Inside KDHX

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By Kelly Wells
KDHX Executive Director

KDHX is working to embody our earliest mission of building community with diverse and independent voices. KDHX was founded to serve underrepresented and underserved people in our region.

In 2020, KDHX underwent a process of recommitment and change. Collaborating with 800 community members, we developed a strategic plan to deepen our understanding of racial equity and expand our programming to connect to all the people in our listening area.

In the past few months, we welcomed 26 new DJs who are filling the airwaves with new music. In early 2023, 23% of our volunteers were from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. By the end of 2023, that number increased to 58%. We have seen our listenership increase on our livestream by 43% and online engagement of 18-24-year-olds go up by 500%. We developed an engagement plan so that we have an opportunity to be physically present and proximate to people in the St. Louis community.

However, making change is tricky and 2023 also brought challenges. The actions of a small group of former volunteers have led to significant departures, loss of donors, and financial strain.

The discord stemmed from a subset of volunteers who opposed organizational decisions, culminating in public campaigns and personal attacks. Their actions, deemed silencing and destructive by many, revealed a deep divide over KDHX's mission ownership and commitment to change.

While attempts were made to reconcile differences through dialogue, these efforts were futile. Instead, this subset of volunteers pursued divisive tactics, inciting outrageous behavior by their followers.
In contrast, the majority of volunteers are working alongside us to advance opportunities for everyone. They bring an attitude of welcoming people in rather than creating an exclusive club.

Knowing what we stand for is easy. KDHX is here to serve the broad patchwork of communities that make up our listening audience and we no longer grant ourselves the choice of serving only some of them. We will stand in our integrity and values rather than sacrifice true stewardship by making decisions based on the perspectives of a few. 

We call upon our supporters to stand with us in this critical moment. KDHX relies on individual donations, and our sustainability is seriously threatened. At this moment, we are fundraising to fill the gap left by people who discontinued their donations, and we are rebuilding our operating reserve. If you believe that KDHX is an irreplaceable cultural institution, donate now at

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