On March 28, Drexel University’s non-commercial radio station WKDU debuted its first episode of an original bi-weekly series warmly titled “Good Morning, Neighbors.” The series, which will see a five-episode pilot run in the coming weeks, consists of interviews with leaders of nonprofit organizations in the local Philadelphia region.
“These interviews will give airtime to nonprofits in Philadelphia neighborhoods, especially those with modest budgets, whose voices are muted because they are often understaffed and not equipped to mount effective campaigns to reach their target audiences,” the “Good Morning, Neighbors” website explains.
The idea for the project originated from WKDU’s status as a nonprofit radio station. Essentially, in the time where for-profit radio stations air advertisements, WKDU airs Public Service Announcements (PSAs). The radio station recently recorded 16 PSAs from 13 nonprofits, which play at regular intervals in place of advertisements. Lawrence Souder, the host of the new series, claims that these PSAs led to a conversation between WKDU, Drexel Edits and the Lindy Center about how WKDU could further dedicate time to helping nonprofit organizations. From this conversation, “Good Morning, Neighbors” was born.
“[Souder] contacted me and Chris Burrell, the electronic director at WKDU as well as a professor in the Lebow College of Business, with his ideas for a radio program involving Philadelphia nonprofit organizations,” junior Electrical Engineering major Esmail Hamidi, General Manager of WKDU, said in an email interview. Hamidi and Souder then came together to finalize the details before recording the series itself.
“We hope ‘Good Morning, Neighbors’ will provide a voice for the nonprofit organizations in [their] neighborhood and raise awareness of the city’s nonprofit sector in general,” Souder, who is also an associate teaching professor and the director of Drexel Edits, said in an email interview.
“For a lot of busy Drexel students, myself included, it’s hard to find time to get involved in the community. But it’s very rewarding and a great opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise encounter in school or at work,” Hamidi added.
The pilot run of the series, which aired its first episode March 28 at 9 a.m., will include interviews with representatives from the Wright Recreation Center, ACHIEVEability, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, Urban Tree Connection, and Action for Higher Learning.
“I am gearing up to invite interested parties to support an ongoing and more frequent series of broadcast interviews for the fall of 2016,” Souder replied when asked if the series would continue following its five-episode pilot run. He also suggested the possibility of replacing his position as host with a co-op student if the project should continue. In the future, Souder hopes to hold several episodes either as live broadcasts or in the presence of real audiences composed of community members.
The next episode will feature ACHIEVEability, a West Philadelphia nonprofit looking to help ease the cycle of poverty. It is slated to air April 11 at 9 a.m. exclusively on WKDU.