Julián Castro hosts Our America, a podcast from Lemonada Media about re-imagining an America without poverty or discrimination. Castro served as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama.
Having the experience of making a podcast has reinforced for me the incredible power in audio storytelling and the remarkable amount of work that goes into making an impactful series. This list is meant to be a jumping off point for those who are either new to the podcast space or looking for their next program to listen to. These shows are meant to reflect diversity in terms of subject matter, format, genre and hosts.
I’m deeply grateful that on my own show, I have the chance to speak with people from different walks of life—grassroots activists, everyday Americans, experts, cultural figures. Together, we reimagine an America in which we can all thrive. Through these discussions, we find solutions to some of America’s most pressing issues.
I became aware of this podcast through my work with Lemonada Media. This series takes on the hard things that are killing Americans and focuses on clear action steps to help combat these epidemics. Season One covered the opioid crisis while Season Two examines the growing rates of suicide.
If you are looking for a true crime show that does a deep dive into infamous cases and examines every last detail with nuance, this series is a great option. Criminology has new episodes every Saturday night. They’ve covered historical cases such as Lizzie Borden but also more modern cases, such as Jessica Chambers.
Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with incredible analysis from Sam Sinyangwe, Kaya Henderson, and De’Ara Balenger. Additionally, he sits down for deep conversations with diverse local and national leaders and activists. I’ve been a guest on the show several times and am always appreciative of how DeRay approaches each conversation with an eye towards changing the future.
Jonathan’s curious nature and willingness to do the work in order to create a better world makes them the perfect host for this weekly podcast. They have had fantastic discussions with notable politicians, scientists, and athletes to inform, educate, and entertain audiences.
This show is a direct result of the 2016 election. Co-hosts Jason Kander and Ravi Gupta give their listeners weekly talking points to have productive, game changing conversations with those who voted for Donald Trump. Jason, who is a veteran and a mental health advocate, has been a guest on my show and draws on his own personal experiences to help change minds and heal hearts. Majority 54 often does emergency episodes when there is breaking news.
Dan’s show, which examines resources to help listeners live a healthy life, stems from his own personal journey with overcoming anxiety. Guests include everyone from meditation teachers to scientists with insight to help us have a more fulfilling life’s journey.
This fantastic series explores what it means to be Latino against the cultural backdrop of modern day American society. Recent episodes include riveting profiles on musicians, wrongful convictions, and tips on how to stay safe during the pandemic.
This series covers major news stories, at home and aboard. The show doesn’t shy away from having critical, but hard conversations around social and political events.
This classic NPR quiz show is a fantastic way to test your pop-culture and current-events knowledge. Celebrities and cultural figures work in tandem with contestants to ace fun challenges that draw directly from notable American moments. It is an enjoyable and often hilarious listen.