One America - Shades of L.A.

Program: Shades of L.A., Pasadena, CA
Contact(s): Ilsa Setziol, producer, KPCC-FM: (626) 585-7564
Purpose: To use radio to elicit a conversation on race

Background Program Operations Outcomes


Broadcast for the first time on October 11, 1995, "Shades of L.A." was heard across Los Angeles County by more than 30,000 people. That broadcast was the beginning of a weekly series of nine live, town-hall shows intended to bring together Southern Californians from many ethnic backgrounds for dialogue. The program was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Program Operations

"Shades of L.A." is intended to bring people who would not normally have access to media together to discuss issues important to their community. Each program begins with a 10-minute audio documentary that serves as a conversation starter. Topic questions are then asked and discourse among the audience, scholarly guests and listeners follow. Listeners play an active role in discussing race relations in Los Angeles, and they discuss what methods are available to improve these relations.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

Since the program started, the audience has continually grown. Up to 200 people have participated in one broadcast. The success of this program has prompted its expansion. In 1996, two similar programs were broadcast by students from the Pasadena City College and plans are underway for a national version of this program.

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