A STATEMENT FROM YOUR TECHNOLOGIST

Hello again.

My name is Bryan Webb, and as I posted last week, I’ve been the Technologist at 101.5 FM in Hamilton since last August.  The Technologist at The Hawk is essentially responsible for keeping the station running, which includes coordinating programming, keeping equipment functioning, coordinating the receipt and addition of new music, community outreach and publicity, volunteer coordination, training and support, and facilitating collaboration with the academic Broadcasting – Radio program here at Mohawk College.

As a white man who is charged with maintaining a radio station that is a sharing platform for people of many backgrounds, I have been trying to come to terms with how best to make a statement about what The Hawk hopes to be as a media outlet in our time and place.  I don’t feel comfortable making a statement that could be taken to represent the perspectives and experiences of everyone who is involved here, but I also believe that an organization like ours should not remain silent while the world around us begins to face up to the systemic violence suffered by Black, Indigenous, People of Colour today and throughout our history.  Instead of speaking as “The Hawk”, I’ve decided to speak to you as the person responsible for keeping this place running, which includes trying to ensure that we are fulfilling our mandate to provide an alternative to commercial and public radio, and examining, on an ongoing basis, whether we are providing a vital and accessible resource for the community at large.

Before I offer anything more, I would like to encourage anyone reading this to get in touch if you have any thoughts, ideas, or frustrations to voice in response to this message.  You can reach me through our contact page:

https://1015thehawk.mohawkcollege.ca/contact/

I believe that it is the responsibility of 101.5 FM, and all community media outlets, to actively seek feedback from those underrepresented on our airwaves, and look closely at what barriers exist towards accessing our resources, ongoing.  As a white person, and as a human, it is my responsibility to listen to and acknowledge the reasons why the voices of those with less privilege than me often cannot access media making resources like CIOI-FM.  It is my responsibility to use my privilege, and the power that has been given to me with my position here, to do the work to remove those barriers, with active input and collaboration from those directly affected.  These are my key priorities as Technologist at 101.5 FM, along with making sure we remain on the air.  I acknowledge that this is an ongoing process, and this work will never be finished.

I mentioned in a recent post that this has been a transitional year for The Hawk 101.5 FM.  Though I don’t want this to be a, “look at all we’ve done!” message, I do want to thank the current Board of Directors for supporting initiatives that aim to address the things I mentioned above, and for being open and considerate in discussions about these matters.  With their support, I believe we can actively receive input and address barriers in a productive way.

I believe I embody systemic racism and must work actively to confront and counteract it.  I believe media organizations embody the same systemic problems, and those of us who have the privilege of working to run these organizations must do the same work to counteract from within.  I believe that Black, Indigenous, People of Colour speak the truth about injustices suffered, and I believe it is our organization’s responsibility to listen openly.

This is a message about acknowledging work that needs to be done, if I, and we, are to ever be considered allies.  I will leave you, for now, with a pledge to listen to the voices underrepresented on our airwaves, and strive to understand and implement the changes that you want to see in our organization.

Thank you for your time,

Bryan Webb

Technologist, The Hawk 101.5 FM