The Board of Directors, management, and staff of KOOP Radio stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We stand in solidarity with Black people who have unjustly suffered for more than 400 years in the Americas at the hands of institutionalized racism and white supremacy. We are outraged by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey, Mike Ramos, Javier Antonio Ambler II, Atiana Jefferson, Tony McDale, Nina Pop, Botham Jean, Sandra Bland, and the thousands upon thousands of Black Americans that have been lynched, incarcerated unjustly, and deprived of their rights to due process, life and liberty. As we continue to witness police disproportionally detain, brutalize and murder Black Americans, we believe no police, nor person, should be a judge, jury, and executioner.
Our mission at KOOP is to engage, connect, and enrich the whole community, including the underserved, through creating diverse, quality, educational music, and news programming. We know community radio plays a crucial role in the social justice movement for civil rights, women’s rights, and the rights of the LBGTQIA+ community. Our KOOP radio programs, studio, and our community events aim to be safe spaces for the oppressed in this country, as well as refugees fleeing from oppression abroad.
From its inception, KOOP Radio created the Community Council to embrace, raise, promote, and celebrate our cultural and ethnic sensitivity within KOOP Radio and within the community, we serve by increasing our cultural competency in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, and mental and physical abilities. This work of the Community Council extends to collaboration with other nonprofit organizations in the Austin area. In 2019, the Community Council organized its first “meet the community” event at Sahara Lounge. More than 20 Austin nonprofits enjoyed the opportunity to make a presentation about their history and recent community work. The event was such a success that we anticipate holding more Community Council open forums when we may safely do so.
Additionally, KOOP Radio’s Community Council formed a subcommittee this week in response to the worldwide activism sparked by the murder of George Floyd. The subcommittee will focus on “Community and Cultural Awareness, and Sensitivity,” with associated action items focused on how KOOP Radio can serve the community in dismantling “systemic racism and connected inequities, in a responsible, proactive fashion.”
Despite the work of our Community Council, as we examine the make-up of our more than 100 volunteers which comprise our KOOP family, it is clear we have more work to do to reflect the true diversity of the Austin community. We pledge to be better in our volunteer recruiting so that we can recruit more BIPOC, more women, and further our collaborations with Austin-area nonprofits that work with Black artists and underserved communities.
In this unprecedented moment in the history of the United States, a republic built on hypocrisy where Black men were written into the Constitution as being worth 3/5th of a man, let us be unequivocally clear: KOOP Radio stands with our Black brothers, sisters and non-binary members of our community and around the world. We will continue to air talk programs such as Reflections of Community Outreach, People United, Rag Radio, the Community Pilot Show, the Austin Chronicle Show, and the Austin Monitor Show, which include discussions of dismantling white supremacy in all its insidious forms. Additionally, we will continue to use our resources to enrich underserved communities – and stand against police brutality – as we shine light upon the darkness of our civil society.
Let us all use our voice and our actions to support the Black Lives Matter social justice movement and demand the immediate cessation of the murder of Black people in the streets of the United States by police officers.
As we hold up a mirror to reflect on our programming, events, and actions, please join in holding us accountable as we strive to do better in our work serving the Austin community and ending systemic racism. We realize as we rise to meet this unprecedented moment in American history, our charge of reaching true equity and diversity here at KOOP, and in our larger community, is far from complete.