Below the Radar Passes 100,000 Listens!

April 17, 2023
Am Johal interviews NiNi Dongnier

As we approach our 5th year of Below the Radar, we’re pleased to share that our podcast has surpassed 100,000 listens! 

Below the Radar is SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement’s knowledge democracy podcast, and over 200 episodes later, we’re proud to be continuing our discussions with trailblazing activists, artists, writers and academics about new projects and ideas at the intersection of politics, art and social change. In the last three years, in addition to our regular programming, we’ve also launched a variety of series highlighting different urban, social justice, and environmental issues. 

The Power of Disability podcast series cover
Climate Justice & Inequality podcast series cover
Women, Work, More podcast series cover

We featured Al Etmanski as host of The Power of Disability; a series that spotlighted enlightening conversations with guests with disabilities who have been influential in arts, activism, science, and more. In our first climate-focused series Climate Justice & Inequality, Am Johal sat down with influential guests from the climate justice movement. This series features conversations that range from how systems of power consistently undermine climate action through policy, to how climate justice is intrinsically linked to issues of colonization and racial injustice. In Women, Work, More, then Co-op student and current VOCE Communications Coordinator Alyha Bardi looked at the multifaceted experiences of gendered work. The series examined struggles for different groups of women in work, and how women enact agency and resistance — while working to re-empower themselves within the very sociocultural contexts that often try to limit their agency.

Program Assistant Paige Smith works with the Megaphone team on the Voices of the Street series

Our Voices of the Street series was a collaboration with Megaphone Magazine, highlighting four Megaphone storytellers who took their poetry and prose from the 2021 Voices of the Street anthology and transformed them for audio. Created by Jules Chapman, Angel Gates, Nicolas Leech-Crier and Yvonne Mark, with writers Dennis Gates, Elaine Schell, Eva Takakanew and Peter Thompson, and mentor Helena Krobath, the series moves through immersive soundscapes, poetics, creative prose, and critical conversations about poverty, incarceration, Indigeneity and connections to home, land and relations.

The Trip Diary is a series that maps accessible, sustainable and equitable transportation in urban spaces. SFU Urban Studies alumni and current VOCE Programs Coordinator Steve Tornes invited transportation enthusiasts, researchers, and policymakers into conversation about the social and political factors that impact how transportation policy plays out on the ground. Finally, our most recent series, The Climate Imaginary, aimed to visualize a better future through inviting guests from across artistic and academic disciplines to discuss ways of working in solidarity amidst the climate crisis.

The Trip Diary podcast series cover
The Climate Imaginary podcast series cover

We celebrate all the work our office has done, and over the last year our podcasting team has been bigger than ever as we’ve welcomed Research Assistants Debbie C. and Sena Cleave as well as Co-op students Gabriel Alegbeleye and Alex Masse. Continuing Research Assistant Kathy Feng remains a fearless editor alongside Program Assistant Samantha Walters. We also acknowledge the work of our new Program Manager Julia Aoki, as well as SFU VOCE Director and host of Below the Radar, Am Johal!

We recognise the contributions of former staff including Program Assistant Jamie-Leigh Gonzales, Communications Coordinators Melissa Roach and Rachel Wong, past Program Coordinator Fiorella Pinillos, audio editor Alex Abahmed and co-op student Jackie Obungah.

Interim Program Assistant Samantha Walters and co-op student Gabriel Alegbeleye in SFU VOCE's 312 Main podcast studio
Am Johal interviews Kari Grain
Research Assistant Sena Cleave works on audio editing
Co-op student Gabriel Alegbeleye working on Below the Radar

As we weather the lasting impacts of the pandemic, we continue to welcome guests online as well as in-person at our recording studio at 312 Main. We have embraced the hybrid lifestyle and whilst we are happy to see people face to face again, we are also grateful for the expansive reach that online recording sessions allow. 

Thank you to all who have listened, subscribed, shared, or been on the show as guests. Find Below the Radar on your podcasting app of choice and we look forward to amplifying more ideas that fly ‘below the radar’.

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