Local that Works

Local that Works is an annual contest that spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations, and nonprofit news organizations in the U.S.

Explore the curated LTW database of 350+ projects. Entries from the 2020 contest will be added to this database this fall.

Tips on using the database: If viewing this on a computer, all projects are listed in the left column. Click on a project name and its longer profile will appear in the right column. If viewing on mobile, clicking on a project name will load the full listing on your screen.

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To see previous Local that Works contest winners, finalists and semi-finalists, click on green, purple or orange tags and our judges’ favorite projects will show up in the left column.

Get inspired!

5 results found.

Resettled

VPM

Resettled is a six-part podcast series that explores the complex resettlement process through the perspectives of refugees. The podcast team included two former journalists from Afghanistan and a poet and social entrepreneur from Iraq who had experienced resettlement themselves and offered valuable insight. Working with local nonprofits, VPM held a series of storytelling workshops in the community, and recorded at booths during international festivals around the state.

Radio Milwaukee – Grace Weber’s Music Lab

WYMS 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Grace Weber’s Music Lab (GWML) is a free monthly music education program and talent accelerator for Milwaukee area high schoolers, providing opportunities to refine performance skills; build connections between engaged and talented young people; expose participants to the multiple career opportunities available in creative industries; and to participate in performances and talks by professional musicians, entertainment industry professionals and artists. This program is critical to meeting the growing and changing needs of our city and youth – Grace Weber’s Music Lab reaches kids with art forms that are increasingly relevant and central to their lives, including diverse music from hip-hop to alternative to spoken word.

Valley PBS Local Learning

KVPT Valley PBS

In partnership with Fresno Unified School District, the 3rd largest in the state of California and a district with 90% economically disadvantaged and diverse students living below the poverty line without equal access to online learning, Valley PBS created an on-air program from 8am – 9am each day that targets Literacy Lessons for K, 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders and is taught by FUSD teachers. Students have been able to learn and review fundamentals over-the-air, streaming on Facebook Live daily and on the website since June and lessons are translated into Spanish and Hmong as well; the program has just been extended until December 18th and expanded to include Pre-K and T-K lessons.

Resettled

VPM
2020
Joint Licensee
Angela Massino
amassino@vpm.org

Before the 2016 election, the plight of refugees was barely talked about or covered in local news. Sparked by the travel ban, xenophobia, and increased immigration enforcement, Virginians suddenly wanted to know about refugees: Who are they, and how does resettlement work?

A staff person at a resettlement agency recounted how after the 2016 Presidential election, the steady flow of new refugees slowed to a trickle. The stories of refugees needed to be told. VPM decided to launch a podcast with a new model that included the community in every step of the process in order to create a powerful and meaningful product. To do this, VPM needed to establish authentic relationships where everyone feels invested.

To get started, we hired as project advisors two former journalists who had recently resettled in Virginia. Zarmina Wahidi and Nazir Afzali brought with them their rich experience working in Afghanistan as reporters, fixers, and translators. When Zarmina stepped into our studio, she shared memories of being the first woman in her family to have a professional job. She had worked for the BBC as a voice actress. In the last episode of Resettled, she provided the voice-over for a mother who shared her excitement about the freedom of owning her own car.

We sought out poet and social entrepreneur Ahmed Badr, who resettled from Iraq, to be our host and producer. His other projects include Narratio and Unpacked: Refugee Baggage, which amplify stories of displaced people.Along with building relationships with individuals, we connected with nonprofits like ReEstablish Richmond and the Peer Leader Group at Harrisonburg High School. Together, we organized two storytelling workshops: one for adults, the other for high school students. We also recorded stories on-site at the Festival of Cultures in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg International Festival, and World Refugee Day in Richmond.

Through active community-building, we learned from refugees about the issues they face and the complexities of the resettlement process. We built trust within a community we rarely accessed before this project.

Impact: The series launched in July 2020 and was met with high-acclaim from immigrant- and minority-led podcasts like Kerning Cultures, Immigrantly, and Subtitle. Along with promotional plugs, thoughtful reviews like this one from Subtitle reinforced our original intent:

“Listening to Resettled is like flipping the lens on America. All of the absurd contradictions come into focus. And it is the refugees asking the questions; they seem like the sensible ones. They are humanized here, quite the counterweight to how they have been portrayed by some in the corridors of power.”

Since the podcast launched, it has been downloaded over 45K times, reached 50K people on social media, was featured on Apple Podcasts.

More importantly, though, is the feedback we’ve received from participants. Fatimah, one young workshop participant, said Resettled inspired her to join her university’s newspaper. A former intern is now working full-time for ReEstablish Richmond. And Dadi Neopaney, a refugee from Bhutan, sent a text message after listening to the Jobs episode. She wrote: “Cried, what a great podcast.” THIS is impact.

https://vpm.org/resettled