The “social justice and equity guys” at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton take to the airways every week to discuss social justice issues and political topics.
In-Lak’ech Radio Cosmico: A Discussion on Social Justice and Equity is recorded monthly, and the prerecorded episodes are broadcast every Tuesday at 3 p.m. on 93.5 KWDC and RadioFX. Topics include trying to define social justice, voting and social justice issues, social justice for victims of sexual assault, Thanksgiving issues, the migrant caravan, Martin Luther King Jr., white privilege, and Cesar Chavez. (“In-Lak’ech” is a Mayan greeting: “I am you, and you are me.”)
The hosts, all members of the San Joaquin Delta College Teachers Association, discuss issues based on their discipline. Ricardo Aguilar teaches Spanish and addresses issues from the perspective of how language and culture impact them. Mario Moreno teaches art and shares the visual arts perspective. Evan Wade teaches African American and U.S. history, and provides the historical perspective. Steve McCarty teaches business law and provides the legal perspective.
And they have a good time. Listeners enjoy and appreciate hearing the perspectives. The gentlemen say this project can and should be duplicated at community colleges across California. “There is power in community college radio,” says Wade. “It is good to have courageous conversations about issues we don’t always deal with every day.”
“This country was founded on ideas based on equality,” he adds. “One reason we are not prepared to talk about race, class and gender issues today is because we have such a narrow historical perspective. This show provides us opportunities to dialogue about issues of oppression and social justice, and how they impact us today.”
McCarty agrees. “Conversations like this put the ‘community’ in community college. It gives us opportunities to talk about state and national issues that have local implications.”
Aguilar came back from a CTA Equity and Human Rights Conference and asked his colleagues, who make up the SJDCTA Social Justice Committee, how they could truly share ideas about social justice issues.
Moreno says, “The radio show was an overdue idea we had been talking about for some time.” He contacted the radio and TV broadcasting department, and to his delight, “Adriana Brogger was excited by the proposal. You see, In-Lak’ech Radio Cosmico is really made possible because of faculty working together at Delta College.”
Indeed, the logo was created by graphic design faculty member Michael Oliva, who is also designing T-shirts. Students producing the radio show are enrolled in Adriana Brogger’s audio production classes.
Brogger is the first woman and person of color to be radio/television/multimedia associate professor and KWDC general manager. She says, “Podcasts and audio in today’s media resonate with students. And college radio is still live, and is one of the best places to exchange ideas and messages with the community.”
“Sometimes at community college there’s a disconnect between faculty, students and community. There aren’t many platforms to bring faculty, students and the community together to have courageous conversations,” says Wade. “We’re all impacted by different questions relating to social justice. Stockton is in the heart of San Joaquin County, and it gets distorted, negative publicity because of barriers our community members face. This is an out-of-classroom space that benefits faculty, students and the community.”
The #MeToo movement from a man’s perspective
The gentlemen brainstorm topics, taking turns facilitating the conversation. Some topics are personal, others academic. “What is social justice?” was the topic of the first radio program. The discussion centered on social justice issues arising when migrants cross the border and are separated from their families.
Wade picked the second topic: the #MeToo movement. Why? After Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, he says, “I wanted to have a dialogue around accusations and history of sexual terror and violence. It was interesting to have this all-male conversation about male conduct with and against women.”
They discussed how, in this and other countries, violence against women is historically given a pass. “We used the Kavanaugh situation as a case study of social justice. Is there due diligence by elected officials? How do politics get in the way of social justice and maintain oppression against individuals and voices? If there is someone on the local, state or national level who has a history of racism, sexism or other types of discrimination, how can we successfully deal with that?”
Future topics under consideration include prisons and incarceration issues, the legal justice system, and how flaws in the law don’t lead to social or moral justice. Education is also on the list, as they plan to examine institutional reasons the education system fails students, and how education can be a solution to social justice issue
Student executive producer Angel Lopez produced an online story about In-Lak’ech Radio Cosmico for a student-created program called Behind the Mic. Hear both programs and more college radio programing on the free RadioFX app, which is dedicated to college radio stations. Radio programs are also available on podcast and can be heard live. Listeners can call in and ask questions at 209-954-5526.
In-Lak’ech Radio Cosmico airs on KWDC-LPFM 93.5 Delta College Radio, a low-power FM radio station licensed to San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. Listen to the show at kwdc.fm/blank.