CHICAGO -- E3 Radio is an online radio station playing queer and independent music in high rotation with an R&B and hip-hop vibe.
"We play queer artists, especially of color, because they don't get any play anywhere else. What I know for sure is that good music is out here, and people just need a space to be able to find it," says founder Anna DeShawn.
The 3 E's of E3 Radio stand for educate, empower and entertain, and DeShawn is willing to highlight anyone who aligns with the 3 E's.
"It's about the people on the ground doing the work. It's all an ecosystem to create the change that we want to see in the world, and I want to highlight the folks who deserve it and who need it," says DeShawn.
E3 Radio streams 24/7 and now DeShawn is working towards creating an app.
"We actually have a huge Indiegogo campaign happening right now for our app called The Qube which is going to be a hub, a curated destination of music and podcasts. Podcasts around Black, queer and people of color's story telling. We're going to do another podcast about relationships and queer love. I'm really excited about the content," she says.
Besides creating content, DeShawn also gives back to the community.
"I wanted to give back to my favorite non-profits as a part of our giveback for E3 Radio and a great way to celebrate my birthday. So, we started doing The Purple Tie Affair, a silent auction and concert. So, over the years we've given over $8,000 to small organizations here in Chicago who make big impacts," she says.
This year, the radio station has chosen to donate to Sisters in Cinema, an organization cultivating Black women filmmakers here in Chicago.
DeShawn is also a board member for Affinity Community Services, and she credits their help for her success.
"Friends, mentors, my leadership skills, it's all been helped to be developed at Affinity. Affinity is a non-profit social justice organization serving Black LGBTQ folks, in particularly Black women in the city of Chicago," she says. "We have a holistic living through Covid program. We've actually partnered with 3 LGBTQ therapists to provide mental health services and we're actually able to pay the bill for people."
DeShawn hopes her radio station gives LGBTQ artists a platform and believes she is fulfilling the work she was called to do.
"I'm incredibly proud of the work that we're doing. I just feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. So, if I'm able to inspire somebody, if I'm able to give somebody else a platform, that's exactly what I am supposed to be doing," says DeShawn.
To listen to E3 Radio, visit https://e3radio.fm/
To donate to the app, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-qube-a-bipoc-qtpoc-audio-streaming-app#/
For more on Affinity Community Services, visit https://www.affinity95.org/
For more on Sisters in Cinema, visit https://sistersincinema.com/