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Feminista Frequencies: Community Building Through Radio in the Yakama Valley

by Monica De La Torre Author

In the 1970s, Chicana and Chicano activists living in the United States sought ways to organize and connect Spanish-speaking communities across the country. However, due to the rural and agrarian surroundings that many Spanish-speaking migrant farmworkers lived in, the distances and long hours associated with traveling to these groups made organizing difficult. That's when Radio KDNA came onto the scene. In 1979 in the Yakama Valley in Washington state, when they began broadcasting, the airwaves were filled with agribusiness talking points. A radio station by, for, and about migrant workers was a revolutionary concept. In Feminista Frequencies, author Monica De La Torre speaks with Chicana and Chicano producers, on-air announcers, station managers, technical directors, and listeners who made Radio KDNA a reality. Weaving oral histories together, De La Torre tells the story of how radio enabled a huge swath of workers and activists in the Northwest to come together, and how women played a central role in facilitating that community space. A powerful book on the formation of a social movement and the new media technologies that helped it happen.