In September of 2019, the podcast you now know as The Round Table was conceived! We have since had over 3500 listens, a number that is continuing to climb higher as we create more and more episodes. Everyone at the podcast–the podcasters and the editors–are infinitely grateful to everyone who has supported us thus far, and we can’t wait to keep working!
The podcast is almost entirely student-run; our team finds and reaches out to different speakers we’re interested in hearing from, we decide on a date and time, and the fun begins! Each episode is about half an hour-long, jam-packed with high-intensity questions, compelling exchanges of ideas, and lighthearted jokes. Our team typically writes some thoughts as to what we want to cover during the episode, but for the most part, the podcast follows the organic flow of conversation, leading to a dynamic listening experience!
I was fortunate to join The Round Table way back in March (yes, in B.P.: Before Pandemic) and have since been able to discuss a variety of topics with insightful intellectuals all around the globe, from India to Rwanda, participating in unique conversations that have forever changed my perception of the world around me. I’ve learned about global refugee education, flaws in our criminal justice system, and so much more, all while working with an incredibly talented group of podcasters. Three of our founding podcasters have now graduated out of the podcast and into college, two of whom shared their experiences with me as they move on.
Julianna Davis, now a freshman at American University, mentions that she joined the podcast because it seemed like “an enriching experience, which it totally was!” She raves about the fascinating speakers and the important issues that were talked about on the podcast, stating that she feels she learned a lot. Julianna also says that she gained many new skills beyond public speaking from the podcast,, including “having to do background research on [speakers]” as well as “formulating questions.”
Riya Mehta, a freshman at Tufts University, shared that she loved the podcast because of its “emphasis on deliberation over debate”. She notes that the podcast tried to be inclusive and have a wide variety of voices, and she enjoyed how it made her “a more critical thinker”. Her favorite episode was with Barbara McQuade, Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, and a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC–one I definitely recommend listening to! Riya reflects on her time at the podcast, saying that she now understands how Gen Z can be an asset in organizing about political issues but can also box themselves into a certain view–something The Round Table strives to counteract.
Personally, my favorite episode thus far was with Cyrus McGoldrick, an activist who has worked for the advancement of human rights for the past decade. The conversations that we had about community organizing, the practicality of activism, and bipartisanship within the realm of civil rights were remarkably enlightening and engaging. I think that episode may have changed my outlook on various issues for years to come–it was that impactful. Another one of my favorite episodes was with Mark Hanis, who worked under former Vice President Joe Biden in the White House and gave us amazing insight regarding what we could expect from a Biden administration, as well as on the demographics of our current government system and how they can be improved. There truly is an episode for everyone–regardless of your identity–it’s just a matter of digging into our archive and finding it!
Our podcast is constantly evolving, including students and guests of all different perspectives and ideologies, and with your help, we’d love to grow our listenership! We’re on all major podcast platforms so if this article whets your appetite to listen to our episodes, you can do so on Anchor, Spotify, and many more! And if you have suggestions for episodes you’d like us to do and/or guests we should invite on, please share them in the comments. We look forward to having you join us at the (Round) Table!
Inica Kotasthane is a sixteen-year-old writer who attends Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren, New Jersey, and is the Co-Editor in Chief of the Next Generation Politics blog. Kotasthane is also the Co-Editor in Chief of her school newspaper, The Arrowhead, and is passionate in speech and debate. She remains active in politics by working with her local League of Women Voters chapter and is in the Youth Leadership Program for her county. Inica plans on pursuing her interests in Political Science and Writing through journalism or policymaking, and hopes to continue to raise awareness and change for social issues affecting the world today.