About‎ > ‎

History

History

The Baton Rouge Progressive Network (BRPN) started as a coalition between LSU students and community activists. BRPN was founded in 1999 and incorporated as a nonprofit organization under the laws of the State of Louisiana in June of 2000. The founding vision of BRPN was to form a nonprofit cooperative of individuals dedicated to facilitating communication and education as they pertain to progressive ideals within the Baton Rouge community.

BPRN was originally, and remains today, a non-hierarchical, collectively-run umbrella organization consisting of groups, organizations, and individuals who promote progressive causes in our community. Our partners have included but are not limited to the Bienville House for Peace and Justice, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, the Baton Rouge Animal Advocacy Group, the Coalition for Alternatives to War in Iraq, the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, and the Lambda Group.

BRPN activities have included the creation and dissemination of alternative media, such as a newsletter containing articles, announcements, and advertisements of interest to the progressive community. In its early years, BRPN published and distributed a monthly calendar containing upcoming events in the greater Baton Rouge area of interest to our community. Today, BRPN hosts an online calendar of events on its website to continue to publicize events of interest to our community.

BRPN has hosted panel discussions and forums on community issues, including a panel discussion on collective bargaining in East Baton Rouge Parish schools on December 13, 2007 at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge. BRPN co-hosted a successful candidate forum on March 8, 2008 at the Louisiana State University Journalism Building for candidates running in the U.S. District 6 Primary Race for the U.S. House of Representatives.

BRPN continues to organize community forums, workshops and other events. BRPN holds regular general membership meetings. Details on the dates, time, and locations of these meetings are posted on the online monthly calendar.


Principles

  • BRPN is committed to peace and social justice within our cultural, ecological, political, social, and economic environments and seeks to involve in its governance and operations individuals committed to these principles.
  • BRPN values and works towards promoting environmental stewardship, education, and sustainability.
  • BRPN shall strive to maintain a cooperative and non-hierarchical spirit among its members and directors and shall be committed to ensuring the involvement of those under-represented in society at large and in our community.
  • Specifically, BRPN is committed to diversity and inclusion of people of all nations, races, ethnicities, creeds, incomes, classes, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities in its programming, staff, management, committees, and governance.


Organizing for Community Radio

Low-Power Station

BRPN first applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a low power FM community radio license in 2000 during a very rare window for such applications. BRPN was first awarded a construction permit for a low power FM radio station by the FCC in 2004. The station name, assigned by the FCC, is WHYR-LP. Another party hijacked BRPN's electronic account at the FCC without BRPN's knowledge or consent and illegally transferred control of WHYR-LP to themselves without the FCC's authorization. BRPN hired a media law attorney and filed several legal petitions to the FCC calling for investigation and reconsideration. This spanned March of 2006 through December 2009. On January 25, 2010, the FCC finally ruled that BRPN is the legal license holder of WHYR-LP and will have until the summer of 2011 to construct the station and begin operations. The FCC has also fined the other party $20,000 for their actions. Learn more about WHYR here.

High-Power Station

In October 2007, BRPN was able to gather community support to put together an separate application to the FCC for a full power non-commercial educational FM radio license during another short, rare and highly competitive window for these types of application. The result of this application was that BRPN is one of eleven mutually exclusive applicants, meaning that the FCC will take time, often several years, to determine which of the applicants has the strongest technical application according to their guidelines and point system. We are currently awaiting the FCC's decision.

BRPN is grateful to both the Prometheus Radio Project (
www.prometheusradio.org) and Attorney Michael Couzens for their unwavering assistance and support in obtaining our radio license.