Lakeshore PBS Recognized by Indiana Broadcasters Association with Community Service Award for Town Hall Events on Race and Policing
July 25, 2017
Lakeshore PBS was recognized by the Indiana Broadcasters Association with its inaugural Cardinal Community Service Award for its efforts to create community conversations throughout the northwest Indiana region.
“We encouraged stations to apply for this new award so the IBA and the rest of the state can recognize and learn more about the committed work you are doing in your communities every day,” said IBA Executive Director Dave Arland. The IBA established the Cardinal Community Service Awards to recognize outstanding achievements by Indiana stations that impact its listening and viewing areas.
Lakeshore PBS, located in Merrillville, Indiana, partnered with the City of Gary and the Urban League of Northwest Indiana to host its first town hall event titled Race, Justice, Community and Policing, a free public forum that explored the role of race in policing efforts across the diverse Northwest Indiana communities. The first town hall meeting took place on Aug. 30, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Genesis Convention Center in Gary, Indiana.
Additional events were produced with help from the NWI Coalition for Civil Discourse, a group comprised of partners from the government, non-profit, education and corporate sectors committed to furthering dialogue for the public good. The NWI Coalition for Civil Discourse includes the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, Valparaiso University, Lakeshore Public Media, the City of Valparaiso and the City of Gary, with support from NIPSCO and other community organizations
The second event in the series was held on Nov. 28, 2016 and hosted by Valparaiso University, with a third event was held at the Michigan City High School on Apr. 11, 2017. The meetings were moderated by Dr. Garrard McClendon, a native of Northwest Indiana and host of Lakeshore’s public affairs show, CounterPoint with Garrard McClendon.
James A. Muhammad, President and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media, welcomed the opportunity to participate in these community conversation. “The purpose of the town halls is to get these conversations started to prevent incidents that have happened nationally from happening here in Northwest Indiana,” Muhammad said at the start of the town hall. “Our goal is to convene an honest dialogue with the community and with government officials and law enforcement,” Muhammad stated.
The panelists at each event included representatives from law enforcement and government officials as well as representatives from community groups and faith-based organizations. The group answered questions from a wide range of citizens across Northwest Indiana in sessions that went over the original two hour schedule. The first hour of each forum was recorded, and aired the following night on Lakeshore PBS.
Matt Franklin, the program’s producer and Vice President of TV Operations of Lakeshore Public Media, tried to bring together panelists and audience members to “engage in honest communication. We needed to hear multiple points of view on these topics – that is the key to having a civil discussion.”
The IBA Cardinal Community Service Award winners were announced earlier this month and ceremonies for the district winners will be held throughout August in each of the nine Indiana Congressional Districts. The District 1 ceremony will be held on Monday, August 14 at noon at the Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton.