W&J student creates personal podcast to challenge racial inequity

Written: July 15, 2020
Last Updated: July 20, 2020

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Jasmine Dey's headshot and the Cue the Conversation podcast logo

WASHINGTON (July 15, 2020)—Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

That’s the theme at the heart of Jasmine Dey’s podcast “Cue the Conversation,” a broadcast that so far has examined institutional accountability, Juneteenth, and the Black Lives Matter movement. In each episode, Jasmine lays out the facts through historical research and evidence-based reports while thoughtfully imparting her personal opinions and experiences as a black person growing up in a predominantly white-populated area.

Jasmine, a Washington & Jefferson College sophomore majoring in political science and philosophy and a leader of the W&J Black Student Union, started the podcast as a personal project, the idea for which was sparked by passionate and thought-provoking discussions with her friends on campus. The initial concept was to have her friends exchange ideas, experiences, and things they’ve learned, but the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted those plans.

“As time went on and coronavirus came around, I had less time to do it and the idea kind of floated away, but then in May after George Floyd was murdered, I remembered what I wanted to do, and I wanted to tackle it in a way that’s productive. I want to have conversations that apply to what we’re seeing right now,” Jasmine said.

After being interviewed by Teen Vogue about the role of Black Student Unions in American colleges today, Jasmine enlisted her high school friend Calvin Leon, a media communications major at Temple University, to help her produce the show, and “Cue the Conversation” was born.

Though she’s only just begun, Jasmine has already reached a wide audience, including Green Party 2020 Presidential candidate Howie Hawkins and his running mate Angela Walker, who recently appeared on an episode in conversation with Jasmine.

“[The show] is for everyone, though I’m a little surprised with the amount of people who aren’t my peers listening to this,” she said.

While she has their ear, Jasmine encourages audiences to challenge their beliefs by being receptive to new information—even when it’s hard to hear.

“It’s so often that in America, there are so many rights and privileges that we have that we become comfortable. It’s important to take the time to step away from what you’re used to and hear someone else’s point of view,” she said. “Allyship is hard, especially when you’re just starting out. It’s supposed to sometimes anger you and make you uncomfortable. No matter how uncomfortable it makes you, though, there’s nothing more dangerous and uncomfortable than to experience racism on the other end.”

You can find “Cue the Conversation” on its host site cuetheconvo.podbean.com and wherever you listen to podcasts. To stay in the know for podcast updates, follow Cue the Conversation on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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