From Indigenous voices in Australia to anti-racist American shows that feature real-life stories highlighting intersectional issues, these podcasts are a must-listen for anyone continuing (or embarking on) their self-education journey.
If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that we can always keep improving. Whether it’s in your personal or professional life, there are always new opportunities to listen, learn, and grow. As 2021 comes to a close, we want to help you form healthy lifestyle habits that can make major impacts worldwide as we head into 2022.
Across the US, racial injustices took form at an institutional and individual level throughout 2021. A report from the Brennan Center for Justice found that by late June, 17 states in the US had enacted 28 new laws restricting the access to vote. These new pieces of legislation, which predominantly impact people of color, came about from false allegations of voter fraud.
People of Asian descent in Canada and the US also experienced new heights of discrimination and hate-fueled attacks this year caused by ignorance and fear sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stop AAPI Hate and the Edelman Data and Intelligence Team reported that 1 in 5 Asian Americans experienced a hate-related incident in the past year.
But racism is an issue worldwide. Across the European Union, people of color are killed by police brutality, immigration policies, or health inequalities. In January, a Moroccan man in Belgium died while in police custody after filming officers conducting an ID check, according to Al Jazeera. One study showed that in Sweden, immigrants from low-income countries experienced higher risks of death due to COVID-19. In November, 27 migrants died in the English Channel while attempting to cross into the UK, which has been criticized for its restrictive immigration policies.
So how can we start doing better? Racism in any form can’t be solved overnight, but on an individual level, we can help create change through our actions and advocacy. To help the fight to demand equity, defend the planet, and defeat poverty, we’ve launched our New Year, New Habits Challenge to inspire Global Citizens to adopt five easy lifestyle habits that can have ripple effects of change. From taking on environmentally conscious practices to more mindful scrolling, these five days will help take your new year resolutions to the next level. Download our app now to get started!
One challenge is all about racial inequality and how we can all learn to educate ourselves and ensure voices of color have the platforms they deserve. Just 30 minutes of listening a week adds up to 26 hours of learning about social justice in 2022.
Here are five podcasts you can tune in to, to help learn more about what’s needed to combat racial inequality.
Hosted by British-Nigerians living in Hong Kong, HomeGrown gives listeners a firsthand account of the experiences of living in a country with limited perceptions of Black people. The hosts, Marie-Louisa Awolaja and Folahan Sowole, aim to inspire a sense of community for Black expatriates living in Hong Kong, offering advice and guidance while sharing personal stories; but the show’s themes of racism are universal and are easily accessible to a wider audience.
"HomeGrown is something by us for us, but it's also important for non-Black people," said Awolaja to US News & World Report. “Looking at the wider landscape at the moment, if you think of everything that's happened in the wake of George Floyd's murder, it felt like a lot of people in the non-Black community were a lot more open to learning."
Anti-Blackness is present in many Asian countries where colonial scars run deep and stereotypically negative Western depictions are sometimes the only exposure people have had to Black people and culture. The hosts of HomeGrown seek to combat stereotypes, educate, and highlight Black excellence through conversations with guests ranging from hair stylists to historians.
"One thing that I'd like people to take away from HomeGrown, if you listen to one season or two, is that things are different from what they might look like on the surface," said Sowole. "Sometimes you think you understand a situation but you don't. People are different, their experiences are different and what we need to foster is curiosity about individuals because it is the lack of curiosity and empathy that causes prejudgment and prejudice."
2. Coming Out, Blak
Coming Out, Blak is an Australian podcast series hosted by Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi woman Matika Little, and Butchulla and Gubbi Gubbi woman Courtney Hagen. The show celebrates LGBTQ+ First Nations peoples, their accomplishments and experiences, and the adversities they’ve faced. From conversations exploring cultural identities to interviews with queer Indigenous musicians, Coming Out, Blak offers diverse perspectives on intersectional issues that don’t often reach the spotlight.
3. Self Evident: Asian America’s Stories
Self Evident: Asian America’s Stories is a multi-faceted collection of stories and conversations that gives a platform to the complex identities that make up the Asian American monolithic tapestry. Created by documentary filmmaker James Boo, Talisa Chang, and Julia Shu and hosted by James Beard award-winning food journalist Cathy Erway, Self Evident addresses the challenges faced by the AAPI community and offers listeners historical backgrounds into Asian American immigration and how we got to the point of pandemic-driven hate crimes.
Self Evident takes on tough questions while showcasing the intricacies of Asian culture in a delicate and humanizing way. Episodes range from topics such as anti-Blackness in Asian communities, feelings of inadequacy in Filipino culture, and what the label "Asian American" means to different people. The podcast features guests from a wide array of backgrounds, from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Taiwan, and beyond. The stories and experiences shared are unique but together encapsulate a broader understanding of the diasporic nature of being Asian in America. Why is fruit and the act of sharing it such a universal theme in Asian culture? Find out in this episode of Self Evident.
4. Don’t Call Me Resilient
The Conversation presents Don’t Call Me Resilient, a podcast series hosted by Vinita Srivastava that explores the ways systemic racism permeates through Canada and beyond. Srivastava opens conversations about police brutality, how to be a better advocate, food insecurity, and more. Guests range from researchers, activists, experts, and documentary filmmakers, with episodes covering topics from South Asian Canadian’s mental health, online surveillance and the right to protest, the impact of pollution on Indigenous peoples and lands, and the disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black communities’ health.
“I believe we should always celebrate resilience: the human ability to recover or adjust to difficult conditions. But for many marginalized people, including Black, Indigenous, and racialized people, being labeled resilient — especially by policy-makers — has other implications,” Srivastava wrote for the Conversation. “The focus on resilience and applauding people for being resilient makes it too easy for policy-makers to avoid looking for real solutions.”
5. Intersectionality Matters!
Hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, the critical race theorist who coined the term “intersectionality,” Intersectionality Matters! unpacks political and racial topics through conversations with activists, journalists, politicians, and historians. The riveting series goes on deep dives into pressing issues in America from misogynoir to COVID-19 in prisons.
Crenshaw, a lawyer, gender and race professor, and civil rights advocate, delivers timely stories from cases of discrimination against Black women’s hair to #MeToo and the hip-hop industry in a gripping, must-hear, educational forum.
“Our way of thinking about what discrimination looks like is flattened, and it says, race discrimination is the same for everyone. We're thinking Black women experience racism the same way Black men do or that Latinas experience sexism the same way that white women do, but there are millions of different ways that power converges,” Crenshaw said to Kelly Moffitt for Columbia News. “We're telling some of those stories to disrupt the false assumption that there is only one story, or a couple, and that intersectionality is just a number. It's not a number. It's a set of experiences. The podcast tries to tell those experiences.”