Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Anna DeShawn talks E3 Radio's expansion, Affinity activism work
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2018-05-30

This article shared 2241 times since Wed May 30, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Chicago-born media maven and social entrepreneur Anna DeShawn has been a mover and shaker within Chicago's LGBTQ community her entire adult life.

One of the ways DeShawn has made an impact is through her media company E3 Radio—an online radio network curated from a queer point of view. Her show, Anna DeShawn & the QCrew, is co-hosted with Brandee Dyson and has been live every Thursday night for the past eight years. The next show to join the lineup was Conversations with Angie Harvey. Harvey has been helping grown folks grow up on her show since 2012. Recently, DeShawn expanded E3 Radio's reach from two to three concurrent shows to being on the air around the clock.

"My vision for E3 Radio has always been to grow, expand and be the number one queer radio network in the country," said DeShawn. "It started as an online college radio network that distributed PSA's and grew from there. E3 Radio produces authentically edgy streams that I call the new age NPR. With this expansion, we have more shows joining the lineup and we play dope queer and independent artists in high rotation. We are #QueerRadioDoneRight. I am invested in us thriving and not just surviving. We deserve a platform created by us, for us."

E3 Radio operates on three pillars: education, enlightenment and entertainment. These pillars drive everything DeShawn and her team does in terms of programming and community outreach efforts.

DeShawn said that Lena Waithe and the late Vernita Gray's appearances on her show were the most memorable.

"When we had Lena on the show she was an up and coming writer and now she is an Emmy award winning writer. She was so down to earth and has been supportive of what we are building," said DeShawn. "Interviewing Vernita was an honor. I had the opportunity on a couple of occasions and each time was so meaningful. She is a legend and what I love about doing this work is not only talking with people and hearing their stories but being able to share that with the world."

Among her many E3 Radio team members across the country is music curator Jace Smith.

"I have enjoyed working with the entire E3 radio family in my various roles within the company," said Smith. "We cover stories that are pertinent to our community and raise the Black queer voice loud and proud. Most importantly, we bring our authentic selves to the work. Anna is a natural born leader and has invested her time and expertise into growing her brand. It is beautiful to watch her dream unfold and it is even more exciting to be on the journey alongside her. Anna is grounded in her faith, and with that is able to do this hard work while breaking ground in radio."

Media has always been DeShawn's passion going back to her childhood watching ESPN with her dad. Her first on-air inspiration was Robin Roberts who covered many major sporting events before moving on to general reporting and Good Morning America.

DeShawn grew up on Chicago's south side and graduated from Drake University with a degree in radio/television and Ithaca College with a master's in communication. During her undergrad years, DeShawn learned how important it is for people in marginalized communities to tell their stories from their perspective.

For DeShawn, being in leadership positions has been a given since high school where she was the student body president. She was also Drake University's Coalition of Black Students president and is currently Affinity Community Services' board president along with her ownership of E3 Radio.

Through Affinity, DeShawn showcases her activism on a daily basis.

"I have always advocated for equity even before I knew what equity meant," said DeShawn. "For example, during high school I thought it absurd that the cheerleaders did not cheer for the girls basketball team. So, when I became student body president we changed it. The core of my activist work is justice."

DeShawn has been a part of Affinity for 13 years beginning with the young adult drop-in group XPU. She came to the organization because she wanted to find community.

"I followed them a long time before I built up the courage to go visit during a break from college," said DeShawn. "I remember having so much anxiety. I actually make it a point not to forget that feeling because it grounds me. It reminds me that I was not always confident in who I am and who I love. I was not always comfortable in my own skin. Affinity provided a space for me."

Over the years DeShawn has helped Affinity with their website and other creative work. Five years ago, former Executive Director Kim Hunt reached out to her about joining the board and at first she was not sure about it but one question kept cropping up while she was contemplating the invitation, "What are you doing to help sustain Affinity?" and her answer was always, "Not enough."

That answer sealed the deal for DeShawn and she has been on the board ever since. She calls being the board president an honor and a huge responsibility.

"I am humbled by all the work, love and commitment that is poured in by our executive director, Imani Rupert-Gordon, our Board and core group of volunteers," said DeShawn. "We are in our 23rd year and it is our job to ensure the organization is here for many years to come."

"I could not be more impressed with Anna across the board," said Rupert-Gordon. "Even in the short time that she has served in this role; her love, appreciation and respect for Affinity shines through all of her ideas and decisions. I am excited for what our team has been able to accomplish together, and even more excited for what we will accomplish in the future. I love working in partnership with Anna, and I am inspired by her leadership at Affinity."

Another piece of DeShawn's activism emerges around faith and sexuality. In 2011, DeShawn joined the Church Within a Church Movement ( CWACM ). CWACM is a collection of LGBTQA theologians, scholars, and members who intentionally disrupt privilege, fight against religious violence, develop justice ministries across the country, and celebrate the spectrum of identities. DeShawn has previously served on the coordinating team and in 2013 collaborated with CWACM for the "My God is Not a Bully" campaign. They interviewed over 40 people about their relationships or non-relationship with God as well as how they have reconciled with their faith and sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Additionally, E3 Radio has hosted the annual Purple Tie Affair benefit gala ( since 2014 ) at Sidetrack. To date, the event has gifted over $4,000 to various Chicago non-profits. This year's gala will take place Oct. 4 at Sidetrack with the proceeds earmarked for Affinity and CWACM.

When DeShawn is not busy with E3 Radio; she likes to cook, run and watch/play basketball. She also loves spending time with her wife Kaya Rainey.

In terms of DeShawn's commitment to the greater community and her vision for the future she said, "I am determined to ride media into its next era by utilizing online radio streams to tell the stories that need to be heard. We must build and own our own. I want to be a part of the social entrepreneur movement that believes you can be a successful business owner while giving back at the same time."

See www.E3radio.fm/, affinity95.org/ and www.mygodisnotabully.com/ for more information.


This article shared 2241 times since Wed May 30, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Landmark step toward equality: Senate passes bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act
2022-11-29
-- From press releases - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — today celebrated the bipartisan passage of the Respect ...


Gay News

NATIONAL $1M donation, church departures, Harvey Milk, abortions, Grindr
2022-11-27
In Ohio, Dayton-based insurance company CareSource is donating $1 million to United Church Homes to support the development of a senior living facility at the site of the former Longfellow School that will also aim at ...


Gay News

GLAAD responds to mass shooting in Colorado Springs
2022-11-20
-- From a press release - (New York, NY - November 20, 2022) - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs that killed ...


Gay News

HRC responds to fatal shooting at LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs
2022-11-20
-- From a press release - Colorado Springs, CO — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, responded to media reports of a fatal shooting at Club Q in Colo ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Respect for Marriage Act, lesbian judge, gay official resigns
2022-11-20
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said that debate on the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) is suspended and will continue on Nov. 28, when the Senate reconvenes after Thanksgiving, LGBTQ Nation reported. The RFMA ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT The geopolitics of being Brittney Griner
2022-11-18
WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. On Feb. 17, the Russian Federal Customs Service detained Griner at Sheremetyevo International Airport for allegedly transporting cannabis-derived ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign Foundation Marks 10 Years of Tracking Violence Against Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People, Recording 32 Fatalities in 2022
2022-11-16
From a press release: WASHINGTON—Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil ...


Gay News

Rights advocates: Nov. 16 Senate vote a 'backstop' against SCOTUS overreach
2022-11-16
Representatives from HRC and GLAD met with media virtually the morning of Nov. 16 to discuss the implications of the Respect of Marriage Act. That legislation, scheduled for a Senate vote the same day, codifies marriage ...


Gay News

Hong Kong lesbian romance premieres at local film festival
2022-11-14
Hong Kong Lesbian Romance Premieres At Film Festival by Vernon Hester �As part of the semi-annual Asian Pop-Up Cinema Film Festival, which ran from September 10 through November 6, The First Girl I Loved had its ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer channel, gay actor dies, Jeopardy!, Luke and Chris Evans
2022-11-13
Fuse Media—a Latino-owned, multiplatform entertainment company—announced that in partnership with OUTtv, it is expanding its suite of DEI FAST channels with the launch of the channel OUTtv Proud, per a press release. Set for a 2023 ...


Gay News

HISTORY MADE: Oregon's Tina Kotek one of first lesbian governors in U.S history
2022-11-09
-- From a press release - SALEM — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, hailed the victory of HRC-endorsed Tina Kotek in her bid to become the governo ...


Gay News

History made: More LGBTQ+ people elected to congress than ever before
2022-11-09
-- From an HRC press release - Washington, DC — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — hailed the victory of at least ...


Gay News

Brittney Griner sent to Russian penal colony
2022-11-09
U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been moved from a detention center outside of Moscow to a Russian penal colony to begin serving out her nine-year sentence on drug smuggling charges, NPR reported. A statement from ...


Gay News

Wednesday morning election results: LGBT+ governor, congressional candidates
2022-11-09
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a popular Democrat in a deeply blue state, coasted to victory Tuesday as predicted, becoming the first lesbian to be elected governor of any state. Another lesbian candidate for governor, Tina ...


Gay News

Maura Healey shatters lavender ceiling in Massachusetts; no U.S. state had elected a lesbian governor
2022-11-08
-- From a press release - Washington, DC — Tonight LGBTQ Victory Fund candidate Maura Healey won the Massachusetts gubernatorial race — becoming the first out LGBTQ governor of Massachusetts and one of the first out lesbian governors in U.S. history. Tina ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS





Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.