At Focused Community Strategies, we stay creative in our community development work by feeding our minds. Our work in Historic South Atlanta combines both the heart and the head, and we nurture both parts in ourselves. As we enjoy the summer, our staff shared some of their top buffets-for-thought: podcasts on topics ranging from faith, wealth, and community. As a friend, neighbor, or donor on the journey with us, take a peek at the shows that motivate and teach us. They’re great listens for a quiet summer afternoon!
#1 This is Community - Katie Delp
A production of Purpose Built Communities, this podcast tackles our country’s vast history of discrimination. The current season focuses on historic racial discrimination and how the consequences ripple out into communities today. The first season detailed the economic discrimination in our country, and how it pushes the American Dream out of the grasp of millions of neighbors. Compelling and complex, this podcast highlights research on the real-life phenomena that affect communities like ours.
#2 “Community Organizing as Spiritual Practice” from On Being - Donell Woodson
Lupton Center’s Donell Woodson plucked this particular episode out of the On Being series for its direct application to our work in South Atlanta and for its hopeful tone. Community organizers Rami Nashashibi and Lucas Johnson speak with host, Krista Tippett, about love. They refer to love as “the most reliable muscle of human transformation,” and an engine for public good. Both guests work to foment genuine connection in our age of division, believing that restoring our cities and nations requires getting “proximate to pain.” It offers a powerful and heartfelt vision from two practitioners of holistic restoration.
#3 Redefining Wealth - Kaci Palmore
Patrice Washington exhorts her audience to chase purpose, not money. She features guests each week to explore a different aspect of well-being. When she doesn’t have a guest, Washington offers personal insights from her own journey as a personal finance expert and as a person. Washington talks about faith, self-confidence, authenticity, and making space for emotional experiences in life. If you’re looking for a fresh and relatable podcast, this is a great one!
#4 Radio Lab - Monica Evans
This quirky podcasts features a duo, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, as they “investigate a strange world.” In each episode, the hosts probe a scientific concept through stories, conversations with experts, and almost always lots of laughs! Their topics have ranged from immensely broad ones, like beauty and morality, to singularly specific questions, like whether we could have spoken to neanderthals in a common language. For anyone who likes to learn with a dash of whimsy, this podcast serves as a great opportunity.
#5 Relevant Podcast - Jim Wehner
An off-shoot of Relevant Magazine, this podcast offers a potpourri of faith-adjacent content. Some episodes engage thought-leaders, like the late Rachel Held Evans, others discuss a band’s latest album with them. Whomever the guest, the roughly one-hour episodes feel both casual and jovial, as if the listener were sitting on the couch in a circle with the other members.
It takes a village of gifts to weave the fabric of a place. In the same way, it takes a variety of material to help weave a creative and well-informed mind. We hope you enjoyed our staff’s picks for their top podcasts. What would you add to the list?