RIC Team Travels to Cape Verde to Promote Community Radio for Peace

Three Rhode Island College faculty and staff members travelled to Cape Verde during spring break last week to help promote the use of community radio for peace.

Valerie Endress, associate professor of communication, Peter Mendy, associate professor of history and African studies and Marie R. Fraley, interim director of the Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies, spent five days on the island of São Nicolau in the archipelago of Cape Verde.

 “The purpose of the trip was to gather additional information regarding the conditions necessary for the training of Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) radio journalists in civic radio in Cape Verde and in peace radio in neighboring Guinea-Bissau in West Africa,” Fraley explained.

The Peace Radio project is an ongoing initiative begun under a Protocol of Cooperation signed in September of 2010 by President Nancy Carriuolo on behalf of Rhode Island College and Former First Lady of Portugal Maria Barroso Soares, President of the Pro Dignitate Foundation for Human Rights in Lisbon, Fraley said.

Some of the activities accomplished thus far have included an international conference on the topic of Peace Radio and a series of workshops for local Portuguese-speaking journalists held at Rhode Island College.

This collaboration with Rhode Island College is through invitation of the Pro Dignitate Foundation because of the Portuguese Institute’s mission to study issues of the Lusophone diaspora spread throughout the world, Fraley said. It also is designed to help forge connections with the diverse Lusophone communities represented in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. “Immigrants and their descendants from the countries of Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique make up the local Portuguese-speaking population,” she said.

While in Cape Verde, the Rhode Island College team met with officials of the local municipality of Tarrafal on the island of São Nicolau, held discussions with radio journalists from Guinea-Bissau and visited many local sites, such as the local high school in Tarrafal and the site of the former political prison.