Background on the KDWB Issue

For more than two weeks after the song “30 Hmongs in a House” aired in late March 2011, the community organized around a response to the KDWB incident and they enlisted operational support from TakeAction Minnesota. The community gained so much momentum with coalition partners and individual members that on April 20, 2011, they resurrected CAAR. TakeAction Minnesota continued to be a strong coalition partner, along with several other allies.

Since our meeting with KDWB leaders on May 16, 2011, we continue to ensure that the radio station listens to us. We discussed these points with them:

  • KDWB invited attendees to submit names of qualified Hmong American candidates to join its Local Advisory Board.  This Board seeks input about critical issues impacting local communities, and it designates specially produced programming, corporate sponsorship and volunteer initiatives based on this input.

UPDATE: In late July 2011, Paul Yang, an educator and lawyer of Hmong American descent, was appointed to serve on the Local Advisory Board.

  • KDWB reaffirmed its continued commitment to a diverse workplace.  Attendees discussed possible employment opportunities, as well as ideas about how to expand the reach of KDWB career postings to attract additional qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds, including posting Clear Channel Twin Cities metro job announcements in ethnic media.  KDWB would continue to inform its Local Advisory Board on progress in maintaining a diverse workforce, especially hiring interns of color.
  • KDWB agreed to enhance its staff training to include education about the Hmong American community and to explore working with community agencies to broaden education on multiculturalism. KDWB invited suggestions from the Hmong 18 Council and CAAR about organizations and businesses that offer such trainings.
  • Through the Hmong American representative on the Local Advisory Board, KDWB will seek input about issues of importance to the Hmong American community that may benefit from PSAs and community-focused programming, including planned programming to recognize the Hmong contribution to the U.S. war effort in Vietnam. The diversity of KDWB’s Local Advisory Board contributes to the station’s understanding of issues impacting communities of color.

UPDATE: During Memorial Day weekend 2011, KDWB aired on numerous occasions two public service announcements about the Hmong contribution to the Vietnam War. CAAR also participated in a 30-minute in-studio interview with Lee Valsvik for the Twin Cities Insights radio segment which aired that weekend on all Clear Channel owned stations in the Twin Cities. The interview talked about racism, the incident on KDWB, Hmong veterans and Hmong women.

UPDATE #2: On Nov. 26, 2011, CAAR led 7 employees of KDWB/Clear Channel Communications on an educational tour of the MN Hmong New Year 2012. We continue to maintain communications with Clear Channel.

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