FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2014
Alissa Escarce, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM)
María de Jesús Gómez, Radio Bilingüe
Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. and Radio Bilingüe Launch Collaboration on New Radio Series, “Voy Contratado: Migrant Rights on Radio”
Radio Bilingüe, the Latino public radio network, and Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (CDM), the transnational workers’ rights organization, have launched their first partnership. In close collaboration with CDM, Radio Bilingüe will produce “Voy Contratado: Migrant Rights on Radio,” which will explore the experiences and promote the rights of transnational migrant workers through Spanish-language news reports, talk shows, and educational announcements.
Every year, over 100,000 international guest workers travel to the United States to fill temporary jobs through the H-2 visa program. The vast majority of these men and women are recruited from Mexico. They perform grueling jobs in agriculture, construction, seafood processing, and other low-wage industries. With few resources for upholding their rights, transnational workers frequently experience recruitment fraud, wage theft, and unsafe working conditions. Many rely on radio as their main source of information.
With “Voy Contratado,” CDM and Radio Bilingüe will join forces to fill gaps in the information available to transnational migrants over radio. With over 30 years of experience creating radio programming that has informed, engaged, and improved the lives of low-wage migrant workers, Radio Bilingüe already facilitates essential conversations about workers’ rights across borders. CDM has worked for years to improve conditions within H-2 visa programs, organizing and providing legal support to men and women who have experienced abuse while working as landscapers, crab pickers, carnival workers, and more. The organizations will bring together their areas of expertise to create innovative programming that will allow Spanish-, Mixtec-, and Triqui-speaking workers to engage directly with government officials, policymakers, and one another. “This series will help empower workers to make informed decisions and participate in the political processes that impact their lives,” says Rachel Micah-Jones, Executive Director of CDM.
July programs in the “Voy Contratado” series include on-air conversations between low-wage workers and U.S. Department of Labor representatives; discussions of human trafficking within the United States’ crab industry; opportunities for former H-2B landscapers to collect unpaid wages; and more. Programming is available at the links below and on Radio Bilingüe’s stations and affiliates.
Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM) envisions a world where migrant workers’ rights are respected and laws and policies reflect their voices. CDM empowers Mexico-based migrant workers to defend and protect their rights as they move between their home communities in Mexico and their workplaces in the United States through education, outreach, and leadership development; intake, evaluation, and referral services; litigation support and direct representation; and policy advocacy. Read more about CDM at www.cdmigrante.org.
Radio Bilingüe is the leading Latino public radio network and content producer for the nation’s public broadcasting system. Headquartered in Fresno and Oakland, California, Radio Bilingüe owns and operates 13 of its own full-power FM non-commercial stations in California and the Southwest and produces the first – and only – daily national Spanish-language news and public affairs programs in public broadcasting. About 100 affiliate stations throughout the U.S. and Mexico carry the award-winning journalism of Radio Bilingüe’s Noticiero Latino news show and Línea Abierta call-in talk show.
Funding for the “Voy Contratado” series is provided in part by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.