PolicyWise is a new podcast that offers intergenerational policy discussions centered around today’s youth. The podcast, a partnership between Youth Leadership Institute and CA FWD, is hosted by Demitria Wack and Michael Wiafe, members of the CA FWD Young Leaders Advisory Council.
In the first episode, Wack explained why now is the time to discuss policy issues with and about youth. “The year 2020 has been an especially prominent and amazing opportunity for young people to voice their opinions to speak out against racial violence, to call upon their friends, like leaders, and really have their voice listened to,” said Wack. Looking forward, she explained, “We’re going to be able to have the opportunity to engage people and capitalize on this moment in history. Now is the time.”
Wiafe agreed and added that PolicyWise is filling a void. “There is no place where you can go and can sit there and say, ‘let me learn about policy,’” said Wiafe. He explained the genesis of the podcast, saying “We really wanted to get this message out and to share it and to have a way where we can have people listen to these conversations and have people listen to how critical these conversations might be to our future and how policy might be thought about and created.”
Wack and Wiafe will interview a broad range of guests ranging from elected officials to leaders in the youth movement.
The first PolicyWise guest was Youth Leadership Institute CEO Patty Barahona. “It’s an incredibly historical time for youth voice right now,” said Barahona. “When we look back to previous movements of young people informing change, we always remember them in such an endearing way, in a way that it’s not surprising that young people have been leading movements for change for generations.” They added, “But right now for me what’s exciting is that this generation of young people is part of that next historical change.”
Episode two features Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber and Isaac Alferos, a student leader, who joined PolicyWise to discuss equity in education and California Proposition 16, which looks to end the state’s ban on affirmative action.
In advance of the election, PolicyWise released episode three focused on the importance of youth voting and the critical need for youth to get activated and engaged with young leaders Noel Mora and Aiden Arasansingham.