MVYRADIO's DIVERSITY STATEMENT
As a Voice for the Vineyard, Cape Cod, Southeastern Massachusetts, Newport, RI, and the World, MVYRADIO has established its mission as a reflection of the many voices, cultures, ideas and perspectives in our broadcast area.
Our role within this community is to ensure that those voices are represented and heard in our music programming, on our public affairs shows, through our sponsored events, and within our staff, Board of Directors, and Community Advisory Board.
We are especially attuned to our responsibility to participate in conversations that challenge overt and systemic racism, bigotry and injustice. We pledge to use our platform to advance this dialogue.
We recognize that to achieve this mission, MVYRADIO must continuously assess and improve identified areas of operation within our organization, including:
- Recruiting Board members to advance the gender balance and racial diversity of our Board of Directors and our Community Advisory Board
- Expanding outreach, beyond standard Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) requirements, to guarantee that our staff recruitment and hiring is from a diverse applicant pool
- Examining music programming to improve gender parity and racial diversity in the artists we play
- Evaluating our public affairs programs to ensure that underserved and minority constituencies have access to our platform to express their message
- Examining our business practices and committing to seek and support minority-owned businesses
MVYRADIO's BUSINESS DIVERSITY INITIATIVE
With our new Business Diversity Initiative, we want to share our platform with businesses owned by women, those who identify as black, indigenous or people of color, immigrants, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as well as members of the LGBTQIA community, the disability community, and veterans.
***If you think your business might qualify for our Business Diversity Initiative, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION, and then click through to our application***
Businesses that are accepted into our Business Diversity Initiative program will receive a bank of free messages on MVYRADIO. These :15 second underwriting spots must follow FCC and station guidelines. We’ll be happy to work with you to develop copy that supports your business and stays within the parameters below.
Underwriting messages must be:
-informational, but not promotional
-15 seconds long
-free of any “call to action” asking a listen to “do” “buy” or “go to”
-descriptive of the business, but without qualitative language “the best” “number one”
-free of mentions of prices, discounts and sales
MVYRADIO and FCC guidelines prevent us from running Underwriting mentions in certain business categories, including (but not limited to) tobacco, marijuana, CDB products, firearms, fireworks, casinos, gambling, and political candidates or advocacy.
DIVERSITY RESOURCE LIBRARY
Info on "The First Step Act"
Racism is a Public Health Crisis - from American Public Health Association
The Brotherhood SisterSol - serving youth in economically poor communities - focusing on leadership development and educational achievement
Voting Laws Roundup | Brennan Center for Justice
Generational Differences among African Americans in Their Perceptions of Economic Opportunity | RICE KINDER INSTITUTE FOR URBAN RESEARCH
The "1619 Project" from the New York Times - aiming to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative
A LONG TALK - sign up for more guided group conversations on race
Racial Diversity Plan | Black Earth Public Library
Letter From Birmingham Jail | Martin Luther King Jr.
Racial Equity Resource Library | Innocent Classroom
Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Libraries Report
Race Forward - helping people take effective action toward racial equity
Racial Equity Tools - offering tools, research, tips, curricula, and ideas for people who want to increase their understanding and to help those working for racial justice at every level
Diverse Books - putting more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children
OTHER BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS
Passage by Khary Lazarre-White
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Why Racism Persists: An Uncomfortable Truth by Dr. Walter Collier
No Truth Left to Tell by Michael McAuliffe
African American Heritage Trail
No Place For Hate, Falmouth
Martha's Vineyard Diversity Coalition
PROGRESS AND PROJECTS
In this section, we offer current details on how we're approaching the areas outline in our Diversity Statement.
In Fall 2020, the MVYRADIO Board of Directors created a Diversity Committee, comprised of Board members and staff members. In January 2021, the Committee added CAB members. This Committee is tasked with helping the organization assess its current efforts, identifying areas of improvement, creating guidelines, and approving and advising on future projects.
Board & Staff
In December 2020, the Board voted to accept four new members with the intent of improving diversity. The Board makeup is now 18% BIPOC members, up from 5%. The Board is 32% female members. When the Board considers future members, the Governance Committee which interviews and recommends new candidates, will take furthering diversity and achieving gender parity as a priority consideration.
In March 2021, the CAB voted to accept several new members with the intent of improving diversity and gender parity. The Board makeup is now 20% BIPOC members, and 70% female. When the CAB considers future members, the members who interview and recommend new candidates, will take furthering diversity and balanced gender parity as a priority consideration.
While MVYRADIO has always followed proper EEO guidelines, the applicant pool for past positions has not been sufficiently diverse. A workgroup of Committee members is researching how other organizations successfully broaden their outreach for open positions and how they ensure that applicants reflect the diversity of the local population. The workgroup will submit recommended guidelines to the Committee this year.
The current paid staff has a 50/50 male-to-female ratio. The station aims to maintain gender parity.
In music programming, MVYRADIO has made diversity a priority. In Fall 2020, an assessment of MVYRADIO standard programming showed the BIPOC artists account for 8 to 10% of the daily playlist. Adjustments in the music programming software have made it possible to identify and ensure that each hour of regular programming includes a minimum of one BIPOC artist. A recent re-evaluation shows that BIPOC artists account for 14.5% of the standard programming playlist.
Specialty programming (including The Blues At 8, Sunday Morning Jazz, Putumayo World Music Hour, Local Music Café, etc) tends to have a much higher percentage of BIPOC artists, in some cases featuring 80+% BIPOC artists.
In March 2021, MVYRADIO added a weekly Reggae hour called "Positive Vibrations" as specialty programming, which promises to increase the station’s BIPOC representation in music programming.
MVYRADIO has also made gender parity a priority in music programming. For “Current” songs (songs released in the last 6 months), MVYRADIO is aiming for a 50/50 male-to-female ratio. During certain weeks in 2020, the station’s “Current” playlist (which accounts for about 40% of the day’s programming) did reach 50/50. However, an analysis of the full year showed a 65/35 male-to-female ratio. The goal for 2021 is to move closer to gender parity in our “Currents.” An evaluation of the "Current" playlist for the month of August 2021 shows a 55/45 ratio.
For live performance music events and programming, MVYRADIO will aim for gender parity and diverse representation. In our 2021 Porch Concert Series, there was gender parity in the performers chosen. BIPOC and LGBTQ+ performers were included.
For our Community Outreach programming, in 2021 we will perform an assessment and analysis of who was featured on our programs in 2020 (Person Of The Week, Vineyard Current, Nightcasts, etc), to ensure that we are giving voice to underserved communities and are offering a balanced slate of guests.
In 2020, the program The Vineyard Current added a segment called “Onda Brasil” which features a translation of the important stories and information of the week into Brazilian Portuguese, to reach that community. Poli Bellan Wilson, our "Onda Brasil" correspondent, is recording vital Public Service Announcements in Brazilian Portuguese. These PSAs are running in regular rotation throughout the week.
Vendors & Underwriting
We are in the process of researching our current vendor list, to assess if the organizations that we contract with for services are diverse. We are noting which businesses are majority-BIPOC owned and/or majority-woman owned. A workgroup of Committee members is researching how other organizations successfully broaden their outreach for hiring vendors and how they ensure that vendors reflect the diversity of the local population.
The Underwriting Department has launched a Business Diversity Initiative program to grant majority-BIPOC owned or majority-woman owned businesses free messaging on the station. Businesses are able to apply for these grants, which will give the business a flight of Underwriting messages to use on the air. Applications are reviewed quarterly by the Committee.
In February 2021, MVYRADIO co-hosted a series of Zoom panels entitled “Let’s Do Better: A Racial Equity Conversation Series.” This series was developed by Community Outreach Director Laurel Redington, and MVYRADIO Board member Dr. Walter Collier. The intent is to use our platform to spark conversation, reconciliation, and action.
We have made these goals public as part of the process of being transparent, accountable, and serious about our commitment to doing better.