December 1, 2020

A message from WFYI leadership

A message from WFYI leadership

Dear WFYI Members, Partners, Viewers and Listeners,

The tragic events that have occurred this year, including the killing of Black Americans by police and the resulting protests and unrest, have impacted all Americans, most certainly including our own team and the communities that we serve. The United States was founded on aspirations of liberty, equality and representation, but we cannot dispute that aspects of that vision have never been fully realized. We recognize that we too have fallen short.

WFYI stands in support of those who call for change – change for our country, our state, our city and ourselves. For too long we have wrestled with racism, inequity and violence and have not fully addressed these issues. At WFYI, we recognize that we have an important role to play and an obligation to confront these challenges and be a force for change through the work that we do.

Over the last weeks and months, we have taken a hard look at our strategic direction and are creating a framework to support our long-term commitment to racial equity. Both our board of directors and our staff have committed to mobilizing our public media resources to serve our communities with an emphasis on equity and humanity in all our activities. We will insist that our organization, our board and staff, and our work reflect the diversity of the communities that we serve. We will include new voices in our storytelling that represents our diverse communities. We will partner with organizations who share our values to amplify their impact and strengthen our communities. As we realize on our commitment to universal access, we will focus on platforms reaching underserved audiences.

In addition to structural changes to ensure that the lens of racial equity is embedded in our organization and our work, we have taken some immediate actions to reflect this commitment. Our recent schedule updates, program planning and internal priorities have been made with racial equity a core part of our decisions. The results include new programs on both radio and television. The series Where Do We Go from Here, produced in partnership with the Indianapolis Recorder, examined issues, policies and next steps from the perspective of diverse local leaders. Our new weekly radio program, Echoes of Indiana Avenue tells the story of the cultural achievements of Black artists and musicians from central Indiana. We are proud of these programs and the way they amplify voices too often unheard, but we know that they are only the beginning of a renewed vision and not the full achievement of our equity goals.

We are excited about the future and look forward to reporting back to you on our progress frequently through our website and other platforms.

Greg Petrowich                                        Brenda Horn

WFYI President & CEO                             Chair, WFYI Board of Directors