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Contact Sharonne Salaam
Listener Candidate for the WBAI Local Station Board
Sharonne Salaam

I'm running for reelection to the WBAI Local Station Board with the Justice and Unity Campaign ( because now more than ever the mission and the very survival of WBAI are at stake. While the station’s financial situation was becoming ever more perilous, opposition board members tried to stymie any action by the LSB and by doing so created harm for the station. Nevertheless, together with fellow Justice and Unity members, I worked hard the many years I’ve have been on the board to make sure that emergency situations were addressed, in particular the implementation of a far-reaching fundraising plan mandated by the Pacifica National Board and more crucial than ever to WBAI’s survival – a plan I helped develop, and which the opposition had refused to even consider.

During my tenure on the board so far, in addition to helping design the plan to revive WBAI’s finances, I’ve served on the General Manager Evaluation Committee, the Town Hall working group, and the Committee of Inclusion. I’ve been on the National Pacifica Board.

You probably know of me because my son Yusef was one of the Exonerated Five and now City Councilman Yusef Salaam. He was one of the innocent boys wrongly arrested and convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. WBAI was a powerful and indispensable ally in the long struggle to clear their names and obtain compensation for police and prosecutorial misconduct. As a result of my son's wrongful arrest, I embarked on a career of community activism serving children and families in and out of prison, with special attention to the foster-care system in New York City. Now I’m working for Justice 4 the Wrongfully Incarcerated.

My first attempt at community service was founding and directing People United for Children, and over a period of nearly two decades our work led to thousands of children being reunited with their biological parents, as well as policy changes in the child-welfare system. The skills in negotiating, mediating, and helping others understand their rights I developed as a self-trained social worker have served the board well, and I am more than willing to put them at the service of WBAI once again.

I am grateful that locally produced public-affairs programming has been somewhat increased, but I continue to be concerned about the overall shortfall of programming for communities of color. These communities have always strongly supported WBAI, and failing to serve them adequately hurts the station badly.

I am dedicated to returning WBAI to its vital mission - promoting understanding between peoples by airing the many unheard community voices.

Please vote for me and the other candidates of the WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign see the website.
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