Guest Pod Post: Laura Joyce Davis from the SHELTER IN PLACE Podcast

We’re back with a guest post from a fellow Pod Pal! A big welcome to Laura Joyce Davis, the host and producer of Shelter in Place (@shelterinplacepodcast), a podcast about coming together in a world that pulls us apart. Laura is an award-winning fiction writer, Fulbright scholar, and a 2019 WNYC Podcast Accelerator finalist. With a musician’s ear, a writer’s pen, and a voice that invites you in, Laura weaves together stories both intimate and inspiring, showing us why art, not just doctors, will save us. Find out more about the podcast on their website: shelterinplacepodcast.info.

###

“What is both interesting and challenging about breakthroughs is that you can’t have one without some sort of breakdown. Progress only happens because certain things start calling into question our paradigms.”

These words by Yale Professor Martin Hagglund describe what so many of us have experienced in 2020. They’re also a great description of Shelter in Place, a podcast about coming together in a world that pulls us apart.

As a fiction writer and mother of three young children in the San Francisco Bay Area, I lived in the tension of work, creativity, and family for a long time. In pre-pandemic life, my husband was the breadwinner, which meant most of the kid stuff fell to me. Writing filled in what little margin was left. It never occurred to me that there was another way.

When the pandemic came, the paradigm shifted. My husband lost his job, the kids’ school went online, and we began to see the cracks both in our own lives and in the systems around us. I launched Shelter in Place in March to work through the breakdown in community in a time when it was easy to feel alone. I thought I’d be doing daily episodes for three weeks.

Four months later, Shelter in Place had changed my life. I’d completed season one with 100 episodes, including 50 conversations (47 of which featured women and BIPOC artists, activists, and experts), and my husband was working for me. We weren’t just creating a podcast; we were rewriting our life. 

We recently launched season 2, which we’re calling Pandemic Odyssey. It follows our family’s migration across the country after wildfires and the challenges of pandemic living pushed us out of our home. Episodes feel a bit like having coffee with the friend who will laugh and cry with you, who seeks out the experts, but is still searching for answers. It’s the scariest, most vulnerable and tender writing I’ve ever done—and the most rewarding. 


Shelter in Place is about embracing the breakdown. It’s a long and winding journey that doesn’t ignore the dead ends or detours, but instead celebrates our need to rely on others to help us stay on course. We don’t know how this story will end, but we’d love to have you join us. Because ultimately shelter in place isn’t just about where you find safety. It’s about where you belong.

###

Thank you, Laura!

Guest Pod Post: Noa Fleischacker from the TIGHT LIPPED Podcast

While planning our season four schedule, the DYEP team decided to take time to highlight podcasts straight from the creators. Today, we welcome Noa Fleischacker from the Tight Lipped podcast. Tight Lipped is a podcast all about female chronic pain, exploring “how gender, race, sexual orientation and class impact women and non-binary folks’ experiences of healthcare and of their own bodies…” You can find out more on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @tightlippedpod.

Tight Lipped is a storytelling podcast about chronic vulvovaginal and pelvic pain conditions, including vulvodynia, vaginismus, and pelvic floor dysfunction. These conditions are remarkably common: up to one in four people with vaginas will experience chronic vulvovaginal pain in their lifetime. If so many people have this kind of pain, why are none of us talking about it? How do so many people harbor the belief that their pain is normal, or that they’re not deserving of treatment and care?

Shrouded in shame, stigma, and silence, people seeking care are often dismissed and misunderstood both in the healthcare system and society. Our show examines how social pressure, norms, and public discourse around sex impact how people with vulvovaginal pain experience their own bodies, health, and sexuality. We feature honest personal stories in addition to insight from professionals who offer analysis about the social, political and cultural aspects of this “private” pain. The show is hosted by me, Noa Fleischacker, and the pilot episode follows my personal story: excruciating pain when trying to insert tampons, while undergoing routine OB/GYN examinations, and during every sexual experience. The pain is so intense that it is physically impossible to be vaginally penetrated without undergoing anesthesia. I didn’t tell anyone about what I was dealing with; instead, in a state of utter confusion, shame, embarrassment, and hopelessness, I hid my pain and visited doctor after doctor in search of answers and some sense of relief. One evening my friend shared a story about someone she knew who was experiencing pain during sex. That evening, for the first time, I realized she might have an actual medical condition and that her pain was not as abnormal and rare as I’d been made to believe. The episode follows my story as I quickly learns that I’m not the only one in the world with this condition—that, in fact, chronic vulvovaginal pain conditions are incredibly common. Tight Lipped ushers listeners along a journey to learn why these conditions are so common yet so severely understudied, under-researched, and generally misunderstood.  

This subject matter lends itself to a podcast format because these experiences are often only whispered about behind closed doors, if shared at all. On our show, we create a public conversation about this “private” pain. We bring in the voices of people who are still coming to terms with their pain, some of whom choose to remain anonymous on the show. Storytelling has huge stakes for our audience—narratives told in Tight Lipped can be the difference between a listener thinking they are the only person in the world with a particular narrative and realizing that there are people all around them quietly enduring the same pain. Hearing these narratives in a public forum can also help sufferers stop blaming themselves for their pain and realize that when a doctor questions their symptoms or when an insurance company denies treatment coverage, there is a much larger political story to be told.

###

Thank you, Noa! Go check out Tight Lipped here.

We’re Back! Sneak Peak at Season 4

Hi Pod Pals! We’ve missed you! Join us for a quick catch up and hear about our first interview of the new season: Bodies with Allison Behringer. That episode will be coming out on December 1, 2020. Until then, we gave you a few podcasts to tide you over.

Listen to the episode here:

What Lainey is listening to:

What Alex is listening to:

  • To remember acclaimed actor Chadwick Boseman, Song Exploder reissued their episode “Ludwig Göransson – Black Panther
  • Alex was both in awe and in tears with Radiolab‘s “Falling” episode
  • How to Talk to Mamí and Papí About Anything has plenty of great episodes to cross generational divides, and Alex recommends “Dad Denies Systemic Racism

We mentioned our COVID podcast list. Check that out here.

Calendar Corner

S3: E22 A Pod to Change Your Worldview (feat. The Point Noir Podcast)

Start listening here and find notes below!

In the (Podcast) News

BYOP (Bring-Your-Own-Podcast)

This month, Alex chose Girl Tales as her BYOP!

Girl Tales is a podcast featuring reimagined fairytales. Damsels in distress? Princesses in need of protection? You won’t find those here. The girls in our stories take control of their own destinies, turning your favorite fairytales into exciting new adventures. Written by women, non-binary, and trans male playwrights, Girl Tales offers a feminist twist on classic fairytales, fables, and myths. With energetic voice actors and professional sound design, these radio plays burst to life at the touch of a button.

There are various formats for the episodes, ranging from more traditional storytelling to fun “Nova’s Lab Segments” to their LGDBT (Little Girls Doing Big Things) interviews. If you’re seeking a fun, inclusive, empowering show for little ones, look no further!

Although the show is taking a hiatus, there’s plenty of great backlist to get you and your younger listener through the summer. Try out Anansi and the Sky Goddess Asase Yaa” by Bleu Beckford-Burrell for straightforward storytelling, or “Nova’s Lab! Becoming Queen Lili’uokalani’s Ukelele” for a fun and informative science-meets-history episode.

Find more about the show on their website, Twitter, and Instagram.

Interview with The Point Noir Podcast host Jerry the 3rd

This month, we had an insightful chat with Jerry the 3rd—he shared a wealth of info about his podcast journey and how he’s focused on creating community for men of color who travel.

The Point Noir Podcast features travel and adventure stories for men of color, told by men of color, seeking to shift their paradigms through travel. Host Jerry the 3rd cultivates perspectives of those who have taken the leap to explore life beyond their homes and comfort zones.

Towards the end of the interview, Jerry shared his tips for anyone looking to start their own podcast projects:

  1. Go with something that you’re passionate about and interested in. Get caught doing something you wanted to do anyway.
  2. Get started before you think you’re ready.

Catch up with the show (and Jerry) on his website, Instagram, and Twitter!

Calendar Corner

We have a solid list of holidays and ways you can celebrate and educate during the month of July (through podcasts, of course!):

Black Lives Matter

Hi pod pals,

I’ve wanted to write to our listeners, but it’s been tough figuring out where and how to begin this blog post.

The disturbing murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, John Crawford III, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and countless others are a horrifying result of the fact that systemic racism is woven into the fabric of our country. As a black woman, conversations about white supremacy, police brutality, marginalization, and macro-and micro-aggressions have always been a part of my life. And to be clear, the movement for racial justice is not new and has never stopped. So many have been fighting, making strides, and laying groundwork for decades upon decades. Seeing this current outpouring of support on a global level brings about a complex wave of feelings—there’s the hope that this time will be different, there’s rage and confusion over why it took so long to reach this point, and there’s suspicion over whether to trust that new activists and supporters will commit to this very long road of antiracism and unlearning white supremacy. It’s a messy set of emotions that have been hard for me to parse through, and I’m sure others feel the same. But as I navigate this space, I am holding onto the hopeful piece. I am demanding change in my communities, I am continuing to support and amplify black voices as well as diverse and intersectional perspectives, and I am reminding myself and others that we all have important roles to play. I’m so proud of the work that Lainey and I do through DYEP—but despite that pride, I am actively working through my own biases to ensure we continue to build a stronger, more inclusive show.

I’m many things— I’m a black woman, I’m a daughter, I’m a sister, I’m a book editor, I’m a podcaster. Therefore, there’s a plethora of topics I could dig into, but for this post, I want to focus on creative content. Plain and simple, systemic racism disenfranchises non-white creators and props up whiteness as “normal” or “baseline” or “accessible,” while framing content that focuses on nonwhite perspectives as “niche.” And intersectionality is extremely important, as black queer perspectives face this marginalization, as well as additional unique challenges. Within podcasting specifically, these discriminatory processes fuel the disparities between who is seen, who is heard, and who profits. On our May episode of the show, Lainey and I talked to Molly Woodstock of Gender Reveal about some of these systemic gatekeeping issues in the podcasting world—they stressed that podcasters from a wide range of backgrounds are here, have been here. The creators and content exist, and there’s no excuse for a lack of diversity in which shows receive support, in which projects get the green light from larger companies.

Recently, there’s been a specific call to uplift black voices and I’ve paid much attention to this in the creative world. I work in book publishing, and it’s been heartwarming to see stories by black authors receive strong attention and support, but at the same time, its hurtful and infuriating to know that this is what it took for many to position these works as accessible content made for everyone. It is my desperate hope that this inclusion of black voices, as well as other non-white voices, is a forever practice that extends beyond “the moment.” This goes for podcasts too—Molly Woodstock said it well, “what they [listeners] need to do is really show up” and that’s a simple call to action. Listeners have great power.

On that note, I’ve gathered some recommendations of podcasts created by or hosted by black folks, but this is just a small sampling of what’s out there. Actively seek shows with diverse perspectives and put your energy behind the projects that resonate with you, that challenge you. Consistently diversify your listens and the perspectives you take in, because the learning and unlearning is never done. Black lives matter. Black LGBTQIA lives matter. As a co-founder of DYEP, I feel it’s important for us to shout this truth from our platform and ensure that we, as creators, are putting this understanding into practice as a podcast.

Alex’s Recs

The Unofficial Expert

You think you know-it-all but you have no idea. Join Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin as they sit down with comedians and people of the culture to talk about their fields of expertise.

Blackbelt Voices

The Blackbelt Voices podcast propagates the richness of Black Southern culture by telling the stories of Black folks down South. Through first-person narratives and in-depth conversations, hosts Adena J. White, Kara Wilkins, and Katrina Dupins share the experiences of Black Southerners living in, loving, and reconciling with the region they call home.

Hoodrat to Headwrap

A Decolonized Podcast for lovers on the margins, join your resident sexuality educator Ericka Hart and Deep East Oakland’s very own Ebony Donnley, as we game give, dismantle white supremacy, and kiki in the cosmos somewhere between radical hood epistemological black queer love ethics, pop culture, house plants, and a sea of books.

The Point Noir Podcast

Travel and adventure stories for men of color, told by men of color. Host Jerry The 3rd cultivates perspectives of those who have taken the leap to explore life beyond their homes and comfort zones.

Scam Goddess

Scam Goddess is a podcast dedicated to fraud and all those who practice it! Each week host Laci Mosley (aka Scam Goddess) keeps listeners up to date on current rackets, digs deep into the latest scams, and breaks down historic hoodwinks alongside some of your favorite comedians! It’s like true crime only without all the death! True fun crime!

The Nod

The Nod tells the stories of Black life that don’t get told anywhere else. Our show ranges from an explanation of purple drink’s association with Black culture to the story of an interracial drag troupe that traveled the nation in the 1940s. We celebrate the genius, the innovation, and the resilience that is so particular to being Black—in America, and around the world.

The Stoop

The Stoop podcast digs into stories that are not always shared out in the open. Hosts Leila Day and Hana Baba start conversations about what it means to be black and how we talk about blackness. It’s a celebration of black joy with a mission to dig deeper into stories that we don’t hear enough about.

The Read

Join Kid Fury and Crissle for their weekly podcast covering hip-hop and pop culture’s most trying stars. Throwing shade and spilling tea with a flippant and humorous attitude, no star is safe from Fury and Crissle unless their name is Beyoncé. (Or Blue Ivy.)

The United States of Anxiety

A show about the unfinished business of our history and its grip on our future. Many of the political and social arguments we’re having now started in the aftermath of the Civil War, when Americans set out to do something no one had tried before: build the world’s first multiracial democracy.

Therapy for Black Girls

The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly chat about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible versions of ourselves.

As always, we love to hear from you! Send in what you’re listening to and what you’re doing to support black creators and diverse content in our industry.

—Alex