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Contact Mariah McClain
Listener Candidate for the WPFW Local Station Board
Statement
Throughout my journey of nine years in strategic communications, I deviated from the conventional corporate PR dreams that many mentors, professors, and society tried to sell me. At the beginning of my career, I was invited to be a guest on Al Sharpton's "Keepin it Real" radio show. The purpose was to discuss the repressive zero tolerance policy implemented by my college. It was during that radio interview that my voice gained national exposure, shedding light on an issue I had passionately advocated for over four years, yet to no avail. Despite my ongoing involvement in radio production and being an ardent radio listener, that moment crystallized the power of the platform and realm of communications itself.

From then on, my career took a trajectory that focused on the intersection of social justice and communications. I embarked on developing the first strategic marketing plan for the Bay Area and National Black Worker Center Project, spearheading the #WorkingWhileBlack campaign. Collaborating with more than 20 nonprofits and partnering with AFL-CIO and SEIU, we launched the groundbreaking "Black Labor Day" as the pinnacle of the #WorkingWhileBlack movement. This initiative encompassed on-the-ground actions nationwide, digital media storms, as well as press and radio interviews. By working across all communication channels simultaneously, I gained valuable insights into leveraging every platform to effect change.

As a Local Board Delegate, I would bring forth a wealth of experience from my work implementing communications with international, national, and local labor unions, nonprofit organizations, and a D.C.-based PR firm, focusing on coalition-building, expanding reach, engaging new demographics, and grassroots organizing. My goal is to ensure that access to information becomes truly inclusive, serving the people and driven by the people. With a voice and perspective rooted in youth, coupled with a profound understanding and appreciation of history, I consider it my duty to advocate for and help sustain WPFW and Pacifica Network. It is crucial that individuals outside the customary audience comprehend the significance of Pacifica and the unwavering integrity it upholds by providing accurate information and diverse perspectives. As a recent D.C. resident, I aspire to witness WPFW expand its coverage to encompass news and events on Capitol Hill, while fostering even deeper connections with the community through active participation in local events.

At the young age of 22, I was bestowed with the prestigious Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. This recognition came about because I internalized the vital lesson that speaking truth to power is always worth pursuing. This lesson was instilled in me by labor leaders, journalists, and musicians whose voices would have remained elusive if not for grassroots funded platforms like Pacifica Network and WPFW. I am proud to say one of those influential labor leaders, Bill Fletcher, is also endorsing my candidacy today.

It would be an absolute honor to assume the role of Local Board Delegate, to ensure the same impact is extended to as many individuals as possible. Your consideration for this role is deeply appreciated.
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