Fellow Since 2007
This profile was prepared when Victoria Virginia Quevedo Méndez was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
A unique program, Foro Ciudadano (Citizen Forum)—broadcast across Chile’s community radio frequencies—hosts discussions on public policy, business trends, societal issues, and invites experts from each sector to partake. By giving marginalized citizens access to dialogue and information, Victoria empowers them to be proactive in making changes in their communities. The program builds an understanding of available state resources, teaches citizens how to access them, and demonstrates how the public and citizen sectors, as well as the dominant Chilean business sector, are fundamental to the country’s social and economic development. As community radio expands, Victoria offers an alternative voice to current media sources in Chile, currently monopolized by two corporations. Foro Ciudadano is broadcast from 100 community radio stations across the country and reaches approximately 650,000 people. Victoria is professionalizing the community radio stations by persuading Chile’s government that community radio is the most effective means of communicating with its citizens. Furthermore, in strengthening the profession of community radio, Victoria is building a media source that identifies with and fulfills its responsibility to provide for the public.