Inaugural Nikola Tesla Dinner and Media Justice Award Presentation – July 9th

WHAT: Inaugural Nikola Tesla Dinner and Media Justice Award Presentation
WHEN: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM
WHERE: Country Buffet Restaurant, 801 North Academy Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80909 (across from The Citadel Mall)
WHO: Keynote address by Amanda Mountain, Executive Director of the Tim Gill Center for Public Media and Regional Director of Rocky Mountain PBS
COST: Tickets $25 at the door; $20 if purchased online by July 1 (or $25 after July 1) at (nominal service fee may apply). All proceeds benefit the Springs Community Radio project of CMJF.

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of modern alternating current (AC) system.

On the eve of Tesla’s 157th birth anniversary, CMJF pays homage to the man who is also known for his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments conducted at his laboratory in Colorado Springs, which included patented devices used in the invention of radio communication. The local nonprofit is launching a low-power FM (LPFM) community radio station in 2014 to reclaim the public airwaves often dominated by corporate media, in order that the people’s authentic voices can be heard.

The local celebration is co-sponsored by the Pikes Peak Library District. As part of the Pikes Peak Regional History Symposium held in 2010, “Enterprise and Innovation in the Pikes Peak Region,” the Special Collections Department of PPLD republished the long-out-of-print famous biography, Lightning in His Hand:The Life Story of Nikola Tesla. The book, updated with many new illustrations, will be available for sale at the dinner event.

“Citizen and student storytellers have an integral role to play in the new media landscape,” offered Amanda Mountain, Executive Director of the Tim Gill Center for Public Media and Regional Director of Rocky Mountain PBS. “As everything we know about traditional media changes, we will need to rely more and more on the resources, diversity, and context that can only be provided by our community’s engaged citizens,” she added.

Community radio can amplify the voices of people addressing important issues in their communities. They have proven to be impressive organizing tools for exposing government corruption, cleaning up toxic waste, winning better working conditions, and promoting local arts and culture. Community radio provides a platform for youth voices and leadership development. These stations can be streamed online and integrated with new technologies to have a global reach. In a time of deep cuts for local news departments and public spaces, community radio can fill many important needs.

“And media can be the most powerful tool to move the disenfranchised toward true community engagement and investment,” affirmed Mountain, who will deliver the keynote address at the benefit dinner.

Mountain is the first honoree of the CMJF’s Media Justice Award for her leadership role in fostering strategic partnerships among community radio and television providers, educational institutions and library systems that would create and share content.

“LPFM is a way for those in the community who are struggling to survive to hear stories that they can relate to, and to know that they are not alone in this struggle for human dignity,” explained Dennis Apuan, founding director of CMJF. “With low-power FM in our community, poor and working people across Colorado Springs would have an incredible tool to learn together, to understand their shared struggles and conditions, and to work to change them… thus creating solutions from the ground up and making this city better for everyone,” he pointed out.

CMJF is a community-based organization rooted in justice that recognizes the unique power of media to shape public understanding and serve the common good. CMJF works to create just and equitable media structures that give meaningful voice to diverse peoples, cultures, and ideas. For more information on CMJF, visit its Web site at

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