R.I.P. Dr. John Warfield

RECEIVED Mon., Oct. 29, 2007

Hello friends,
    The sad news of KAZI's Dr. John Warfield's passing away reached me at the AMARC community-radio conference here in Rabat, Morocco. (AMARC is the Canadian nongovernmental organization that serves as the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters.)
    I too consider myself as part of the larger KAZI family. I was just one of scores of Austinites who crowded into the original KAZI air room, when the "Voice of Austin" signed on to Austin airwaves at 88.7FM for the very first time.
    I know firsthand that the station was the result of the tireless work of the Warfields and many others in Austin's African-American community. The station really struggled during its earliest years but never faltered.
    Now the station is very much the Voice of Austin; with strong management, a great range of programming not heard elsewhere on the radio dial, and significant community support.
    While hardly the only successful project of the Warfields, KAZI will certainly be one their most public, valuable, and enduring legacies.
    Since my early days on KAZI, I have helped carry the banner of community radio, putting KOOP on the air, working with survivors in New Orleans' Ninth Ward, and evacuees in the Houston Astrodome. I have now traveled even farther from the Lone Star State, working on a radio theatre project at a community radio station in Mozambique and this week working with nongovernmental organizations, media, and human rights groups here in the Middle East/North Africa region. "KAZI," by the way, equates to the Swahili word for "work."
    I will return to Austin knowing that one of the founders, one of the visionaries of community radio, has passed on to the airwaves.
Thank you, John Warfield,
Jim Ellinger
Rabat, Morocco
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