Our Voices Radio: A distinctive Flint sounding board

FLINT, Michigan—Turn the dial to 92.1 and you will find radio that is uniquely and completely Flint.

Operated by Paul Herring—a longtime community supporter and organizer—the station broadcasts from the studio next door to Herring’s Carriage Town home. After a year and a half on the air, Our Voices Radio continues thriving and growing. 

Flint Our Voices (WFOV-FM) officially began broadcasting on May 24, 2016, with funds provided by Odyssey House, an addiction recovery organization that continues to function as the station's financial and legal authority. Anyone within about 10 miles (so the majority of Genesee County) can tune their radios to WFOV, but those elsewhere can hear a live online broadcast through its website

Expect the unexpected at WFOV, Herring says.

"You didn't know what was coming on next," says Herring. Our Voices Radio builds its diversity in music and discussion around an open attitude towards the community's own interests and concerns—and it openly rejects being predictable and being regulated. "It's an open soap box," says Herring. "Once you put a soap box out, I don't think you can put rules on it. If you post up rules on a soap box, it's not really a soap box, now, is it?"

The purpose is to “affect change” within the community, says Herring, who also helps organize Flint’s annual Juneteenth celebration and is easily recognizable around town in his custom, stretch Eldorado pickup.

 As for content, Voices Radio presents an open and rather odd array of programs. It includes interviews (and more) on “The Tom Sumner Program,” coverage of Flint City Council meetings, Sean Cantwell’s perspective on sports with “Arm-Chair Athletes,” party Blues accompanied by social and political views  “The Maurice Davis Show,” “Dr. Lee Bell’s Jazz Jacuzzi,” and  Herring’s own “Eclectic Mix” music. 

Herring also shares relevant testimony from individuals in recovery as part of Odyssey House’s mission in shows including “Shades of Grey” and “Recovery Radio.”

"Inspired," as Herring says, by the idea of radio that belongs to and nourishes the people of the immediate area, Our Voices Radio was designed to serve the community in a way that might render the station similar to the one seen in Spike Lee's 1989 film, “Do the Right Thing.”

WFOV continues to evolve. New shows will be added in the future, Herring said. A full program schedule also is available online.
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