Democracy & Z Democracy & Z is a student podcast, developed in collaboration with our friends at Elementz. The podcast features young people from communities across our listening area, sharing their unique Gen-Z perspective on issues like immigration, gun violence and the environment.
Democracy & Z

Democracy & Z

From 91.7 WVXU

Democracy & Z is a student podcast, developed in collaboration with our friends at Elementz. The podcast features young people from communities across our listening area, sharing their unique Gen-Z perspective on issues like immigration, gun violence and the environment.

Most Recent Episodes

Episode 5: This Changes Everything

Not to be too obvious here, but the COVID-19 crisis has really screwed up a lot of teenaged lives. In this episode, six students from Talawanda High School, in Oxford, Ohio, talk about how the pandemic has affected them—academically, socially, mentally—and what the experience might mean for Generation Z as a whole. The group also looks at how local, state, and federal officials have responded to the crisis and asks, "What can we learn from all this?" Interview recorded May 8, 2020, with everyone calling into Eliot Berberich's home studio via Google Meet. The podcasters: Episode producer and host Eliot Berberich is a freshman at Talawanda High School, but already an experienced student journalist and podcaster. I'm Kel Fisher, finishing up my junior at THS, and I'm involved in Mock Trial, theatre, choir, and a capella. I write for our school newspaper and hope to go to college for creative writing, history, and film. My name is Jean Pateman. I am a junior at Talawanda H.S., I participate in our Environmental Sciences Club, Model UN, Mock Trial, and I am on the Varsity Field Hockey team. THS senior Ella Cope is the President of the Talawanda Diversity Club (an activist group and Gay Straight Alliance) and a member of the Chamber Singers, National Honor Society, and Setting Stone Literary Magazine. She is a Gold Award Girl Scout and organized the creation of the first public mural in Oxford Ohio depicting local civil rights history. Carly Goodman is a sophomore at Talawanda High School. She is involved in the Setting Stone Liberal Arts Magazine, Talawanda Tribune, and her school's Hope Squad. Peter Averbach is an A-average student who is involved in many extracurricular activities, including running a Film Club, podcasting, and making YouTube videos.

Episode 4: QuaranTeens

"I miss being a teenager." In this episode, eleven area students break out of isolation—sort of—and share personal experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, from rediscovering the joy of reading, to binge-watching "The West Wing," to raising thousands of dollars for frontline-heroes' PPE. We are the QuaranTeens. And we're doing the best we can. Featuring the voices of: Eliot Berberich, Talawanda H.S. (opening credits and April 1 COVID-19 diary) Emma Dalton, School for Creative and Performing Arts (introduction) Mary DeFoor, School for Creative and Performing Arts ("Rain Song") Seth Coppens, School for Creative and Performing Arts ("...and this is QuaranTeens!") Alexis Birmingham, Talawanda H.S. (March 29, March 30, and April 2 COVID-19 diaries) Peyton Kirby, School for Creative and Performing Arts ("A lot to talk about") Jiahao Guo, Mason H.S., founder of the Coronavirus Relief Project Jaden Smedley, Finneytown H.S. ("Heart") Carly Goodman, Talawanda H.S. (April 2 COVID-19 diary) Peter Averbach, Talawanda H.S. ("Coronavirus Chronicles") Issey Sherman, Clark Montessori H.S. ("Wake me up when this all ends")

Episode 3, Part 3: Pass It On

Princeton High School student poet Ornella Siakam, an ambassador for the Louder Than a Bomb program in Cincinnati, talks shop with Elementz's Jamie-Lee Morris. Advice, encouragement, and some practical tips for young writers just getting started. Since its initial sparks on the streets of Chicago in 2001, the Louder Than a Bomb program has grown into the world's largest student poetry competition, and Cincinnati is home to an active local chapter. Meet five outstanding student participants (Ella Beverly, Mama Nije, Anabel Villanueva, Nola Stowe, Ornella Siaka), representing Finneytown, Princeton, and Walnut Hills high schools, and adult spoken word artist Jamie-Lee Morris, of Elementz, who oversees LTAB Cincinnati. This year's "grand slam" finals, originally set for April 3-4 at the Freedom Center, had to be cancelled, but organizers are working on a streaming version later this month, with team members submitting video performances of their poems and judges reviewing and scoring the clips in real time, remotely—stay tuned for more details on that. In the meantime, enjoy five absolutely incendiary poems, plus some heartfelt conversation between the poets about their inspirations, aspirations, and personal challenges. Special thanks to all the LTAB Cincinnati organizers and coaches: Amy Lind, of Taft Research Center and University of Cincinnati; Sean Keating-Crawford, Taft Research Center; Jamie-Lee Morris,of Elementz; Cincinnati Poet Laureate Manuel Iris; Kyle Scudder, Walnut Hills High School; Desirae "The Silent Poet" Hosley, of WordPlay; Jori An Cotton, of WordPlay and Aiken High School; Janine Smith and Justin Williams, Woodward High School; Andrew Dalton, Dater High School; Christopher Kline, Western Hills University High School.

Episode 3, Part 2: Writers' Circle

Four Louder Than a Bomb Cincinnati participants—Ella, Mama, Nola, and Anabel—set aside the performance anxiety and scoring pressure of a typical slam competition and just... talk. They reveal the back-stories behind their poems, share what they love about writing and performing. Since its initial sparks on the streets of Chicago in 2001, the Louder Than a Bomb program has grown into the world's largest student poetry competition, and Cincinnati is home to an active local chapter. Meet five outstanding student participants (Ella Beverly, Mama Nije, Anabel Villanueva, Nola Stowe, Ornella Siaka), representing Finneytown, Princeton, and Walnut Hills high schools, and adult spoken word artist Jamie-Lee Morris, of Elementz, who oversees LTAB Cincinnati. This year's "grand slam" finals, originally set for April 3-4 at the Freedom Center, had to be cancelled, but organizers are working on a streaming version later this month, with team members submitting video performances of their poems and judges reviewing and scoring the clips in real time, remotely—stay tuned for more details on that. In the meantime, enjoy five absolutely incendiary poems, plus some heartfelt conversation between the poets about their inspirations, aspirations, and personal challenges. Special thanks to all the LTAB Cincinnati organizers and coaches: Amy Lind, of Taft Research Center and University of Cincinnati; Sean Keating-Crawford, Taft Research Center; Jamie-Lee Morris,of Elementz; Cincinnati Poet Laureate Manuel Iris; Kyle Scudder, Walnut Hills High School; Desirae "The Silent Poet" Hosley, of WordPlay; Jori An Cotton, of WordPlay and Aiken High School; Janine Smith and Justin Williams, Woodward High School; Andrew Dalton, Dater High School; Christopher Kline, Western Hills University High School.

Episode 3, Part 1: Stand Up and Speak

First up, you gotta hear some of these poems. Ella unpacks some familiar nursery rhymes, for our present moment; Mama explains why nobody gets an "N-word" pass; Anabel examines the border crisis through a child's eyes; Nola shatters the "life planning" mold and seeks a higher love; and Ornella digs deep into the heart of an Angry Black Woman. Since its initial sparks on the streets of Chicago in 2001, the Louder Than a Bomb program has grown into the world's largest student poetry competition, and Cincinnati is home to an active local chapter. Meet five outstanding student participants (Ella Beverly, Mama Nije, Anabel Villanueva, Nola Stowe, Ornella Siaka), representing Finneytown, Princeton, and Walnut Hills high schools, and adult spoken word artist Jamie-Lee Morris, of Elementz, who oversees LTAB Cincinnati. This year's "grand slam" finals, originally set for April 3-4 at the Freedom Center, had to be cancelled, but organizers are working on a streaming version later this month, with team members submitting video performances of their poems and judges reviewing and scoring the clips in real time, remotely—stay tuned for more details on that. In the meantime, enjoy five absolutely incendiary poems, plus some heartfelt conversation between the poets about their inspirations, aspirations, and personal challenges. Special thanks to all the LTAB Cincinnati organizers and coaches: Amy Lind, of Taft Research Center and University of Cincinnati; Sean Keating-Crawford, Taft Research Center; Jamie-Lee Morris,of Elementz; Cincinnati Poet Laureate Manuel Iris; Kyle Scudder, Walnut Hills High School; Desirae "The Silent Poet" Hosley, of WordPlay; Jori An Cotton, of WordPlay and Aiken High School; Janine Smith and Justin Williams, Woodward High School; Andrew Dalton, Dater High School; Christopher Kline, Western Hills University High School.

Episode 2, Part 3: Just Get Out There

"Come save the world with us. We'll be your friends." They're making the posters. They're rocking the hashtags. They're organizing the rallies—and actually showing up. They're knocking on your door, campaigning for the issues and the candidates they care about. Who are these student activists, how did they get this way, and do they really think they can change the world? By some reports, today's young adults are the most politically savvy and engaged generation in American history. We're seeing their influence in this election year, at least on social media, although historically, young voters have not pulled their weight at the polls. Meet four Walnut Hills High School students (Yousuf Munir, Klarke Griffith, David Osterbrock and Lydia Graves) who are determined to shake things up, now, IRL. (Podcast originally recorded Jan. 28, 2020.)

Episode 2, Part 2: Activism Fatigue

"In 2020, a lot of people are gonna be like, why even? Why even go to the polls? Look what happened last time.... Just watching the news—it starts to truly rot you from the inside. It's so much." They're making the posters. They're rocking the hashtags. They're organizing the rallies—and actually showing up. They're knocking on your door, campaigning for the issues and the candidates they care about. Who are these student activists, how did they get this way, and do they really think they can change the world? By some reports, today's young adults are the most politically savvy and engaged generation in American history. We're seeing their influence in this election year, at least on social media, although historically, young voters have not pulled their weight at the polls. Meet four Walnut Hills High School students (Yousuf Munir, Klarke Griffith, David Osterbrock and Lydia Graves) who are determined to shake things up, now, IRL. (Podcast originally recorded Jan. 28, 2020.)

Episode 2, Part 1: Why We Rally

"Do you see yourself as an activist?" The podcasters reflect on their different paths into politics, and remember the inspiring impact of Walnut Hills government teacher Elizabeth Ormsby, who died of cancer in January, at age 40. They're making the posters. They're rocking the hashtags. They're organizing the rallies—and actually showing up. They're knocking on your door, campaigning for the issues and the candidates they care about. Who are these student activists, how did they get this way, and do they really think they can change the world? By some reports, today's young adults are the most politically savvy and engaged generation in American history. We're seeing their influence in this election year, at least on social media, although historically, young voters have not pulled their weight at the polls. Meet four Walnut Hills High School students (Yousuf Munir, Klarke Griffith, David Osterbrock and Lydia Graves) who are determined to shake things up, now, IRL. (Podcast originally recorded Jan. 28, 2020.)

Episode 1, Part 3: Hopes, Dreams, Fears

"I wanna be out there doing something that's relevant. I wanna be out there doing something that helps people." Demographers define Generation Z as the cohort succeeding Millennials (a.k.a. Generation Y, who came after Generation X, who came after the Baby Boomers), and preceding Generation Alpha. They were born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, which puts a lot of them in high school and college now, and makes them the first generation to have grown up with smartphones, social media and other transformational technologies. For this first episode of Democracy & Z, we asked four members of the Dater High School Podcast Club to reflect on what makes them and their peers unique, what challenges they face, and what they wish older people understood better about them. Listen up as Juanisha Gray, Amayrani Santos Gomez, Nylah Richardson, and Khadime Sady break it all down. Special thanks the Dater High School Podcast Club coach, Margaret Lytle, for helping us get this party started.

Episode 1, Part 2: Citizens Of The World

"Our generation is learning how to accept things step by step, such as immigration... Our population has over 30 percent of immigrants, in our school, and they come from all over." Demographers define Generation Z as the cohort succeeding Millennials (a.k.a. Generation Y, who came after Generation X, who came after the Baby Boomers), and preceding Generation Alpha. They were born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, which puts a lot of them in high school and college now, and makes them the first generation to have grown up with smartphones, social media and other transformational technologies. For this first episode of Democracy & Z, we asked four members of the Dater High School Podcast Club to reflect on what makes them and their peers unique, what challenges they face, and what they wish older people understood better about them. Listen up as Juanisha Gray, Amayrani Santos Gomez, Nylah Richardson, and Khadime Sady break it all down. Special thanks the Dater High School Podcast Club coach, Margaret Lytle, for helping us get this party started.

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