What power. Think about what airs in the Peoria area: a decent variety of music all over the FM dial, two NPR affiliates, two or three Christian radio broadcasters, and one total outlier – WAZU Peoria 90.7FM. If you’re dial hasn’t tuned to 90.7FM you are in for a culture shock. According to the WAZU web site, it is Peoria’s one and only Pacifica Radio Affiliate.
What the heck does that mean? Well we looked it up, and according to Wikipedia, The Pacifica Radio Network is the oldest listener supported radio network in the United States. Pacifica is also known for its unashamed progressivism. WAZU is also the home to thirteen locally produced radio programs, made by local Peorians weekly. We did some digging, and it turns out that not only has Royce Elliott returned to the airwaves via the “Breakfast with Royce and Roger” Show, but Spanish Language Programing has a home on WAZU on “Voz Latina”. Additionally, interviews with local area poets and authors can be heard weekly on “Poets Voices”. Among other things, a gang of three guys produce a weekly movie review show known as “Movie Show Theater”. WAZU also supports the work of local urban artists, the duo on “Sounds for Saturday Night” bring local hip hop to the forefront, as well as a positive message. When we found that Community Radio was alive and well in Peoria we were pleasantly surprised.
The Power and potential of radio to become a mechanism for social uplift, education and community empowerment is no laughing matter. Radio gives a voice to the voiceless; bringing the otherwise unmentioned points of view to the listening ears of a community. While listening to the radio in Peoria you may find, negativity, sexism, advertisements selling you all manner of uselessness, reminding you to chase what does not matter. So it’s refreshing to know that just to the left on our dial is a radio station committed to social empowerment, providing an accessible educational platform and a voice to the community. Because Social Justice Plays in Peoria.