Nashua man fundraises to launch radio show about experiences of first-generation Americans

'This show will replace airtime that was formerly polarized in nature and full of racism.'

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NASHUA, NH – Two weeks after Nashua radio station WSMN fired a host over a Facebook video that included racist accusations, a Nashua man is raising funds to start his own show at the station focused on the experience of first-generation Americans.

Oscar Villacis had wanted to start a podcast highlighting the experiences of minority communities in Nashua since last year.

But once the video of former WSMN host Dianna Ploss accosting Spanish-speaking workers went viral earlier this month, he wanted a more direct way to interact with people in Nashua.

“Let’s give minorities a voice by hosting a radio show to discuss topics relevant to today’s current events and shed light on stories of diverse populations in the greater Nashua area,” Villacis wrote on his Facebook fundraiser.

Villacis, who is a first-generation American, says having a space to talk about the nuances, trials and tribulations of that experience is missing in New Hampshire.

“We have so much more to offer and I think that we have to remind people again of who we are, and where we came from and what we’re about,” he said.  

Oscar Villacis in the WSMN 1590 AM radio studio in Nashua. Villacis is trying to raise about $4,000 more dollars for airtime and production costs to host “First Gen America,” a show focused on the experiences of first-generation Americans. Courtesy Photo

He says he also wants to have conversations around anti-Blackness within the Latino community, mental health and immigration among other topics on the program, which will be called First Gen American. Villacis has released a “sneak preview” of episode one.

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“This show will replace airtime that was formerly polarized in nature and full of racism,” Villacis said on Facebook.

He says he wants his show to air as close to the time slot in which Ploss’s show previously ran. “So that somebody who is accustomed to the radio in a completely different context is listening to something completely different,” he said.

The show would air in English on Tuesdays and then in Spanish over the weekend, Villacis said.  

Villacis is currently trying to raise about $4,000 more dollars for airtime costs and production costs for the full year.

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Daniela Allee, NHPR

Daniela Allee is a reporter for NH Public Radio.