*BREAKING* DC VOICE to co-host radio show


WPWC 1480 AM Launch Pilot Radio Program-The Education Town Hall- Takes to the Air,
11 a.m., Thursday, February 2, 2012

Washington, DC - Washington's progressive working class radio station, 1480 AM, announced today that its first pilot radio program-The Education Town Hall- will go live at 11a.m., Thursday, February 2, featuring local education advocates, Thomas Byrd and Jeff Smith of DC VOICE, as regular hosts of the weekly hour long series that sheds light on pressing education issues facing the District's students and families. The pilot will also feature monthly co-hosts from the Washington Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., The Columbia Heights Shaw Family Collaborative and the DC VOICE Youth Chapter. Focusing on all aspects of education reform, the program offers vital information to parents, students, school officials, community leaders, policy makers and concern citizens about getting involved in our youth's learning.

"It is a tremendous idea to have an education radio show," affirmed Deputy Mayor for Education, De'Shawn Wright. "We need to continue to have a conversation to give folks an opportunity to give feedback."

The Education Town Hall will inform and enlighten audiences with a provocative discussion on how proposed and existing strategies for transforming the current condition of public education in the District of Columbia. The Education Town Hall will launch principally as a talk radio show with a limited number of newsbreaks, interviews and special features. Listeners will have the opportunity to participate in the discussion via phone, Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday mornings with The Education Town Hall will begin with a week in review, which offers commentary on the latest issues and political news that affects D.C. education reform.  Local and national guests will engage in discussions while sharing with the listeners their views on specific aspects of education reform.

More about Thomas K. Byrd:

Thomas Byrd believes that advocating for quality education is not an act only limited to policy makers, non-profit organizations, parents and those in the education field. Education is the great equalizer among all distinctions in society, especially for people of color, and the entire community, even those like himself without children, should be engaged in education reform.

For three years, Byrd professionally served as the Ward 8 Parent Empowerment Specialist for the District of Columbia Parent Information Resource Center (DCPIRC) that is administered by the Multicultural Community Service and funded by a U.S. Department of Education Grant. There he helped schools to implement successful and effective parental involvement policies, programs, and activities that lead to improvements in student academic achievement.  Byrd has also participated as a discussion group member for both Mayor Fenty and Mayor Gray's education transition teams. Prior to that, he, along with other education advocates, was a member of an advisory group to former Superintendent Dr. Janey.

For many years Byrd has been a volunteer team leader and facilitator for DC VOICE.   DC VOICE addresses the interconnectedness of social and educational issues through broad-based community engagement.

More about Jeff Smith:

Jeff Smith is the Executive Director of DC VOICE, an independent non-profit based in Washington, DC.  DC VOICE was founded in 1999 by activists, teachers, parents and educational decision makers following the Federal takeover of the District of Columbia government and public school system which resulted in substantial leadership instability and spiraling academic performance. Since then, DC VOICE has produced reports on various areas of DC Public Schools and has organized the public for an annual community audit of school preparedness, which is now in its seventh year.

Smith received a Law Degree from Howard University School of Law and is a product of the District of Columbia Public School System.   He is a veteran of the United States Military and a former elected member of the District of Columbia Board of Education. Smith lives in the District of Columbia with his 5 year-old daughter, Andaiye.

Media Contact: Thomas K. Byrd, (240) 375-370


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