WPFW Radio Toots Its Own Horn in Celebration of 30 Years On-air

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WPFW Radio Toots Its Own Horn in Celebration of 30 years on-air -

The premier ‘jazz and justice station’ in the nation’s capital WPFW- 89.3 fm is celebrating three decades of community and listener sponsored radio with a 30th Anniversary Gala that honors many of the political stalwarts in the movement for peace, social justice, civil and human rights.

The Honorable John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary committee will serve as the Honorary Chair for the evening along with Honorary Co-Chair Attorney Roscoe Dellums.

WPFW Logo“We are especially appreciative to have Representative Conyers participate in this historic event. He has been a part of WPFW since it’s very inception,” said Acie Byrd, Station Board Gala Chair and longtime activist in the movement for civil rights and social justice. “Conyers’ love and appreciation for what’s been called African Americans classical music has been critical. He sponsored the congressional resolution HR-57 which establishes an appreciation for jazz as an American art form.

“This gala marks an historic occasion. WPFW is an outgrowth of a 58 year old network in which it is the junior station and most importantly it’s survived for 30 years. WPFW was designed specifically for special outreach to progressives in the African American community. Its birth was brought about during the civil rights era. In 1977, we were literally still marching in the streets. The initial petition for the station was filed in 1969 under the Nixon administration but the FCC continued to deny the application. It took us 8 years to make this concept a reality.”

The Gala will help raise funds for the purchase of a new, permanent home for WPFW that first opened shop with a couple of crates and some equipment in a room no bigger than a closet at Rap Inc. located in Northwest Washington, DC. The gala will be simulcast in Berkeley, Los Angeles, New York and Houston, where the four Pacifica sister stations will host special viewing parties for their listeners.

Recipients of the Pacifica Peace and Justice Award are:

Harry Belafonte, longtime civil and human rights activist, artist/producer

Dr. Dorothy I. Height, civil rights icon and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and Former President of the National Council for Negro Women

Howard Zinn, American historian, political scientist, social critic, activist and playwright, best known as author of the bestseller A People’s History of the United States

Dick Gregory, humorist, civil rights activist, author and social critic

Amy Goodman, recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the George Polk Award and host of Pacifica’s Democracy Now

Ron Clark, founder and President of RAP, Incorporated Drug Treatment Program

Theodore Walter ‘Sonny’ Rollins, Musician and composer

Delores Huerta, xo-Founder of La Raza, Latino rights activist (invited)

James Edward Olmos, screen artist and civil rights activist (invited)

The evenings’ entertainment will include performances by Tenor Saxophonist Sonny Rollins, Grammy Award winning, a capella ensemble, Sweet Honey in the Rock, legendary Jazz singer Gloria Lynne, Bobby Felders and the Big Band and a host of the area’s finest musicians.

A Silent Auction featuring jazz memorabilia and art items for purchase by guests will be conducted with proceeds going to the WPFW Building Fund.

* Interviews are available upon request

What: Gala 30th Anniversary Celebration
When: Saturday December 15, 2007
Time: 6pm VIP reception (invitation only)
7pm Gala
9:30 – 10:30 Peace and Justice Awards Ceremony

Where: D.C. Convention Center
Dress: Evening and Cultural attire

For further information, contact:

Acie Byrd - Gala Committee Chair
Local station Board
202-966-9853

Askia Muhammad
WPFW News Director
202-588-0999 x 351

Verna Avery-Brown
Washington Bureau Chief
202-588-0999 x 349

Ron Pinchback
WPFW General Manager
(202) 841-2218

[Pacifica Program Coordinator]