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Public Radio’s Urban Alternative Stations Launch 2020 Voting Campaign

Four public radio stations are combining efforts to encourage their young and diverse audiences to register and vote in the 2020 election.  The campaign, “The Movement Continues – Vote 2020,” is driven by four Urban Alternative format stations including Vocalo in Chicago (WBEW-FM), The Vibe in Houston (KTSU-FM), THE DROP in Denver (KUVO-FM HD2) and Blazin’ Hot 91 (WNSB-FM) in Norfolk

Each station will promote local efforts to register voters and encourage them to vote on November 3, 2020.  The campaign includes partnerships with local organizations that are already established to support voter registration and voting efforts, along with each station’s broadcast, website, social media and on-site promotions.  The four-station campaign social media hashtag is #themovementcontinuesvote2020.

“U.S. Representative John Lewis told us that ‘The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument in a democratic society. We must use it.’” says Vocalo Chicago’s Senior Content Producer, Ayana Contreras.  “His recent death is a reminder of all that he lived for, which included ensuring that all of us have access to that powerful tool.  Unfortunately, that access is in jeopardy for too many citizens.”

The Vibe Houston Marketing and Community Engagement Director Holly Charles stated, “If we’ve learned anything from the recent 2020 protests, we’ve learned that there is power in numbers and power in the voices of our youth.  As an Urban Alternative that caters to a young, urban demographic, we accept the responsibility of encouraging and mobilizing our listeners towards the polls.”

Nikki Swarn, Content/Program Director of Denver’s THE DROP, says, “This is the time to support and encourage the young, vibrant voices of a very motivated generation to engage in the civic fabric of this country, to validate the ideologies of what could be the future generation of the world’s leaders, CEOs, and radio broadcasters, and exercise their power to choose through the action of voting.  Many people, and specifically young people, can be distracted by the process of voting.  Everything from registering to finding their polling location.  As servant leaders, Public Media, especially Public Radio, can help stand in the light and illuminate a pathway towards solidarity as the movement continues to the polls.”

Toni Jones, WNSB Norfolk Marketing and Community Engagement Director, added, "WNSB is excited to be at the forefront of voter participation. We take seriously our commitment to inform, educate, motivate and rally the Hampton Roads community to register and then vote!"

The four Urban Alternative stations are consulted by Mike Henry and Paragon Media Strategies, who assisted in developing the campaign.

About Vocalo/Chicago:

“Vocalo Radio” is “Chicago’s Urban Alternative” – the nation’s first 24/7 public radio station focusing on R&B, Hip Hop, Dance music and more.

Chicago is at the epicenter of cultural and social movements not currently represented on commercial FM airwaves.  We aspire to be that soundtrack that amplifies our city and makes you say and feel - this is what Chicago sounds like.

As an FM station and online destination for music discovery and cultural expression, count on us to give voice to those that enrich our city culturally and socially.

About The Vibe/Houston:

“The Vibe,” powered by KTSU 90.9FM, is an Urban Alternative public radio station based on the campus of one of the largest HBCU’s (Historically Black College/University) in the nation, Texas Southern University, which serves the Greater Houston, Texas area.  The community-based programs include Hip Hop, R&B and Neo-Soul.

About THE DROP/Denver:

“THE DROP,” “The People’s Station for R&B and Hip- Hop” is a leading multi-platform lifestyle brand.  The station provides a voice for new and independent music and popular culture with a focus around growth, awareness, and opportunities for diverse communities through advocacy, education, and community engagement.  THE DROP is committed to protecting the integrity of Colorado’s dynamic music scene through developing relevant influences and contributions while impacting the fabric of Colorado’s music culture.

THE DROP’s mission is also directed towards education, empowerment, and recognition of underserved audiences through the lens of public media.  The station is commercial-free, and the content is curated by the community, including the station name that was voted upon through social media.  If listeners want old school hip-hop, deep cuts or anything in between, the station plays those requests along with a regular rotation of Colorado independent artists.

About Blazin’ Hot 91/Norfolk:

WNSB-FM, also known as “Blazin' Hot 91,” is an Urban Alternative public broadcast radio station licensed in Norfolk, Virginia to serve the Hampton Roads Community. WNSB is located on the campus of HBCU Norfolk State University. WNSB offers community-focused programs, Hip-Hop and R&B, and highlights local talent and new discovery artists.

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