1024px Aretha Franklin on January 20 2009

Just in time for Black History Month, a new Illinois radio station has begun broadcasting. “Illinois Soul” is dedicated to the reflection of the Black experience throughout the state.

The station is produced by Illinois Public Media from Urbana, with the station located on the University of Illinois campus. With support and input from leaders within the Black community, the new station’s goal is to transform the media landscape.

Illinois Public Media sought input from many people, with the aim being to understand their preferences for a local Black media service. Illinois Public Media has attended community events with surveys in order to find out what topics the community wanted to hear about. The feedback revealed a need to amplify Black voices and stories, connect communities, and celebrate Black excellence.

As a part of its programming, the station will also introduce a new weekly local affairs program, focusing on issues that are important to black adults in Central Illinois.

You can listen to “Illinois Soul” over the air in Champaign-Urbana at 101.1 FM, or stream the station live from anywhere on IllinoisSoul.org.