Listener Candidate Statement

Bok-keem Nyerere (longtime WBAI/Pacifica activist, member of the Pacifica Campaign staff, former WBAI Outreach Coordinator)

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Bok-keem Nyerere

Bok-keem Nyerere

bokkeem@justiceunity.org, 212-591-2111

As a political and community activist for nearly 40 years, I’m running for election to the WBAI Local Station Board. As part of the Justice and Unity Campaign (www.justiceunity.org) -- which has been endorsed by a wide range of activists and progressive organizations, such as Michael Tarif Warren and the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition -- I urge you to vote for me and all our candidates:

Omowale Clay
Tibby Brooks
Lisa Davis
Sara Flounders
Marianela Tricoche
Marian Borenstein
Wellington Echegaray

My history is one of service and commitment toward a just and good society. I’ve involved myself in the analytical process of how progressive thinkers can bring about a world we all wish for and deserve to live in. That exposure has made me understand why community-rooted radio, especially WBAI, must be protected.

In 2000, when hostile corporate-type mainstream politicos on the Pacifica National Board and their collaborators gutted programming, terrorized and banned station staff, and tried to sell WBAI to the highest bidder, I was asked to join a team of political organizers to form the Pacifica Campaign to Stop the Corporate Takeover. We organized listeners nationwide to protest, educate, and formulate a counter-media campaign that legally and morally challenged the attempted theft of our network. One year later, we won the network back, thanks to the faithful commitment of those listeners.

From 2003 to 2005 I worked as WBAI’s Outreach Coordinator. I organized outreach activities among various communities in the signal area, including developing a database for listeners seeking to help the station, and developed and participated in community programs.

To keep WBAI strong as a resource for progressive movements, the most essential need is to increase outreach, so more movement participants, especially young people, are aware of all the great programs WBAI has to offer. As an LSB member, I will help with outreach to build a greater station.

However, for WBAI to be successful, we need an LSB that is working together for the greater good of the station. Unfortunately, some opposition board members have tried to undermine the station’s positive and community-based direction. I’ll work constructively and fight for the continued inclusion of disenfranchised communities, transparent decision-making, innovative fundraising, and expanded outreach.

My history of organizational work has included the National Black Independent Political Party, National Association of Kawaida Organizations, Black Radical Congress, Campaign to Stop (Remove) Giuliani, NYC Campaign to Close Indian Point (I was Brooklyn Coordinator for two years), and most recently, the Peace and Justice Coalition, which sponsored the August 25th March for Peace, Jobs and Justice in Newark.

In serving on the LSB, I can bring political vision, the energy to see goals accomplished, the ability to be fair, and a willingness to collaborate with other board members to keep WBAI focused on staying positive, progressive, and pertinent. Please help the Justice and Unity slate increase its slim majority so we can move these goals forward.

bokkeem@justiceunity.org, 212-591-2111