Fusion Youth Radio (FYR) features young people making their voices a part of history through creative, youth-produced media. FYR is rooted in the idea that all of us deserve opportunities to tell our stories in our own words. We believe that young people must work together to take on active roles in shaping the futures of our communities. Our name honors the legacy of the Fusion politics movement of North Carolina in the 1890s, a bi-racial coalition that gained power across the state before coming to a violent end at the hands of white supremacists in 1898. We seek to bring together youth with many backgrounds to create the sort of community that not even the “Fusionists” imagined.

FYR broadcasts live every third Sunday during the school year on WXYC 89.3 FM from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Fusion Youth Radio (FYR) takes its name from the coalition of populists and the Black Republican party that gained the North Carolina legislature in 1894 and 1896 and the governorship in 1896.  As a result, Blacks gained voting rights and historic, governing  positions, particularly in eastern NC.  In 1898, just after election of a Fusionist white mayor and biracial town council in Wilmington, NC, white Southern Democrats seized power of the government and unleashed the infamous Wilmington Massacre, in which as many as 60 Black residents were killed and many of the homes and businesses built up since Reconstruction were destroyed.  In the face of the success of fusion politics in North Carolina, the new government put a stranglehold on Black citizenship, establishing Jim Crow legislation that  would repeal voting rights, segregate public places, and support violent disenfranchisement from jobs and government.

Today, fusion politics are gaining new ground in North Carolina under the leadership of Reverend William Barber, chair of the NC NAACP and visionary catalyst of the Forward Together Movement.  FYR aims to engage a multi-racial alliance of youth in using critical media skills to raise race consciousness and to address matters of black life locally and regionally.

FYR gives youth the opportunities to work with professionals in media and Black history as well.  We support participants with project mentors, access to audio documentary production equipment, workshop training in interviewing, beat-making, and reporting, a live broadcast partnership with WXYC, and the skills necessary to submit audio-docs to Public Radio Exchange (PRX) for national distribution.

When is FYR

FYR will be hosted by the Chapel Hill Teen Center and Blackspace Chapel Hill (179 E. Franklin St.) Tuesday and Thursday 4:30 to 6:00 p.m during the 2016-2017 school year.

How Long is FYR

FYR produces 6 live radio programs in a nine-month/academic year period (with full programs in November, December January, February, March, April, and May). In “off” months and in the period leading up to each live program, participants will develop focus on relevant issues in Black Life and develop necessary the skills necessary to produce investigative report, interviews, short audio documentaries, production storyboards, and beats. We will build on each show by debriefing on substance, style, technique, identifying areas and plans for improvement, and pursuing further discussion of topics and questions raised.

To access our archive of youth-produced audiodocs and listen to past pieces, please click here.

Show themes include, but aren’t limited too: