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Podcast Extra | Our Favorite Podcasts for the New Year

It’s been a few months since we launched the Shifting the Narrative podcast, a limited series that shared inspiring stories of people working for progessive narrative change. As we enter the New Year, we wanted to uplift some other shows that also inspire us. Together, we compiled a list of 10 of our favorite podcasts that cover social justice issues.

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This podcast imagines a just and equitable world and how we all can be part of building it. Host Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and his guests help listeners identify and reject the racist systems hiding behind racial inequity and injustice. Alongside notable guests, Dr. Kendi continues his antiracism journey and proposes how we can all help create it with him.

Play Be Antiracist


In this new series from Rise Home Stories, hosts and community organizers Chrishelle Palay and Rose Arrieta explore creative ways that communities deal with crises like wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes and a global pandemic. The show follows powerful stories of community-led disaster prevention and recovery and answers one vital question: how can we ensure that next time will be different?

Play But Next Time


Our manager of media strategy, Christiaan Perez, reports, “My favorite podcast for 2021 is ‘Citations Needed.’ I love how the show really digs deep on media issues while also keeping an eye out for the cliches or fallacies that people often resort to. I highly recommend this podcast for anyone who is interested in understanding media, PR and power, inside or out. You can also go through their archives to find some timeless gems.”

Play Citations Needed


The Detroit Justice Center’s new podcast looks at historical examples of experiments in liberation and how we can build a world beyond police and incarceration. An interview-based podcast, “Freedom Dreams” invites guests to talk about their work, explore historical examples of experiments in liberation, and dream about how to expand the work already being done to build the abolitionist world we want to see.

Play Freedom Dreams


Elizabeth Johnsen, our communications and editorial director, has been listening to “The Light Ahead” by Beloved Economies and Avalon: Story. “It’s an imaginative and bold podcast that asks the question, ‘What would 2030 look like if the U.S. had an economy that truly worked and cared for everyone?’ Through short narrative fiction episodes, ‘The Light Ahead’ pulls us into empowering storylines where a kinder, more inclusive economic future is possible.”

Play The Light Ahead


Alexandrea Hatcher, our research manager, recommends Ear Hustle. “I enjoy listening because it’s made by people directly impacted by the prison system and focuses on stories that they want to tell,” she says. “In particular, each episode of ‘Ear Hustle’ uplifts different interviews among incarcerated men, focusing on a range of topics regarding prison life and life in general.”

Play Ear Hustle


This podcast offers an ongoing conversation between somatics practitioner and movement facilitator Prentis Hemphill and powerful social justice leaders, artists, and activists on how to realize the world we want through our own healing and transformation. It isn’t a podcast about answers, but rather it’s an exploration into ourselves and the skills we need to create and embody the world we want.

Play Finding Our Way


A weekly podcast with dozens of episodes to sift through, ‘Future Hindsight’ takes big ideas about civic life and democracy and turns them into action items for everyday people. Host Mila Atmos shares in-depth conversations with citizen changemakers, helping listeners realize the power they have to make real change.

Play Future Hindsight


Our cultural network strategist, Sughey Ramirez, says one of her go-to podcasts during the pandemic has been NPR’s ‘Throughline,’ a show that dives deep into moments that shaped our world. “It has made me feel more connected to other generations and their struggles and lessons as we imagine how to move forward.”

Play Throughline


We’re inspired by Anat Shenkar-Osorio’s podcast, ”Words to Win By,” which returned with a second season in 2021. Anat focuses on the successful narrative shift work that made specific progressive victories possible. This season, “Words to Win By” goes to Wisconsin, Switzerland, the Dominican Republic, West Virginia, Argentina and Georgia to talk to the people behind social justice success stories.

Play Words to Win By

This list represents a selection of the podcasts that our staff recommended. We know there are many more inspiring podcasts out there! If you have any to add to our list, please tweet the podcast name to @oppagenda so we can share it.

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