TRANSLATE

POSITIVE RESPONSE

MVYRADIO has joined the several other Island organizations in condemning a recent incident in Oak Bluffs where white supremacist signs were posted outside of local businesses. We've posted the co-signed statement on our website that was published in local newspapers. We hope you'll take a moment to read it and contemplate taking positive countervailing actions in your community.

Signed,

The MVYRADIO Equity and Inclusion Action Group


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.

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.

Congratulations to our newest grantees: Gillian Inspired Designs, MV Barkery, and Sun and the Moon Consignment

***If you think your business might qualify for our Business Diversity Initiative, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION, and then click through to our application***

Underwriting messages must be:

-informational, but not promotional
-15 seconds long
-free of any “call to action” asking a listener 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.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY
CLIQUE AQUI PARA PARTICIPAR


CLICK HERE to find our video recordings of
Let's Do Better: A Racial Equity Conversation Series


DIVERSITY RESOURCE LIBRARY

"Equity" versus "Equality" and other Racial Justice terms, defined

The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture
| Showing Up for Racial Justice

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

103 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice

How to use your Social Work Degree to Decriminalize Mental Illness

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


LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS


African American Heritage Trail

No Place For Hate, Falmouth

Martha's Vineyard Diversity Coalition

Martha’s Vineyard Black-Owned Business Directory

Sassafras MV

CLICK HERE FOR MORE RESOURCES


PROGRESS AND PROJECTS

In this section, we offer current details on how we're approaching the areas outlined 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. In January 2022, the Committee voted to rename itself the MVYRADIO Equity & Inclusion Action Group. 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

As of December 2023, the Board makeup is 20.8% BIPOC members, down from 27% in 2021, but up from 18% in 2020. The Board is 45% female members, up from 40% in 2021 and 32% in 2020. 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.

The current paid staff has a 50/50 male-to-female ratio. The station aims to maintain this gender parity. One part-time staff member is black. The rest of the staff is white. Two staffers identify as LGBTQ+. The station will aim to improve diversity in 2024 via any open or newly created positions.

While MVYRADIO has always followed proper EEO guidelines, the applicant pool for past positions has not been sufficiently diverse and our hiring has not been sufficiently diverse. The workgroup has submitted recommended guidelines to the Committee on how to further outreach to receive more diverse applicants for open positions.

Programming


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 standard daily playlist (that is, music programming NOT including specialty shows). 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 2022 re-evaluation showed that BIPOC artists account for 14.5% of the standard programming playlist. A 2023 update showed BIPOC artists now account for 16.9% of the standard programming playlist.

Specifically related to "Currents" (songs added to rotation in 2023), BiPOC artists accounted for 20.4% of the singles we added this year, down from 22% in 2022, but up from 19% in 2021.

Specialty programming (including The Blues At 8, Sunday Morning Jazz, Putumayo World Music Hour, Local Music Café, Positive Vibrations, etc) tends to have a much higher percentage of BIPOC artists, in some cases featuring 80+% BIPOC artists.

MVYRADIO has also made gender parity a priority in music programming. The overall Library of regularly played songs has roughly at 75/25 male-to-female ratio. For “Current” songs (songs released in the last 6 months), MVYRADIO is aiming for a 50/50 male-to-female ratio. In 2023, the Currents were' 58/42% male-to-female. This is down from 55/45 from 2021 and 2022, but an improvement over 2020's result of 65/35. The goal for 2024 is to move closer to gender parity in our “Currents.”

For live performance music events and programming, MVYRADIO will aim for gender parity and diverse representation. In our 2023 Porch Concert Series, there was gender parity in the performers chosen. BIPOC and LGBTQ+ performers were included.

In 2021 we began performing yearly assessments to identify who was featured on our Community Outreach programs "The Vineyard Current" and "The Cape Cod Current." In 2022, we added an assessment of "Person Of The Week." The intent was to determine if our choices for interviewees were diverse and reflect the community we serve. The assessment tracks the interviewees' race, gender, and sexual orientation.

The chart below shows our data from 2022 and 2023. "Total Segments" tracks the participants in stories we broadcast for the 3 listed programs, when the racial identity of the participant was known. "Mixed Group" refers to segments that featured multiple participants with different individual racial profiles.

We have also included 2020 Census data on the racial breakdown of the two main counties we serve as well as data for the full country. Public radio should reflect the audience it serves while making sure there is healthy representation of under-served groups.

We also track the gender of our interviewees. In 2023, 42.6% of participants were male and 57% were female, with one guest identifying as nonbinary. This compares to 37% male and 60.8% female in 2022, with 4 segments featuring multiple guests.

We do not ask guests about their sexual orientation, but note when they self identify. In 2023, 2.2% of segments featured a guest who self-identifies as LGBTQ+, compared to 5% in 2022.

Beginning in January 2024, our Community Outreach team created a survey which will be sent to all guests post-interview. We hope that this practice will lead to even more detailed and accurate data when we assess our 2024 coverage (in January 2025).

Vendors & Underwriting


Member of the Equity & Inclusion Action Group assessed our current vendor list, to see if the organizations that we contract with for services are diverse. We are noted which businesses are majority-BIPOC owned and/or majority-woman owned. Though many organizations/vendors to not make this information readily available, for the vendors we were able to assess, less than 2% were majority-BIPOC owned and/or majority-woman owned. The EIAG has created a framework to be adopted, that is intended to increase the percentage of majority-BIPOC owned and/or majority-woman owned vendors, by requiring the station to seek at least one bid on open jobs from a majority-BIPOC owned and/or majority-woman owned business.T

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. To date, the station has offered grants to 12 businesses, with a total value of over $27,000 in Underwriting given to these businesses.

COMMUNITY


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 was to use our platform to spark conversation, reconciliation, and action.

In February 2022, MVYRADIO continued its long-running Black History Month series, with a focus on local history. Features were done in collaboration with local organizations like The Martha's Vineyard African American Heritage Trail.

In June 2022, the station participated in the "Truth & Joy" event organized by the MV Diversity Coalition. The station provided promotional support, sponsorship opportunities, booked musicians, and MC'd the event. Several MVYRADIO Board and staff members participated on the MVDC Event Committee.

In Fall 2023, we hired MV Mediation to help us conduct surveys and focus groups aimed at learning how the radio station can better serve certain underserved local populations. The first effort focused on the Vineyard's African American/Black population. The EIAG will meet in early 2024 to discuss the results. By Spring 2024, we will also do outreach to the Brazilian population.

We have made these goals public as part of the process of being transparent, accountable, and serious about our commitment to doing better.


Updated 01/22/2024