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A list of current podcast resources by YMCA and JCC industry professionals aiming to help better their communities.

With the explosion of virtual resources during the pandemic, a number of podcast resources for the community recreation industry sprang to life, covering an array of topics from equity, diversity and inclusion to addressing community issues and hearing from community members.

Below is a list of current podcast resources being updated regularly, and a brief overview of what you can expect as a listener.

Causenetic Podcast, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas

The Causenetic Podcast is focused on expanding the Y’s mission to audiences and providing conversation, inspiration and influence. Hosts Keith Vinson, the vice president of operations, and Rodrigua Ross, the vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Dallas Y, discuss community topics that are globally-minded and locally-focused. Produced by the marketing and communications team at the Dallas Y, this podcast gives listeners the opportunity to see a different perspective and connect to community issues.

Recent episodes include:

  • In the Air: Communities across the country don’t experience the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards. In this episode, hosts talk about environmental injustice.
  • Sing to my Soul: According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “research has shown listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness and memory.” In this episode, hosts tap into the songs that sing to their soul.
  • Personal Paradigm featuring Steve Tarver: In this episode, hosts talk with Steve Tarver, the president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Louisville. They discuss how to make “spirit, mind and body for all” come to life and how the events of 2020 impacted him and his leadership.

For Love, with James Morton, YMCA of Greater Boston

For Love is a very personal podcast featuring James Morton, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston. The goal is to spread love, learn new things about each other and find potential partners in critical work – all with the hope of activating community for good. In each episode, Morton offers a personal reflection on current events and topics surrounding the Boston community, the nation and globe, through the lens of love.

Recent episodes include:

  • Marcus Nelson: Morton is joined by Marcus Nelson. Marcus is highly respected by the YMCA of Greater Boston and has a couple things to say about the mission of the Y, his own mission and the state of the world.
  • Juneteenth: Morton celebrates the significance of Juneteenth and how incredible of a day it was in the history of America. Juneteenth was the day the slaves were officially free, a day that ended a dark era. Although the road that African Americans travelled was not much easier, Juneteenth took a crucial first step towards a brighter future.
  • Conversations: Morton is joined by Anthony Attride, the executive director of the Dorchester YMCA. They discuss how important conversations have the potential to help.

beCAUSE whY, Merrimack Valley YMCA

beCAUSE whY is a monthly podcast of the Merrimack Valley YMCA hosted by the president and CEO, Frank Kenneally. Each month, the podcast highlights the programs and services of the Merrimack Valley YMCA. They look at the community issues the Y is addressing and listeners get a chance to meet the volunteers, staff and the people who are participating and hear their stories.

Recent episodes include:

  • Pastor Bill Ingraham: This episode gets to know chair of the Methuen board of managers and member of the board of directors, Pastor Bill Ingraham. Kenneally explores Bill’s hidden talents and all of the places around the world he has lived and visited before finally settling in Massachusetts.
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Join Kenneally in learning more about COO Claudia Soo Hoo personally, her past and present career with the Y, and her incredible work with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
  • Camp Otter: Kenneally takes a trip down memory lane with Sue Doyle, previous camp counselor, camp parent, and now, camping branch board member. They reminisce about their days at Camp Otter and honor the first director, George Snyder. Lastly, they discuss the impact camp has had on their own children and why sending kids to camp continues to be so important, especially this summer.

J Voices, Asheville JCC

The Asheville JCC podcast is devoted to connectivity and community during the Coronavirus outbreak, hosted by Belle Crawford.

Recent episodes include:

  • Judaism and Psychiatry: This episode chats with longtime friends and members of the Ashevillle Jewish Community, David Leader and Steve Shulruff. Hear about the reasons they pursued work in psychiatry and the Jewish influences on their work. Also receive advice from each of them about how to move forward in a world that is slowly opening again to social interaction but that may not look like the world we left behind a year ago when the pandemic began.
  • Healing Jewish Sacred Music: This episode is about Jewish sacred music’s ability to heal both the listener and the music maker. It includes some special voices in the Jewish community. Hear music from Jane Roman Pitt, Geri Garfinkel Gershon, Seth Kellam and Penny White. Listen to these musicians explain their relationship to Jewish sacred music and their understanding of the healing qualities of Jewish music.

Y Advancing Equity Podcast, Arlington-Mansfield Area YMCA

The Y Advancing Racial Equity Podcast is a weekly podcast focusing on equity, anti-racism, unity and community engagement in the community and across the world. The show is committed to providing diverse perspectives from a variety of people who are in different stages of their DEI journey. Each week, episodes will feature community leaders, community resources, DEI and DIG education, and real life stories from people who want to share their message and life experiences.

Recent episodes include:

  • Unity in the Community with Mayor Jim Ross: The second episode of the podcast features Mayor Jim Ross to talk about what unity in the community looks like, inclusion, the importance of diversity and unity.
  • Why the Y: In the first episode of the podcast, host Heidi Hardy, vice president of community engagement, and co-host Eric Tucker, president and CEO, introduce the Y Advancing Equity Podcast.


Is your organization launching a podcast soon? Do you already have a podcast? We would love to hear about it! Email Brittany at brittany@peakemedia.com to share your podcast resources.

Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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