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WTJU studio. Photo: J. Waits

College Radio Watch: WTJU to Air “Community Healing” Broadcast in Charlottesville

My thoughts keep turning to Charlottesville, where a series of white supremacist events last Friday and Saturday led to violence, injuries and three deaths. It was brought closer to home when I learned that a WTJU volunteer, Tyler Magill, suffered a stroke that may have been precipitated by being hit in the neck by a torch during Friday night’s white nationalist march.

The Washington Post writes:

[WTJU General Manager Nathan] Moore said Magill is a well-liked, colorful character ‘and smart. … He very much is a presence, and one that fundamentally is for making this a better place to live.

‘He hosts a free-form show that is both an amazing and, at times, challenging experience,’ Moore said of the radio program, which ranges from rock into many musical genres and sometimes, simply, sounds. ‘I’ve heard a recording of woodpeckers on the show,’ he said, laughing, and remembers a time when he played two hours of frog sounds.”

An online fundraiser has already raised more than $100,000 to assist with Magill’s recovery and medical expenses.

To help both the city of Charlottesville and University of Virginia process last weekend’s events, University of Virginia’s college/community radio station WTJU is doing a special broadcast tomorrow: “Gather Round Cville.” In advance of the program, the station is inviting the public to call in and answer the question, “If you could say one thing to help Charlottesville residents heal from trauma, what would you say?” Those with a message of support or a story to tell can call today and leave a message.

According to WTJU:

As the City of Charlottesville and University of Virginia continue to process the tragic and abhorrent actions of the weekend of August 12th and beyond, WTJU will air ‘Gather Round Cville.’ This special broadcast will air from 12-9 p.m. this Saturday, August 19, focusing especially on community healing, understanding, and next steps for our community.

WTJU invites the public to call (434) 218-3329. The station is seeking experiences, stories, thoughts on healing, or other comments. These comments might air during Saturday’s broadcast.

In particular, WTJU is looking for stories from people with a first-hand connection to events over the weekend, a connection to post-trauma healing, and/or connection to thoughtful ways of helping us understand.”

I hope this special helps provide an outlet for those grappling with this week’s events in Charlottesville. Even though I’m thousands of miles away, I’ve been closely following the first-hand accounts and am shocked and saddened by the displays of racism, antisemitism, and violence. In March, I visited Charlottesville for the first time and was welcomed with open arms and warm hospitality by folks at University of Virginia and WTJU. I traversed many of the places where months later horrific incidents occurred and it breaks my heart that hatred came to this community.

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