As Colorado’s African community grows, the needs of the community have increased as well.
We’ve seen how American local governments, city councils, and municipalities around the area address these challenges of growth in Colorado, from boosting road infrastructure expenditures to addressing issues associated with housing.
For a community that has become woven into the fabric of the state’s most diverse city, this is an issue of which Aurora is keenly aware. So, officials have held meetings with leaders and other citizens geared toward integration as new people come into town.
How do you inform a community as diverse as Aurora, with people and languages from all corners of the world? How do you get the news– information, culture, entertainment, and other relevant material –flowing to Aurora’s many Africans?
This is a role that Rocky Mountain Multicultural Community radio aka KETO FM plans and hopes to fulfill. The non-commercial radio station will soon be operating on 93.9 FM in Denver and the surrounding area.
Hundreds of Ethiopians, Somalis, Eritreans, Sudanese, Kenyans, Ugandans, Ghanaians, and immigrants from many African nations living in the metro area would be impacted when KETO debuts. While there are several Africa-focused internets or web radio stations already operating in the area such as Denver African Radio, KETO will be different. It will operate, not via the internet, but on the FM radio dial.
The low-power frequency modulation (LPFM) was licensed in 2014 and since then has been in preparation mode to kick things off. Preparations involve the construction of a radio tower in and around Aurora. That has been a challenge, as Endale Getahun, founder and station manager, told Aurora Sentinel’s Rachel Sapin in this August 20 interview.
After a September 16 stakeholders meeting in Aurora, Getehum told me he’s soon to sign a memorandum of understanding with Aurora Public Schools (APS) which will “donate” their tower to the station. In return, KETO will offer a few hours of programming a week to APS.
But the KETO station still needs to purchase other support equipment to operate. Getehum said he is being helped in this effort by several people, including former Aurora city councilwomen, Debi Hunter Holen, who is the community engagement advocate with APS, as well as Ward IV councilman, Charlie Richardson.
Richardson said he is not happy that help for KETO has been slow coming. While he expressed frustration, he said he hopes the community will step up and provide the support that is needed to get this going quickly.
Because of the high demand for these kinds of stations from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the frequency allotted to KETO will be shared with Christ’s Church Apostolic, also in Aurora.