Health Expert on the new show Voices with Jawan Strader.
By ISHEKA N. HARRISON
Special to South Florida Times
MIAMI – For years, Jawan Strader has been one of the most recognizable anchors on South Florida news broadcasts. Now, the talented journalist is using his platform to help start a conversation around issues that specifically affect black communities across South Florida.
“Voices with Jawan Strader” will debut Saturday, Feb. 3, at 9 a.m. during Super Bowl Weekend. The half-hour show will air weekly, serving as a platform to create connections within the community.
Strader is far from new to giving back to his community. In an exclusive interview with the South Florida Times, he said the show is a passion project that he has always desired to do.
“I feel blessed. This is incredible. This is something that I’ve always wanted. This is something that gives us a platform in our community to talk about issues impacting us, the black community. I’m talking about African American, I’m talking about the Caribbean community. That’s what makes it special,” Strader said. “That platform is something we don’t have on any network television station in South Florida.”
According to Strader, two years ago, his general manager said they had to do more for the black community. He said his news director, who is Puerto Rican, pulled him into her office and told him they were going to give him his own show with full discretion around the name, topics and ideas to be covered.
“I thought that was very heroic of her to do something like that as a news director because not everyone would do that,” Strader said. “Some people don’t see South Florida as still being a largely populated black community. … There are so many stories out there so when she brought that idea I almost fell out my seat.”
Fast forward to the present and Strader said he has chosen topics that range from controversial and informative to educational and positive. In fact, the first episode will focus on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease that has affected many NFL players. Larry Johnson, former NFL running back, will be his guest.
Other topics include a focus on Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, youth violence, mental health issues, cross-cultural misunderstandings within the black community and how that gap can be bridged and much more.
Strader said he wants people from all walks of life to weigh in on and off-screen.
“Even though it’s dedicated to the black community, I want everybody to know that it’s something that you don’t have to be black to connect and understand … When you go into somebody else’s community you can understand what they’re going through,” Strader said.
His overall mission is to help his community.
“I became a journalist because I wanted to be a voice for those who we don’t hear from every day … and I wanted to be a voice for the black community,” Strader said. “If I can create a dialogue maybe out of that conversation can come some sort of solutions … If people listen and were able to go out and learn from that and try to find solutions, I would know that I’ve done my part as a journalist and as a black man with what I set out to do when I got this show.”
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