Democracy’s Dozen: Podcasts

Here are 12 great listens to inform and inspire you to stay safe, healthy, and civically active.


How COVID-19 brought Britain back together

Annemarie Plas organized a country-wide movement to clap for health care workers weekly in Britain. Naveed Khan made a customized COVID-19 food and supplies delivery vehicle. Lucy Wellings was overwhelmed with community support and had her stolen bike found. Claire Sheppard set up a service to help those living in isolation, and Sarah-Jane Clark left her family to move into her office at a care home. Listen to this podcast and then try to brainstorm a few ways you can help your community come together.

How Sunset Neighbors created a mutual aid society

Neighbors coming together to help neighbors. Sunset residents created a Facebook page and a call line to help neighbors with groceries and food. They’ve helped more than 250 people and plan to keep this community and the relationships going after the coronavirus concern abates. 

After listening, take some time to safely check in on your neighbors to see if you can help in any way. 

How to help

Many of us feel like we are wasting extra time and are looking for ways to help others. Dr. Sanjay Gupta features several people who have raised money for healthy snacks for healthcare workers, who grocery shop for senior citizens, and volunteers who have had COVID-19 and are now donating their blood. Listen to these inspiring stories and then ask yourself, How can I use my skills, time, and experience to help others?

Civic engagement, social distancing and democracy reform

In a time of social distancing, it can be hard to remain civically engaged in your community. This podcast focuses on the political impact of coronavirus on our democracy and the opportunities it provides. The opportunity to form new online communities, the chance to reform flaws in our democracy, and a chance to build local leaders. 

Manage COVID anxiety and depression (and stay politically active)

An excellent Q&A with Jennifer Young, a therapist who specializes in trauma. All of your questions about how to manage anxiety during this time are answered, along with a few tips on how to stay politically active. After listening, give yourself some time to practice Young’s tips on managing anxiety and depression, while being sure to not retreat from civic life.

Mobilizing in a time of crisis

This podcast shares how civic teachers across the country are changing their curriculum and adapting to this time. As well as dissecting what community looks like now, it highlights how we can be partners, and emphasizes the importance of giving ourselves grace.

Surviving isolation

Scott Kelly spent 340 days in space, so for him social distancing is not a new concept. Here, he shares his tips on how to survive quarantine with resiliency and a positive attitude. Kelly recommends setting a schedule with variety, exercising, picking up a hobby, focusing on what you can control, and using the time to connect. 

Learning from a plague

Still Processing draws comparisons between life now and  the AIDS documentary “How to Survive a Plague” to show how important organizing for values is during coronavirus – and what we can learn from the organizers during the AIDS crisis. 

After listening, ask yourself, Who is missing from the coverage of coronavirus? How can I help? 


Talking with friends and family about coronavirus

Science communication expert and executive director of The Story Collider, Liz Neely shares tips on how to talk to loved ones about the coronavirus and how to get through misinformation. It is important we use open dialogue that is based on honesty and transparency when speaking to others. Listen to this podcast and then reach out to family and friends for an open conversation about coronavirus. 

Protecting democracy during a pandemic

With primaries and a presidential election coming up politics is being heavily influenced by the coronavirus. This podcast speaks with Larry Sabato, Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia and director of the Center for Politics about the important role of voters. How candidates should conduct their campaigns and the potential changes in the ways we vote. 

Nonprofits and businesses fighting for your communities

A delve into how coronavirus is affecting nonprofits and businesses that work closely for the betterment of their communities. The importance of these organizations’ work is evident, but how they are getting through this tough time might not be. After listening, think of how you might be able to assist a nonprofit in your community.

Alone together

These stories highlight the ways that Americans have been using the internet to connect with their friends, colleagues, and loved ones. This inspiring and relaxing piece is a combination of different interactions and the ways we use the web as a great connector. After listening, feel free to reflect on how you interact with others – and, if you can, reach out to your friends and family. 

More Democracy’s Dozens for
civic-minded citizens

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