LEXINGTON, Ky. — RADIOLEX, Lexington’s community radio station, is connecting non-English speakers in the community with critical COVID-19 information through multilingual broadcasts on WLXL 95.7FM, WLXU 93.9FM and online at radiolex.us/covid.
More than 185 languages are spoken in Lexington. RADIOLEX’s on-air broadcasts and website provide critical safety and public health information in more than 20 of the most spoken languages in the city.
Interpreters from around the state volunteer their time daily to make sure summaries of Governor Andy Beshear’s daily coronavirus updates are available in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Korean, French, Swahili, and others.
“In a time of confusion and misinformation, it’s important for citizens to be able to access information they trust in the language they best understand,” says RADIOLEX General Manager Mark Royse.
RADIOLEX is collaborating closely with the Office of the Governor, Global Lex and the City of Lexington, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, Kentucky’s Community Response Coalition, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, the Division of Emergency Management, and the University of Kentucky’s Clinica Amiga. Access Language Solutions and the Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association have been instrumental in identifying qualified volunteer interpreters.
“This crisis has shown us there’s not a great infrastructure for communicating with non-English speakers in our community. There are fantastic organizations and committed individuals doing important work,” said Royse. “The role of RADIOLEX is to connect and amplify their efforts.”
The multilingual communication effort has received funding from the Coronavirus Response Fund, a joint effort of United Way of the Bluegrass and Blue Grass Community Foundation, as well as the Rex Chapman Foundation COVID19 Relief Fund.
“Our current focus,” said RADIOLEX Program Director Victor Palomino, “is to recruit faces and voices from the Hispanic community to create person-to-person social media videos with important information about social distancing and information on how to connect with local resources.”
RADIOLEX is Lexington’s community radio, created by more than 150 local community members who produce hyper-local, original content 24/7 in English on WLXU 93.9FM and in Spanish on WLXL 95.7FM.
“RADIOLEX is the Voice of the People,” says Royse, “ALL the people. We’re in this together.”