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Letter to the Editor: An apology from WCBN

BY WCBN-FM EXECUTIVE STAFF

Published November 19, 2008

The WCBN-FM executive staff would like to publicly apologize for the racial insensitivity of the cover art featured on the station’s Fall 2008 Program Guide.

As a free-form student radio station dedicated to serving the greater Ann Arbor community, WCBN takes pride in the diversity of its programming and staff. By distributing promotional materials that unintentionally perpetuated offensive imagery, WCBN made the grievous error of misrepresenting itself. The exaggerated illustration on our program guide sent the wrong message to the University community. As a staff, we aim to encourage and support voices from diverse racial backgrounds, so we deeply regret that one of our promotional materials featured offensive imagery.

The program guide was created and distributed with absolutely no malicious intent on the part of its cover artist, editor or the WCBN community at large. However, mere good intentions provide no consolation or justification for the deeply troubling examples of institutionalized racism present in the program guide’s artwork. WCBN recognizes this, and its members believe that overcoming racism — both at personal and institutional levels — is a responsibility of all human beings. WCBN recognizes the problem of the program guide and would continually like to be part of its solution.

To this end, remaining copies of the program guide were recalled indefinitely on Oct. 28. The executive staff would like to offer our most sincere thanks to everyone in the Ann Arbor community, particularly the Students of Color of Rackham, who took the time to step forward and offered their opinions on this issue.

This letter was written on behalf of the WCBN-FM executive staff.


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