and that diversity, equity and inclusion of people of color in leadership roles and in our audiences must be our top priority. How must public media change in order to look and sound more like the America we are supposed to reflect and serve?” (From Current.org – News for People in Public Media)

Artist Nina Chanel Abney wrote a recent Instagram post : “Care for Black life does not happen just because you rush to communicate it in a mural or on a tote bag. It is not just the inclusion of people of color as a viable consumer market or in your advertising campaigns. Care for vulnerable populations is a life-long commitment, an orientation toward justice that must be consistently revisited and renewed. What will your care for Black life look like 6 months from now? One year from now? In a decade?”

How do we institutionalize our commitment to racial justice and equity at WSLR+Fogartyville?

First we commit to doing the work. All of us must educate ourselves about how white dominant culture negatively impacts our organization and how systemic inequities create barriers to access and participation for people of color in our community.

Part of dismantling racism includes learning that organizations often display, and are damaged by, characteristics of white supremacy culture. This occurs even when the members may not be aware that certain organizational traits stem from white supremacy. These characteristics, such as paternalism, either/or thinking, fear of open conflict, and others are damaging to the organization as a whole, and to both its members of color and white members. Prior to formulating these recommendations, the Task Force read and discussed the document titled ‘White Supremacy Culture’ which is taken from “Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups” by Kenneth Jones and Tema Olma, ChangeWork, 2001. This document discusses particular traits of white dominant culture that may be holding us back, and provides antidotes that open us up to alternative ways of doing things. Reading the “Characteristics of White Supremacy” document in advance is strongly recommended – as is referring to it while reviewing these recommendations.

We know there is no quick fix to addressing the issue of racism – it is a life-time commitment. It is a commitment that a justice-centered organization must embrace. We look forward to continuing the journey with all of you.

WSLR Anti-Racism and Cultural Inclusion Task Force – Sharon Folta, Alecia Harper, Annie Murphy, Brian Jones, Sheila Siegel, Arlene Sweeting

Anti-Racism Task Force Recommendations

The Task Force requests that you spend some time reading and digesting the document on White Supremacy Culture before reviewing these recommendations.

FIVE MAIN GOALS

Goal #1 – COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Develop stronger connections with all of the diverse neighborhoods and communities that our signal reaches.

GOAL #2 – LEADERSHIP AND STAFF: Expand the diversity of our listening base, programmers, staff representation, Board of Directors, Advisory Council and sponsorship base.

Goal #3 – POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: Use a participatory approach that includes BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) stakeholders to develop policies and procedures related to diversity, equity and inclusion that acknowledge the intersectionality of race, class, and gender.

Goal #4 – PROGRAMMING: Foster more diversity in programming and seek to address a broader range of community concerns and interests.

GOAL #5 – CULTURE: Build a more welcoming, inclusive, anti-racist organization.

For more information on our discussion of how to achieve these goals, click here.



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