Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives starting important conversations through new podcast

Mercer’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives has started a weekly podcast to foster “powerful conversations about diversity at Mercer University.” Photo provided by Ansley Booker

Mercer’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives has started a weekly podcast to foster “powerful conversations about diversity at Mercer University.” Photo provided by Ansley Booker

Mercer’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives has started a weekly podcast to foster “powerful conversations about diversity at Mercer University.”

The podcast airs every Monday with new episodes covering different topics related to diversity and inclusion. Emma Kraft, a senior and intern for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, said the podcast is a collaborative effort between the entire intern team. Kraft has been editing, producing and hosting the podcast since its inception.

“Diversity and inclusion is hard,” Kraft said. “Typically what we’ve seen is that the people who really need to hear these things are not the ones coming to the events. We were trying to think of a way to incorporate more people, and spread awareness of the office in general.”

The office released their first episode March 2. Their repertoire ranges from conversations about women in STEM and the hypersexualization of Black women in the media to conversations about life as Asian Americans.

“The purpose of the project was to provide a voice and space for the campus community to discuss current events and hot button issues in America and around the globe,” said Ansley Booker, director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives. “We also wanted to use the podcast as a vehicle to educate the student body from a peer perspective.”

The podcast is student-driven, featuring students and student organizations.

“This is really about giving more people a platform than anything else,” Kraft said. “It’s not about production quality. It’s to provide a space for people to have these conversations and hope that anyone who is interested but doesn’t know where to start when learning about these topics could just spend 30 minutes of their day listening to their peers talking about something that’s important to them.”

Junior mechanical engineering major Dorcelle Lotemo was featured on the ‘Women’s HIstory Month: Women in STEM’ episode.

“I really enjoyed being featured on the podcast,” Lotemo said. “I think it was a great opportunity to sit around a table with other women in different STEM majors and fields speaking on our experiences.”

Lotemo said she appreciates the work the office is doing to create a new outlet for learning.

“I believe the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives is doing a phenomenal job with their podcast. It’s a job that needs to be done because the only way one can grow is by being receptive to learning. They are tackling major issues, “ she said.

Booker said the podcast is a long-term project that they hope will inspire long-term change.

“I do see the podcast as a long-term project that could open the door for many more opportunities to not only discuss but for us to collectively seek tangible solutions on how to approach justice, equity, diversity and inclusion topics in higher education,” Booker said. “We have our slate ready to go for the fall and will work to close out the spring with a bang featuring some cool Mercer Memories and recaps of the semester.”

You can listen to new episodes every Monday on Spotify.