Philadelphia – Radio Heat Wave

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This summer I spent my time in Philadelphia, where I had been offered an internship with The Green Hour, a live radio show broadcast out of WURD 900 AM studios. WURD 900 AM is Philadelphia’s Black Talk radio station, and acts as a leading source for independent Black media, both on-air and within the surrounding community. It is Pennsylvania’s only owned and operated African-American radio station.

The Green Hour is a radio show dedicated to exploring issues of sustainability, and promoting clean living from ‘the inside out.’ The topics that the show explores are comprehensive, and the guests that appear on the program vary wildly in their backgrounds; but all episodes center around the concept of sustainability, in the broadest sense of the word. The Green Hour’s episodes focus on issues of morality and peaceful conflict solving.

Being a bold, and adventurous individual, I had little trepidations about my time in Philadelphia. I was open and willing to claim this experience as a new point of growth and hands-on learning for myself, fueled by my innate passion for radio. I was excited by the opportunity to work in a live radio station, and was looking forward to garnering an insight into the workings of a professionally run live radio show.

Philadelphia is an affordable city to live and work in as a young professional, so it seemed extremely appealing for a summer of work. Philadelphia also has a thriving music scene, which meant that I found myself in a community of people who understood how to edit audio and work with sound recordings, something which proved to be a valuable resource for my own endeavors in live radio. The city is interesting in terms of its wide-ranging diversity in socio-economic backgrounds, containing a spectrum of classes, ethnicities and cultures within its neighborhoods, rather than being a more homogenous urban community. This social structure seemed increasingly more relevant and important for the work that I was conducting this summer, given the height of racial tensions that the United States experienced during the months that I was there.

My primary role as the show’s intern was to book and organize the guests that were to come on to be interviewed. I was able to reach out to organizations such as Mothers In Charge, a network of women who have had children or loved ones affected by gun violence, and who work to promote education surrounding gun control. We also had members of the Lakota Sioux Indian tribe come on to be interviewed about the recent racial tensions that they have been experiencing within the youth of their community. We had people come on to talk about the Alternatives to Violence in Prisons Project, an organization that works with prison inmates across the U.S. to educate about peaceful conflict resolution. This is just to name a few of the people and organizations that I was able to connect with and have come onto the show to be interviewed.

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