KKFI is a local, non-commercial, community-based radio station and the upcoming Crossroads Music Festival host. They are made up of four full-time employees, over 200 volunteers, and thousands of listeners! KKFI started broadcasting as a 100,000-watt FM station on 90.1 on the FM dial in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1988. One of the founders, Tom Crane, put together a website detailing the station’s origins if you would like to learn more.
The mission of KKFI is to “stimulate, educate and entertain” their audience. They strive to reflect the diversity of the local and world community by providing a channel for individuals, groups, issues, and music that have been “overlooked, suppressed or under-represented by other media.” They strive to maintain a work environment that shares mutual respect and collaboration among volunteers and staff and values diversity in programming and discourse.
KKFI’s Commitment to Free Speech
Being a community radio station, KKFI reflects the diversity of the community. This means that there are opportunities to disagree with each other. However, KKFI is fundamentally committed to entirely free and open discussion and will not suppress voices even if there is disagreement. They hold the principle quoted from Evelyn Beatrice Hall, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Racial Justice Initiative
The KKFI Racial Justice Initiative is the newest addition to how KKFI strives to uphold its mission. It is a creative, collaborative resource for challenging the status quo and elevating Black and allied voices to propel change. They are seeking to serve as a community resource for unpacking and addressing systemic racism. They also ensure that KKFI operates with the highest attention and adherence to the best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Some of the features in the RJI initiative include their monthly radio show, “Stand Up!” Their other show, Ebony’s Bones, is a “kitchen table conversation that explores the souls of black folk as they decolonize and question everything that we’ve been told to believe.” Ebony’s Bones is hosted by Ebony M. Johnson along with historian and professor AJ Lowe. On their site, they also provide a list of resources in the Kansas City area that promotes racial justice.
Crossroads Music Festival
Crossroads Music Festival is a fundraiser for KKFI and is happening on September 11th from 1 pm-2 am. Since its inception in 2005, CMFKC has featured over 100 bands and attracted thousands of people to the Crossroads Art District in downtown Kansas City, a thriving community boasting over 100 galleries and specialty shops as well as a multitude of locally-owned restaurants.
Designed to showcase the best in Kansas City’s music, arts, and dance scene, CMFKC provides opportunities for community members of all ages to support its local artists and celebrate Kansas City’s cultural diversity. To see the lineup of over 30 artists across seven stages in the crossroads area, check out their site and get your tickets! You must RSVP to attend. They will also have free events throughout the day, like the Day Party at Record Bar and the City of Drums Kickoff Party. In addition, they will be live streaming the entire event through their station.
Here at Community Lending of America, we are so excited to sponsor this event and support KKFI as a station. We hope to see you there community!
To learn more visit kkfi.org