Listeners of WAMU: Dena Kirkland

Dena Kirkland

By: Julian Avenilla

Dena Kirkland grew up in the DC Metro Area during the seventies, attending Walt Whitman High School when it had just been built. Despite the change that has gone on around her, Dena has mainly remained in D.C. She is a proud native of D.C. and has a great number of stories to tell about the city.

Though she boasts sixty years of life, Dena enjoys her days with vibrancy unrivaled by many teenagers. She works as a Theater Production teacher at Duke Ellington School of the Arts. One of her favorite activities to do when she isn’t working on theater productions is to listen to WAMU, which has always been a reliable companion for her.

Unfortunately, a car critically injured Dena in 2012. During her recovery, WAMU remained by her side without fail. It reminded Dena that the world wasn’t over.

Dena enjoys the plethora of radio programs that WAMU offers, from The Kojo Nnamdi Show to Science Friday. The entirety of the station is reminiscent of a family.

She also thinks radio is a special medium, because it demands an active relationship between itself and the listener; the listener must either depict or consider the issue that the radio explores.

To Dena, both the spoken word and public radio represents an integral aspect of human life.

Dena is still trying to fully recover from being critically injured by a car in 2012. If you would like to help her, visit


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