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The original item was published from 11/15/2022 4:30:40 PM to 11/15/2022 10:41:50 PM.

News Flash

News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: November 15, 2022

[ARCHIVED] former Dobbs Ferry resident provides opportunities for LGBTQ youth

an opportunity to participate in public radio's only nationally distributed LGBTQ youth program

ocal youth sought for nationally-distributed public radio program
Participation can be life-changing


Media for the Public Good, Inc. (MFPG), a Westchester-based nonprofit organization, is seeking young people to participate in the ongoing production of OutCasting, public radio's only nationally-distributed LGBTQ+ youth program.

LGBTQ+ youth (closeted or out) and straight allies are invited to apply.

Participation gives powerful experiences to young people in exploring LGBTQ issues and sharing those explorations with audiences online and on 200 public radio stations across the country.  It provides a rare set of skills that greatly enhances college and job applications.  It gives them a setting for more fully accepting their LGBTQ identities or discovering that being a straight ally is much more than just not opposing equality for LGBTQ people.  For some, participation in OutCasting has been life-changing.

OutCasting has been selected for inclusion in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting and the Library of Congress.  Working substantively on a program that has achieved this prestigious recognition can elevate college and job applications even further.

Students from more than 20 schools in Westchester and Rockland have participated during the 11 years OutCasting has been in production.
 
High school and college students may apply at

https://OutCastingMedia.org/apply

Middle school students may be considered on a case-by-case basis.  All participants must be within driving distance of our studio in southern Westchester and must be able to attend once-per-week production sessions.

Further information for educators, parents, and other adults is available at

https://OutCastingMedia.org/schools

MFPG / OutCasting is headed by Marc Sophos, a longtime broadcast creator who grew up in Dobbs Ferry.  When he was in ninth grade in 1973, he led an effort to start a radio station at Dobbs Ferry High School.  Although the effort secured approval and funding from the Board of Education, the proposed station didn't materialize because a subsequent engineering study revealed that the FM dial in the NYC area was already saturated and there was no available frequency in Dobbs Ferry.  Marc continued his effort to get a new FM station into Westchester, and this eventually led to the establishment of WDFH Westchester Public Radio -- which became possible only by moving the station north to Ossining and thus farther away from NYC.

Marc established OutCasting as a local program at WDFH in 2011 and arranged for national distribution on public radio before WDFH signed off in 2013.  In recognition of his pioneering work on OutCasting, Marc has received an AARP Purpose Prize Fellowship and a GLSEN Hudson Valley Adult Leadership Award.

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EXTERNAL: Do not click links or open attachments if you do not recognize the sender.

Dear Mr. Feiner,

You may remember me as the founder of WDFH Westchester Public Radio, once located in Dobbs Ferry, on which you had a weekly interview program.  I believe you know that WDFH went off the air in 2013.  Around that time, I arranged for national distribution of WDFH's groundbreaking program OutCasting, the only nationally-distributed LGBTQ youth program in public radio in the US.

OutCasting and its related programming are currently heard on some 200 public radio stations around the US, online on our web site, and on all of the major podcast sites (Apple, Google, Spotify, etc.).

I'm writing to ask for your help in finding new youth participants for OutCasting in the lower Hudson valley region and to see if you can help us make connections that may lead to funding.

Since OutCasting's inception in the summer of 2011, some 80 local youth -- LGBTQ and straight allies, mostly students at high schools in Westchester and Rockland -- have participated in the program.
 
Participation gives powerful experiences to young people in exploring LGBTQ issues and sharing those explorations with a national audience that is open to learning about these timely and important issues but may not know much about them.  LGBTQ youth are almost never heard in the media, and through OutCasting, they bring an important public perspective to issues that are unfortunately still so divisive.

Working at OutCasting provides students with a rare set of skills that greatly enhances college and job applications.  It gives them a setting for more fully accepting their LGBTQ identities or discovering that being a straight ally is much more than just not opposing equality for LGBTQ people.  For some, participation in OutCasting has been life-changing.

Neither the students nor their schools pay any fees; our funding has traditionally come from individual charitable donations and grants from foundations and corporations that support our mission of uniting LGBTQ youth, straight allies, and the power of media in advocacy for a less unjust world.

Students from more than 20 lower Hudson valley schools have participated during the 11 years we’ve been doing this work.  Straight allies and LGBTQ+ students (closeted or out) have always been welcome.

Media for the Public Good, which produces OutCasting, is a small but fully registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Westchester.  Our OutCasting programming has been selected for inclusion in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting and the Library of Congress.

More information about how participation can benefit students is available at

OutCastingMedia.org/schools

You can also read more about what we do, how, and why at

OutCastingmedia.org/prospectus

Over the years, we have mainly found students by contacting the faculty advisors of Gay-Straight Alliances in area high schools and then visiting GSA meetings to talk directly with potentially interested students. 

But making those contacts has gotten almost impossible in the last few years, and we need to explore other outreach avenues.  Do you have any ideas?  Is there a way that the town might help?  Do you have contacts in other municipalities in the area to whom you might introduce me?  And do you know of possible funding sources that might be supportive of our 501(c)(3) non-profit mission?

I would love to have the opportunity to talk with you about this.  If this is something you can help with, please contact me by email or phone (after 3pm) at (914) 315-9030.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

All my best,

Marc


Marc Sophos, JD

Executive Director, Media for the Public Good, Inc.
Executive Producer, OutCasting Media, creator of public radio's LGBTQ youth programs
Pronouns: he/him/his
Uniting LGBTQ youth, straight allies, and the power of media in advocacy for a less unjust world

OutCasting Media

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