At the beginning of the pandemic, when the entire world was shuttered up in their respective homes, the engagement coordinator of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Women’s Center Lizzy Lavin thought to herself, “What if the Women’s Center made a podcast?” Now, almost a year later, her idea to create a show that highlights advocacy in Nebraska has come to fruition.
When Lavin returned to campus in the fall of 2020, she brought her quarantine-born idea of creating a podcast to her team at the Women’s Center. After a semester of logistics and behind-the-scenes work, the Women’s Center debuted its podcast, “That’s What You Missed at the Women’s Center,” on Feb 12.
Lavin said what started as a passing thought became a full-blown project thanks to her time spent in isolation.
“It was a very casual conversation at the office at first,” Lavin said. “I came in after summer really wanting to start a podcast. It’s what quarantine does to you; you get very creative and in your brain. We brought it up to our team one meeting, and they just let us run with it.”
The conversational podcast is posted bi-weekly on Spotify, focusing on discussions about areas of advocacy within the UNL community.
As another means of outreach, Lavin said the podcast offers the Women’s Center the opportunity to communicate more than they could in a typical social media post.
“If you think about how much information is distributed out of the Women’s Center weekly, it’s a lot,” Lavin said. “Our podcasts are conversational, but they also are a way for us to spread information. We had an episode that was 30 minutes long about supporting women of color in academic spaces. I can’t imagine making that an Instagram post.”
The podcast is co-hosted by Lavin and library and resource coordinator for the Women’s Center Syrah Andrews. Both Lavin and Andrews said creating a podcast involved a bit of a learning curve.
“We’re still learning,” Andrews said. “Each episode we get a little better and a little more comfortable with the process. This is our first time doing a podcast, but now that we have all the pieces, we’re finally kind of putting it together. It sounds professional and like something can carry on.”
According to Lavin, one of their missions in constructing the podcast was to show people that advocacy is possible in smaller communities like Nebraska.
“Everyone thinks that activism happens in bigger places and bigger cities,” Lavin said. “I think this is just a reminder that change can happen here. We wanted to focus on relevant issues but put more of a local lens on it.”
The fourth episode of “That’s What You Missed at the Women’s Center” — “Strong Women in Leadership with Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs)” — will premiere on Spotify on March 26.
Due to its brevity, the duo said theirs is the perfect podcast to listen to while walking to class. They hope that, by listening, students will become engaged, active members of the community.
“It’s easy and short,” Andrews said. “It covers important topics that aren’t always talked about, but if they are, they’re normally pretty generalized, so getting specific and being an active member of our community is important and everyone should be trying to make a difference.”