When DeRay Mckesson announced on Twitter —the place where he’s gained a loyal following that includes Beyoncé— that he’d be starting a podcast, it made perfect sense.
The Baltimore-bred activist has dedicated his life to informing and uplifting Black people and a weekly sounding board to consistently do this felt like an organic next step.
We had to know more. And more information is what he gave us.
“Social media is and has been over the past three years, a place for us to both tell our stories, organize, participate and force conversations we otherwise wouldn’t have,” Mckesson told ESSENCE. “The podcast allows me to create space for conversations that can lead to change things in a different way.”
Called Pod Save the People, the weekly show is hosted by the 31-year-old but will have regular appearances from VP of national community alliances for Teach for America, Brittany Packnett and Campaign Zero co-founder, Samuel Sinyangwe.
On the inaugural episode, Mckesson talks to Senator Corey Booker about prison reform and medical regulation. He then transitions to a discussion about healthcare with Andy Slavitt, who ran Obamacare for three years.
“We’ve wanted a podcast dedicated to answering the question ‘What can I do to help?’ since the moment we started Crooked Media,” said Jon Favreau who co-founded Crooked Media and was President Barack Obama’s former speechwriter.
“I’ve always thought DeRay would be the perfect host. He’s not just an accomplished activist, but a deeply thoughtful, inspirational communicator who can connect with people looking for hope and guidance about the path forward right now.”
While Mckesson couldn’t divulge who’s being booked for the show (the lineup is exciting to say the least), he did note that he plans to talk to experts, political leaders, cultural influencers and activists/organizers.
“I’m hoping that with Pod Save the People that listeners experience conversations that help them process the world differently,” Mckesson said.
“That build that capacity to organize and to be activists in their home, communities and a national level. It’s important to me that activists and citizens understand the importance of issues at hand, at a deep level.”
Listen to Pod Save the People every Tuesday by subscribing here.