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Message from the Board Chair

Here in western New England, WGBY is fortunate to have a viewing membership that can be broadly described with two key characteristics: thoughtful and culturally diverse. These attributes offer a symbiotic relationship—simply put, we’re at the same time both curious and interesting.

Now consider the goal of public media:  “To inform, educate, enlighten, and enrich the public and help inform  civil discourse essential to American society.”  Were it not for the varied perspectives of our viewing membership, there would be no civil discourse for WGBY to inform. And were it not for viewing membership’s thirst for knowledge, there would be no benefit in supplying that information. I feel lucky here in western New England. Our public television station is supported by many different types of people, all sharing a common interest in expanding awareness and understanding.

This month, it’s the return of Presencia, WGBY’s bilingual (Spanish-English) show that explores our local Latino community. It’s the only bilingual public TV show in the country, and it’s being produced right here in Springfield. This program is important because, according to census data, the nearby cities of Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee have Latino population rates as high as 40 percent.

Then, WGBY hosts a thoughtful forum on the subject of race relations right here in our region. I’m eager to tune in for some frank discussion. February is Black History Month, too. So, I’ll be keeping an eye out for  PBS programming that facilitates discussion about the African American experience.

For example, The Talk: Race in America looks at parents of color and how their children are taught to present themselves if stopped by police officers. In addition, American Masters presents its first documentary feature about the incomparable Dr. Maya Angelou, a legendary American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist.   

We’re not just celebrating differences here at WGBY; we’re reflecting it in our content—content that you make possible with your ongoing support.

Crist Myers Chair,
WGBY Board of Tribunes