19 minutes | Mar 27, 2023
Episode 62: Women’s History Month Part 1
The return of Democracy & Z! Democracy and Me intern, Yoshie, was joined by Clark Montessori Senior, Nevaeh in a discussion on Women's History Month, Black History Month, and women of color who made a difference. Be sure to catch the 2nd half of the conversation next week!
26 minutes | Apr 13, 2022
Episode 60: Digging Into Earth Day
With Earth Day on the horizon (April 22), we go deep into our own connections with nature, health and the environment. We consider the past—Earth Day itself goes all the way back to 1970—and the present, with the Biden Administration’s once-ambitious ecology agenda currently on ice*, while scientists’ climate-change projections only heating up. For many of us in Gen Z, the future is scary: “It’s like a time limit on our lives,” says Walnut Hills High Schooler Nola Stowe. But by learning more about the hows and whys of the climate crisis, environmental injustice, endangered species, pollution, drought and other problems, local and global, we plant seeds of solutions. And that helps us stay hopeful. The podcasters: Harnoor Mann (host), University of Cincinnati Nola Stowe, Walnut Hills H.S. A.J. Jones, recent graduate, University of Cincinnati *The New York Times Daily podcast just had a good episode about this. Click here for NPR’s climate coverage. Click here for details on the Greater Cincinnati Earth Day Festival on April 23; we’ll share info on other local events on the D&Me blog. Here’s a Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library link for the book Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, referenced by Nola during this episode. And here’s California Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order to phase out gas-powered cars, mentioned by A.J. And click here to access a vintage D&Z episode from September 2020, talking about Gen Z’s environmental activism with two young brothers from the Navajo Nation. It’s still one of our favorites. Conversation recorded on Zoom April 10, 2022 Seedling photo illustration by Freedomz/Shutterstock
33 minutes | Mar 24, 2022
Episode 59: Do We See Ourselves in the Oscars?
The producers of the 94th Academy Awards—airing at 8 p.m. this Sunday on ABC—hope a new “Fan Favorite” award, celebrating popular hits like Cinderella and Spider-Man: No Way Home, will entice Gen Z to tune into the three-hour trophy show. Maybe? Can you give Encanto some love while you’re at it? But we really wish Hollywood took teens, especially Black and Brown teens, more seriously: we’re smart, we’re globally aware, we carry our entertainment with us wherever we go, and we’re not satisfied with most of what you’re marketing to us. Do better, and we might keep watching. Joining us for this special movie-themed episode is our good friend TT Stern-Enzi, film critic for Fox 19 and artistic director of the Over-the-Rhine Film Festival. The podcasters: Robert Thikkurissy (host), University of Cincinnati, Transition & Access Program Pawan Rai, Aiken New Tech H.S. Joyeuse Muhorakeye, Aiken H.S. Lael Ingram, Walnut Hills H.S. with guest film critic TT Stern-Enzi Conversation recorded on Zoom March 13, 2022 Oscars smartphone illustration by Jimmy Tudeschi/Shutterstock
29 minutes | Mar 11, 2022
Episode 58: Two Years on the COVID Roller-Coaster
One star, would not recommend this particular thrill ride—but pandemic extremes have been our daily reality for the last two years, which, we’d like to point out, is a huge chunk of your life when you’re a teenager. So what have we learned? What have we lost? And what the heck now: Are we safely back at the station, or is it time to brace ourselves for the next loop-de-loop? Buckle up, keep your hands and feet inside the car, and ride along with us as we talk all things COVID-19, now chugging into year three. First, though, you’ll hear some students from Diamond Oaks Career Campus in Cincinnati, sharing their own pandemic ups and downs. The podcasters: Robert Thikkurissy (host), University of Cincinnati, Transition & Access Program AJ Jones, UC graduate Nico Luginbill, Walnut Hills H.S. Pawan Rai, Aiken H.S. Syriene Djakata, Aiken H.S. Tasnim Saad, Aiken H.S. Antonia R. Willis, Taft IT H.S. Bryan Aguilera, Virtual H.S. Conversation recorded on Zoom March 6, 2022 Episode edited by Sydnie Barrett, Walnut Hills H.S., with D&Z producer Julie Coppens Music composed by Noah Hawes, of Elementz Roller-coaster illustration by vectorcorp/Shutterstock
36 minutes | Feb 25, 2022
Episode 57: Is This the Start of World War 3?
The news started coming in overnight Wednesday: after weeks of military buildup on the Ukrainian border, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on the former Soviet Republic, now an independent democracy and home to more than 40 million people. On Thursday, those citizens of Ukraine—and most of the rest of the world—were in shock and terror, many fleeing for safety and all wondering how far this unprovoked attack might go. Regina Appatova is an ESL educator at Aiken New Tech High School in Cincinnati, who grew up in Ukraine and lived in Russia. We asked her to help us understand the conflict, the enduring bonds between the two countries, and what it’s been like this week for Americans like her with roots and loved ones in Eastern Europe. “It’s a nightmare,” she says—and no one knows how much worse the situation might get, before Putin gets what he wants. The podcasters: Nico Luginbill, Walnut Hills H.S. Joyeuse Muhorakeye, Aiken New Tech H.S. Pawan Rai, Aiken H.S. Tasnim Saad, Aiken H.S. Syriene Djakata, Aiken H.S. Antonia R. Willis, Taft H.S. Bryan Aguilera, Virtual H.S. Lael Ingram, Walnut Hills H.S. Conversation recorded on Zoom Feb. 24, 2022, with D&Z producer Julie Coppens Map illustration by Kirill Makarov/Shutterstock Here’s a link to NPR’s ongoing coverage of the Ukraine invasion: https://www.npr.org/live-updates/ukraine-russia-invasion-putin Live updates from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/02/24/world/russia-ukraine-putin And here’s a link to a story from WVXU reporter Becca Costello about how Cincinnati is responding to the crisis: https://www.wvxu.org/local-news/2022-02-24/aftab-pureval-cincinnati-help-resettling-ukrainian-refugees
28 minutes | Feb 13, 2022
Episode 56: Deflated: Are Big-Time Sports Losing Gen Z?
Major-league sports and premier events like the Olympics have long been an American obsession, but so far, Gen Z seems to be sitting out—unless, say, our hometown Cincinnati Bengals happen to make it to the Super Bowl, but even then we’ll probably be scrolling something else on the side, because football takes forever. Other than turning their entire product into a video game—one youth-outreach strategy described in a recent New York Times article—what can the NFL, the NBA, and other legacy leagues do to win us over? For starters: try being less racist*, less sexist, less exploitative, and more diverse, inclusive, and sustainable. More than a better game, we want a better world, and we think sports can help us get there. But the industry needs a new game plan. The podcasters: Alberto C. Jones (host)Nico Luginbill, Walnut Hills H.S.Joyeuse Muhorakeye, Aiken New Tech H.S.Pawan Rai, Aiken New Tech H.S. Conversation recorded on Zoom Feb. 13, 2022 (Super Bowl Sunday) * Recommended listening: Here’s an NPR interview with former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who’s filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL, alleging racial discrimination in hiring.
49 minutes | Jan 28, 2022
Episode 55: Ask a Black Historian
It’s February, and you know what that means—bring on the Dr. King coloring sheets! But how did Black History Month even become a thing? Is there a right way or a wrong way to celebrate it? Who are some local African-American historical figures we should all know more about, and if Dr. David Childs could host a dinner party with some of his own heroes from the past, who’d be on the guest list? Our resident #BlackHistory expert answers these and other questions from listeners, and even lifts our spirits with song, in this special episode. You’ll find many more #BlackHistoryMonth resources on our blog—go to www.democracyandme.org/category/blackhistorymonth—and be sure to check out D&Z Episode 54 on our YouTube channel, as our student podcasters and some WVXU staff take you inside the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Museum in downtown Cincinnati. “African-American history is American history… It is our history.”Dr. David Childs The podcasters: Briocca Green (host), Northern Kentucky UniversityDr. David Childs, professor of social studies education at NKU and adviser to the Democracy & Me program
17 minutes | Jan 14, 2022
Episode 54: Facing Our Past at the Freedom Center
Back in December, a group of Democracy & Me students visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (www.freedomcenter.org), joined by members of the Cincinnati Public Radio staff. We toured the permanent exhibits From Slavery to Freedom, with stories and artifacts from Colonial times to Emancipation; the Slave Pen, a reconstructed cabin from pre-Abolition Kentucky; and Invisible: Slavery Today, which uncovers human trafficking around the world, in our own times. We also viewed a special exhibition called Designing Justice, featuring the striking posters of artist/activist Luba Lukova, on display through March 22. We watched a documentary film about the Civil Rights movement, and learned about monumental narrative quilts by Aminah Brenda Lynn, called Journeys 1 and 2. In this episode of Democracy & Z, you can journey through the galleries with us, explore the displays, and listen in on our reflections. And if you’d like to see some of the exhibits and artworks we talk about here, check out the video version of this episode on our YouTube channel. The podcasters: Cierra Britten, University of CincinnatiTasnim Saad, Aiken New Tech H.S.Enock Sadiki, New Tech H.S.Nazret Degaulle, Walnut Hills H.S.Michelle Miao, Talawanda H.S.Emma Feldmeier, Wyoming H.S.Lael Ingram, Walnut Hills H.S. With WVXU reporter Cory Sharber, Cincinnati Public Radio events coordinator Katie Query, and Democracy & Z producer Julie Coppens Here are a few images from the tour: Photos by Nazret Degaulle and Julie Coppens
32 minutes | Dec 16, 2021
Episode 53: Our Student Voices Competition Is Back!
We’ve just launched Democracy & Me’s 2022 Student Voices Competition, an opportunity for young people from across the WVXU listening area and beyond to speak their truth—or write it, draw it, make it sing… and maybe win a thousand bucks. For contest details including this year’s theme, complete rules, and a submission link (note the deadline: March 4), please visit www.DemocracyandMe.org. And for inspiration, here’s an encore of our last Student Voices Competition showcase, featuring top-scoring entries by Djibril Dembele, Addison Thacker, Molly Moser, Tanvi Rakesh, Jessica Kang, Zoe Wooten, Abdul Arnaout, Sara Walls, Audrey Zelinski, and Addi Schultz. We invite you to follow their creative lead and get ready to blow the judges’ minds with your own contest entry. 2021 Student Voices showcase introduction by Jordan Polk, University of Cincinnati, former Democracy & Me intern. Episode artwork: “Together We Rise,” an award-winning creative entry by Molly Moser, a Cincinnati homeschooler in her senior year. Want to see and more awesome student work? Here’s a link to the 2020 Student Voices Competition winners and showcase podcast: https://www.democracyandme.org/episode-6-student-voices-competition-showcase/
15 minutes | Nov 22, 2021
Episode 52: Thankful for Each Other
Yeah, it’s a complicated holiday—part of a mythical American origin story masking ugly truths about who’s really had a place at our nation’s table over the last 400 years. (Our friends at Learning for Justice have some helpful resources on all that.) And this particular Thanksgiving brings a lot of the same health concerns as last year, with COVID-19 cases rising again in our own area, plus new anxieties over the long-term impact of the pandemic, crazy inflation, high-stakes court cases… Even our holiday shopping is threatened by supply chain issues and sustainability worries. It’s like a big bubbling cranberry sauce of uh-oh. And yet: we’re still here. Our Democracy & Me family has grown a lot this year, bringing together students from all over the world, and most of us are able to be with at least some of our loved ones over this long weekend. We do have a lot to be thankful for. So let’s focus on that. The podcasters: Emma Feldmeier (host), Wyoming H.S.Cierra Britten, University of CincinnatiNazret Degaulle, Walnut Hills H.S.Lael Ingram, Walnut Hills H.S.Enock Sadiki, Aiken H.S.Tasnim Saad, Aiken H.S.Hafsah Daikho, Aiken H.S.Andres Vargas, Aiken H.S.Michelle Miao, Talawanda H.S. Conversation recorded on Zoom Nov. 22, 2021; edited by Zeratul Bryan, Taft I.T. H.S.