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Radio Engineer. Policy Advocate. Troublemaker...
February 22, 2013 / petri

Wow! My work on LPFM has been chosen for the Horace Mann Award from Antioch!

Hi friends:

I just wanted to share some very pleasant news that I just got.  I have been chosen as the recipient of the Horace Mann Award by the Antioch College Alumni Association.  Horace Mann was the first president of the college, and he was quoted as saying, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”  So the Horace Mann  prize goes to someone who has made a big impact for social change. It has been won by amazing people like Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Activist Coretta Scott King, anthropologist Clifford Geertz and one of my personal heroes, the paleontologist and science writer Steven Jay Gould.

Needless to say, I am flattered, humbled, thrilled and embarrassed by the honor, and totally unworthy of the company I have been thrust into. The passage of the Local Community Radio Act was an enormous collective achievement, not the work of one person. But I do want to take the opportunity of this recognition to celebrate  Antioch College’s amazing role as the incubator for so many who have had leadership roles in the world of media for social change.

I’ve had other alumni of Antioch as colleagues and collaborators such as Carol Pierson, DeeDee Halleck, Nan Rubin, Nick Szuberla, Rick Phaneuf, Helen Brunner— being an Antioch alumni in the world of community media is like being a member of a Masonic Secret Society. So many community media doors were opened for me when I said I went to Antioch. It’s almost like what happens on Wall Street when you say you went to Yale! When we launched Radio Mutiny, our collective included Antioch Alums Moira O’Keefe and Kathleen Harris. Throughout the years, the organization that we started, Prometheus Radio Project, had at least a dozen co-op students from Antioch, including Sarah Buckingham who is now at WYSO. Chris Hill introduced me to the radio activists who brought me and Danielle Chynoweth to Thailand and Burma. Before  I knew Hannah Sassaman, her Antioch alum twin sister Esther was working with a group of pirates in Rochester.  And I’ve been psyched to see the achievements in media and journalism by classmates like Sarolta Cump and Annia Ciezadlo. And the last tower I put up, I got to climb it and learn to run a backhoe with Adrienne Bauer! It’s kind of like I never left the college.

My Antioch experience and especially Bob Devine’s Media and Social Change class did so much to prepare me for the work I would do.  If you were a classmate of mine, you may remember that I was not even particularly focused on media at Antioch.  My concentration was Appropriate Technology.  But I came to understand the role of media at Antioch, so I  was well prepared when our band of activists recognized  the opportunity for a dramatic expansion of community participation on the FM dial. This years reunion also bears the great news of Antioch’s reacquisition of radio station WYSO, which was the training ground of so many great journalists and media activists, so this years reunion is ground zero for those of us who have worked for media and social change!

I’ll be receiving the award during the alumni reunion, from june 13th to june 16.

If you are involved in community media and an Antioch Alum, I hope you have a chance to come to this reunion and share in this recognition of what Antioch has done for media and social change. Or if you were a friend of mine from those years, and have been cautiously waiting ( like I have been) for a chance to check out what is going on with the new Antioch, here’s your excuse!

Pete Tridish ( the student formerly known as dylan wrynn, in the pre-pirate days!)