May 31, 2020
KBBF’s Director of Programming Edgar Avila and Board President Alicia Sanchez oversee a dedicated group of volunteers who ensure that vital information is communicated to the community of listeners during this time. The public affairs programming reaches most of Northern California via an enviable transmitter site on the peak of Mt. St. Helena.
Avila points out, “Our programming is as diverse as our audience, but our most important work is to provide critical lifesaving information to the most underserved populations in our communities, especially those who don’t speak English.”
The station’s emergency broadcasting during the 2017 and 2019 fires earned global accolades for service to not only the Spanish-speaking communities, but also to indigenous communities — there are thousands of listeners who speak Triqui, Mixteco, or Chatino. For many of these people, there is no source of local information in their language other than KBBF.
Avila explains, “KBBF is the medium by which the authorities, local government, agencies, and nonprofits choose to disseminate their emergency information. Our volunteer programmers, who are themselves members of these communities, also provide cultural context, more nuanced translation, and national and international news that is critical to understanding any emergency situation.”
One shining example of this groundbreaking coverage is KBBF’s latest program, “Tardes con Dr. Valdovinos.” This mental health show is broadcast in Spanish and has already garnered the attention of local media. Reporting for the Press Democrat, Hannah Beausang chronicled psychologist Dr. Valdovinos’ background and career. He grew up in rural Guerneville, the son of Mexican immigrants. His experiences informed his choice of a career focusing on supporting people who have suffered trauma or who struggle with depression. At Santa Rosa Community Health clinics, he oversees the integrated behavioral health program and treats many Latino patients.
The show’s moderator, Rafael Vazquez, is also an influential figure, with his own KBBF program. In the Press Democrat article, he underscored the importance of discussing mental health issues on the radio. “It’s making it more comfortable for people to feel understood. Instead of just doing one-on-one therapy conversations, we’re reaching thousands of people.”
Rafael Vázquez, published a book this fall to help migrant parents raise their kids in a country they didn’t grow up in. “Achieving Your Dreams” is only available in Spanish and focuses on the trauma many immigrant families endure when migrating to the U.S.
There is more in the works for helping KBBF listeners through these challenging times. Alicia Sanchez shares, “We also are doing new Informed KBBF programs on the impact of COVID-19 on housing, farmworkers, parents, students, etc.” This show airs Fridays at 6pm.
Join la comunidad of KBBF listeners and supporters. Visit the www.KBBF.org website and opt for a monthly donation or a one-time gift. GRACIAS!
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