The mission of KWSI-LP 100.3 Radio is to connect and empower underserved community members and organizations by providing opportunities and resources to enhance education and to inspire community engagement, action, and volunteerism.
1. Providing the public with diverse and inclusive programming that is fact-based, scientifically sound, and non-partisan is a duty of KWSI-LP Radio.
2. Inspiring social and environmental responsibility is critical for the sustainability of the earth and must be routine in the activities of KWSI-LP Radio.
3. Empowering youth to make decisions and resolve the issues affecting them is fundamental for long-term, sustainable solutions.
4. Listening, awareness, and understanding happen best in an environment of optimism, civility, and inclusivity.
5. Creating a culture of cooperation and collaboration among diverse populations shall be integral to KWSI-LP Radio’s operations.
On March 1, 2021, KWSI-LP 100.3 Radio celebrated 4 years of service to Grand Junction and Mesa County, Colorado. Operated entirely by volunteers, the station broadcasts local and syndicated news, information, and entertainment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The idea for building a community radio station began in 2013 with an out-of-the-blue email from a stranger who thought that the Grand Valley needed a low-powered radio station (LPFM). Once Grand Valley Peace & Justice understood what an LPFM was, it was obvious that the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build an LPFM community radio station could not be squandered. With more than 25 years of social justice work and advocacy for marginalized groups, including people without houses, immigrants, migrant workers, and other vulnerable populations, Grand Valley Peace & Justice was perfectly suited to create a platform that could empower the people they’d been serving all along.
The LP in its name means that KWSI-LP 100.3 Radio is part of a unique class of radio stations called LPFM’s (low-powered fm). With FCC rules requiring LPFM’s to remain small, the station can never exceed 100 watts, while full-powered commercial stations may have 100,000 watts or more. The station actually operates from a 10-foot roof-mounted antenna! That doesn’t matter, though, since Grand Junction is well within its coverage area. Plus, KWSI-LP 100.3 Radio provides live streaming, so important news and information is never really out of range.
There have only ever been two opportunities to acquire LPFM radio licenses, the second of which was in 2013. Grand Valley Peace & Justice learned about the existence of LPFM’s just two weeks before applications for construction permits to build the radio stations were due. Volunteers scrambled to submit an application and were granted an FCC construction permit a year later. It took three years of hard work, but the station was finally ready to go on-air in 2017.
Grand Valley Peace & Justice started KWSI-LP 100.3 Radio with the intention of eventually spinning it off to a nonprofit that could focus specifically on radio operations. Community Resources for Action, Volunteerism & Education (CRAVE) incorporated in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) to work in partnership with GVPJ until the new nonprofit was able to operate the station independently of GVPJ. In June 2020, the FCC granted approval to transfer the KWSI-LP Radio’s license from GVPJ to CRAVE.
Under CRAVE, KWSI-LP 100.3 Radio continues to operate with the same Mission and Guiding Principles as always. In the 3 years that the station has been on-air, volunteers have produced several local shows, covering mental health, community matters, history, voter services, social justice, local music, and sports. Dozens of local nonprofits and community leaders have shared their resources and news on KWSI-LP’s airwaves. Youth voices have been a station priority, so local students have produced their own shows and interviewed community leaders and experts on a a broad array of subjects. As an affiliate of Pacifica Network, the station also broadcasts a several popular syndicated shows, including Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! and David Barsamian’s Alternative Radio, as well as daily science and mental health shows.
KWSI-LP 110.3 Radio relies on the financial support of individuals and businesses to fund our programs and to provide production studios for local volunteers to produce their own shows and learn radio and business management skills.