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YWCA Rhode Island Launches ‘She Shines’ Radio Program

Monday, September 09, 2013


YWCARI has launched YW She Shines Radio to better represent women in the community and in the media.

With a goal of increasing female representation and perspective in the media, YWCA Rhode Island has launched YW She Shines Radio, a new half-hour program that will be broadcast on Saturdays at 10 a.m. on radio station WOON 1240.

Designed to be informative and entertaining, the radio program builds on the success of YWCA’s print and online publication, YW She Shines Magazine, which has been covering stories about the aspirations and accomplishments of women since its founding in 2005. YWCA also has a presence on social media including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

The radio program is produced by YWCARI staff, including Deborah L. Perry, president and CEO; Lisa Piscatelli, director of community outreach and special events; and Clara Schwager, public relations manager. Meghan Grady, COO, is the host.

At the kickoff event Sept. 5 at the radio station, 985 Park Ave., Perry spoke about tapping into the power of the media. “Media has the power to educate, effect social change and determine the political policies and elections that shape our lives.”

“Our work in diversifying the media landscape is critical to the health of our culture and democracy,” she added, citing statistics that show a male dominance in the media despite being in a nation that is 51 percent female.

Addressing the issues

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBS RI) has signed on as the presenting sponsor of YW She Shines Radio, and the first six broadcasts will focus on public health issues affecting the northern Rhode Island community. The seventh program will look at healthcare reform and what the changes will mean to Rhode Islanders.

Carolyn Belisle, director of corporate social responsibility and community relations for BCBS RI, noted that the health insurance company’s “Let’s Do This Together” radio spots will be broadcast on the program. These segments are designed to help Rhode Islanders navigate the healthcare system brought about by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Office of Women’s Health of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services also is a sponsor.

Other speakers at the kickoff event were Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine and radio station owner Dave Richards.

Fontaine noted, “YWCA has taken a vital role in addressing the needs of women in this community. I thank and congratulate YWCA on this and all you do.” YWCA Rhode Island is headquartered in the city at 514 Blackstone St.; it also has facilities in Central Falls and Providence.

Richards picked up on the female representation theme by pointing out that WOON Radio was the first radio station in Rhode Island to hire a female sales manager, the second most important post at the station, in 1963. Rory Theriault worked in that post until 1982. The station also was the first to hire a female, Kim Tunnicliffe, as a play-by-play announcer for football games. Tunnicliffe now works at Boston-based WBZ.

See dates, guests and topics for the initial programs below.

Sept. 14: Aida Manduley from Sojourner House of Rhode Island talks about sexual health and education and about preventing date violence and LGBT partner abuse.

Sept. 21: Nancy Rafi explains the Silent Witness Project and the work of the Rhode Island Crisis Assistance Center.

Sept. 28: Carmen Recalde-Russo and Kathy McCormack, members of Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships, a task force of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, talk about overcoming domestic abuse and opportunities for survivors to get involved with the task force.

Oct. 5: Deb DeBare, executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, speaks about policy priorities and what the coalition hopes to achieve in 2014 at the State House.

Oct. 12: Toby Simon, director of the Gertrude Meth Hochberg Women’s Center at Bryant University, Smithfield, addresses violence and sexual assault on college campuses.

Oct. 19: Monica Neronha, vice president for legal services for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island discusses the Affordable Care Act and what it means to Rhode Islanders.


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