Thursday, June 24, 2004

Youth Radio and other ideas

You are reading

I got up at 6.

I was just too jazzed from last night's meeting. I wanted to spin my ideas and remember what people said.

I think this notion of Youth Radio may be something in which I can be useful.

My concept would be that kids generate the content. My job would be as a facilitator. They'll need help with editing scripts, for example. They'll need help building on a basic idea to get their "angle," to narrow focus into a containable piece for broadcast. Basically, I could assist as an editor.

But I can also empathise with their direction, perspectives, interests, etc.

They're going to need adult role modelling of a very different nature. They'll need adults who RESPECT them, accept them, take them seriously and have enthusiasm for what they're trying to accomplish. They'll need adults who actually encourage them to think for themselves, question authority, test limits.

My years in the War Zone have taught me this. I had up to twenty kids a day, running in and out of my house. I know what their prejudices are, what their frustrations are, what's dangerous to them....

I like kids, even the big, sweaty, clumsy ones.

Steve has been doing some stuff with Youth In Transition ...YIT.... the only shelter space in town that deals with teen runaways and homeless.

I need to check in with him, hear what he's been doing, where the kids would like to go, etc.

I also need to read the Youth Radio website, to see what they're about.

Steve's got a meeting with Programming on Monday. He invited me to attend.

I want to go in, ready to offer assistance with content generation.

I also want to work with Radio Theater at KUNM. They have prepared pieces that need editing. That'll get me past my fear of editing. I'm just rusty. I can also work on scrupt writing.

I wonder what work my advisor has for me?

His were the first eyes I saw, as I left the public comment mic, at the meeting last night. I was shaky. I saw his eyes twinkle and crinkle as he nodded and mouthed, "good job." It really helped me get back to my seat without stumbling. I just kept walking toward those eyes.

I felt very supported by radio folk and community activists last night. I got hugs from people I very much respect. Oh, there were a couple who avoided eye contact, who didn't acknowledge I was there. But that's ok; they've got their own issues.

But my conversations with producers, politicians, journalists, activists, etc. were, for the most part, warm and encouraging.

I'm meeting and connecting with some of the smartest, most committed people in Albuquerque. I'm proud to be in their company. It's a real honor.

It's good for me. It keeps me humble. These are people who influence make policies. They like having me around. If I'm careful to check my ego and commit myself to the work, I could really support the healing and growth of the community.

I couldn't stop complimenting Diane Denish for quoting Bill Moyers in her comments last night.

Poor, Mr. Moyers: his show's in danger from current cabal in power. And he's one of the last gasps of progressive journalism in a large market.

So, to hear the Lt. Gov. of New Mexico quote Moyers was balm on a wound!

I told her it was refreshing to hear a politician with passion; one begins to think one's politicians are all crusty, jaded and cynical.

I need to walk gently in the presence of these people. I need to acknowledge their humanity whenever I can.

I also need not be ashamed of my enthusiasm. I simply need to channel it, direct it, make it part of the healing process.

It's ok that I'm loud and colorful. As long as I use that for constructive purposes, for the benefit of the community.

My little hoots and ejaculations encouraged the assembled to get beyond polite applause and really voice their support for people's comments.

It's a Southern thing; it's a Black thing; it's even a Christian thing.

I do NOT come from the churches where people sit passively, sing hymns demurely.

I come from racous, expressive congregations who show the assembled, and their God, their appreciation.

I come from a spirituality that is a group effort. Everybody contributes to the worship, building up the energy, releasing their joy into the gathering.

Witches do it, too.

It's an indigenous form of participation. It hasn't been eviscerated. It doesn't abdicate power to the heirarchy.

In fact, in REAL, southern churches, there really isn't a heirarchy. The preacher, choir director, deacons....all are neighbors: farmers, shop keepers, sheriffs...people one sees every day in a secular context.

When your neighbor, the preacher, stands to deliver the sermon, you support it with your mouth, your body, your hands.

I've been told, in Western European-modeled situations, that I'm loud. Obviously, the critics haven't been to a Baptist church on a hot, July Sunday.

And church is the place town meetings are held. It's the only building in town that's large enough. So, the same methods apply there, too.

And, yes, we talk to the actors in the movie theaters. LOL

It was a lively group. The energy level was high. People were just thrilled to know their fellow citizens had been concerned about the same issues they were.

The listeners, the viewers, got to come out of their isolated homes to meet and hear each other.

The effect was so healing, so magical, so spiritual, so empowering.

A little hooting was required.

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