Terrascope Alum Shante Stowell’s “Feeling Raced” Podcast Featured on WAMC/Northeast Public Radio


Shante StowellFeeling Raced,” an audio story by Shante Stowell ’15, was picked up recently by 51%, a weekly 30-minute show on women's issues that is produced at WAMC/Northeast Public Radio. The show is broadcast by roughly 100 stations throughout the US, including WNYC in New York. Stowell, who was an MIT senior when she produced the piece, first learned to create audio stories in the Terrascope freshman learning community.

The piece was a final project for 21L.504 (Stay Human: Race and Identity in American Literature). “Associate Professor Sandy Alexandre gave us the option to go beyond a traditional paper format for our final projects,” Stowell says. “I immediately thought of doing a radio piece, because it's a format I’ve loved since taking Terrascope Radio in my freshman year. We’d been discussing the question, ‘When have your actions been influenced by your race?’ and I thought that Caucasians would probably have a much harder time answering it—probably influenced by my own inability to think of an answer. I decided I’d ask people the question, record their answers, and turn what I got into some kind of radio program,” she adds.

The show with Shante’s piece aired on WAMC radio on February 11 and 17. The entire show is available on the 51% website.

Stowell’s piece also won a national contest sponsored by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The contest, part of ASEE’s Year of Action on Diversity, solicited videos and essays from engineering students sharing a story related to any type of diversity. Stowell won first place with what the contest organizers described as “a unique audio piece that encourages thought and self-reflection.”

“My study wasn’t terribly scientific,” she adds. “I grabbed friends who had some free time, especially ones I thought would have things to say. I decided I wanted to keep things simpler by not including various international friends in the interviews—though I did talk to several of them off-record. Ultimately, I hope the piece stands for itself, and helps people think about and start conversations about how they experience their own race.” 

This story appeared in an earlier form on MIT News.