Longtime WYEP host/producer Wrett Weatherspoon presented Taj Mahal at the 2023 Three Rivers Arts Festival finale. Suffice it to say that he delivered one of the most wonderful introductions that I can remember, by him or anyone else. He was impassioned about Taj, but he also celebrated the mission of his station. Heck, he made me proud to have been with 91.3 for almost two decades.
I felt good about something else. Yours truly, as Wrett’s only co-person-of-color behind a WYEP mic, picked an opportune time in 2020 to offer clear, easily achievable suggestions to management on embracing a more diverse audience. Notably, several weeks before my ’22 departure, I compiled those items plus newer thoughts in a final email to the relatively new WYEP/WESA DEI committee. For the purposes of what I write here, the most relevant suggestion was this:
“During TRAF, for African American-focused events such as India.Aire, ask an AA host to introduce”
As it turned out, a WYEP staffer who was assigned to that very task spotted me in the crowd and asked if I would like to step in. I was thrilled, believing the “chocolaty wave” that filled Point State Park on 6/7/19 might start tuning in more if someone who looked like India and them stepped up. Soul Show? There’s a Soul Show?
When Wrett was assigned to close TRAF this year, it felt as though WYEP had actually caught my meaning. If they figured it out on their own, that’s even better, because it means there’s a self-motivated culture shift in the organization. Yayyyyyy either way. On top of it, 91.3 may have discovered its greatest spokesperson. Wrett is king.