The people are the heart and soul! Black Power Media recognizes volunteers, celebrates record-breaking fund drive

In a resounding display of community support, Black Power 96 radio’s recent Fund Drive has shattered previous records, marking it as the most successful fundraising endeavor in the station’s history. With unwavering dedication from listeners and community supporters, Black Power 96 radio has not only secured vital financial backing for its operations but also highlighted the profound impact of this grassroots initiative amplifying African voices.

The February Fund Drive was successful thanks to the active participation of programmers, volunteers, and community supporters. It highlighted the station’s role in representing African narratives, music, and analysis, with a commitment to effecting tangible change in the community.

Black Power 96 radio, a project of the African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF), aims to defend the human and civil rights of the African community and tackle disparities in education, health, healthcare, and economic development. Broadcasting APEDF’s mission is to serve as media for the African working class, featuring their stories, music, and analysis, empowering them to not only understand but also transform their world.

In the face of challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, police violence, and gentrification, maintaining and enhancing Black Power 96 is crucial for amplifying the community’s voice and effecting change. Through the station’s Supporting Membership Program, listeners are encouraged to contribute financially, with even small donations making a difference in sustaining and expanding the station’s impact.

The February Fund Drive unfolded within the vibrant community served by Black Power 96, with contributions pouring in from listeners and supporters locally and beyond. These contributions provide the primary source of funding to sustain the station’s operations, ensuring its continued ability to provide a platform for African voices and advocate for community interests.

Key to Black Power 96 radio’s Fund Drive’s success are the dedicated individuals who contribute to the station’s growth. People are the heart and soul.

On February 27, Black Power 96 radio partnered with Burning Spear Media, publisher of The Burning Spear newspaper and numerous African Internationalist books, to honor community supporters and volunteers in an online event broadcasted on The Burning Spear TV’s YouTube channel. The event began by saluting African People’s Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela, who developed The Burning Spear newspaper in the late 1960s, Ona Zené Yeshitela, President of the African People’s Education and Defense Fund, the nonprofit organization of which Black Power 96 radio is a project, and Akilé Anai, Director of the APSP’s media and communications work.

The program was hosted by Solyana Bekele, Managing Editor of The Burning Spear newspaper, and Eddie Maultsby, Black Power 96’s Station Manager, along with two members of the African People’s Solidarity Committee who carry longstanding responsibilities in these media institutions—Lisa Watson and Sandra Forrest.

Comrade Logan received Burning Spear Media’s Volunteer of the Year award for his brilliant design work laying out The Burning Spear newspaper.

Several members of the Burning Spear Media team—Nyabinga, Sayero, Cota, Sheila, Tracy, Bobbie, Kiann, Lauryn, Becky, and Joseph—received special awards for their work producing The Spear, developing TheBurningSpear.com website, and doing social media and publicity outreach work for the “Hands Off Uhuru! Hands Off Africa!” counteroffensive.

Three project teams were recognized—the volunteers responsible for producing Burning Spear Media’s latest publication The Verdict is In; Reparations Now!; and the “Hands Off Uhuru!” Social Media and Publicists groups—along with committed writers and proofreaders Musa, Makandal, Mads, Dominique, and Nyahoch.

Black Power 96 radio gave a shout out to its numerous neighborhood business supporters and the local artists who have participated in the weekly Local Going Global contest and donated their time to station benefit concerts.

As the recipient of Black Power 96’s “Volunteer of the Year” award, I am deeply honored and humbled by this recognition. It is a testament to the collective efforts of our dedicated team and the unwavering support of our listeners and community members. Together, we are driving meaningful change and paving the way for a brighter future for our community.

This past year, the community has really come forward when called on to support the station in its fight to regain over $100,000 in federal grant funds that were stolen by the Pinellas County Commission.

The February 27 broadcast gave thanks to Attorney Luke Lirot who is representing the station in a federal lawsuit to regain these funds, to the hundreds of listeners who came to the station to sign a petition, and to the scores of people who attended the County Commission meetings to speak out in support of Black Power 96.

Volunteers have been instrumental in the station’s achievements, dedicating their time and efforts to support various aspects of Black Power Media’s operations. Their contributions, ranging from administrative support and technical engineering to program development and promotions, have been invaluable in advancing the station’s mission and fostering a sense of community among its supporters.

Special awards were given to Loria, Chris C., and Tangya, along with recognitions of Chris W. and the station’s newest team members, Smiley, Jay, and Chechi. Programmers, through their engaging shows, not only captured the hearts of their audience but also played a pivotal role in driving the success of the Fund Drive. Recognition was given to programmers Jalali and Mali, Dr. Crabb and Grace, DJ Larry, B.L.A, Brendan, Jamie, Barbaric Eric, and International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement President Matsemela.

As we celebrate this significant achievement, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our supporters and reaffirm our commitment to advancing the cause of African liberation through media activism and community empowerment. With continued support, we look forward to building upon this success and ushering in a new era of empowerment and solidarity for the African community.

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