Chicago — Three best friends from Chicago are making their dreams come true by creating a podcast that’s aimed to give Black girls in the city a space to discuss how current events affect girls of color.
Hosted by Zilah Harris, Danielle Nolen and Maya Sewell, “Dear Chicago Girls” is an initiative of the Girls Like Me Project nonprofit organization which helps urban girls of color identify and examine the cultural, environmental and media messages that influence their development.
The first episode will center on COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on girls.
“I think the podcast is important for other Black girls to realize that living in Chicago as a Black girl is a shared experience,” said host Danielle Nolen. “I think it's important that they know that they're not alone and that they're not experiencing the things that we all experience by themselves.”
Sewell said there’s no limit to what will be discussed on their podcast. It can range from relationships to current events and gives listeners a break from reality.
In addition, Harris said it will show a very vulnerable side of the hosts, where listeners will really get to know them.
“We were perfect for this platform, for Black girls in Chicago, specifically with our experience and everything that we go through and our foundation of growing up in Chicago, that we had the right voices to like speak out for an audience,” said Harris, an executive producer of the podcast.
The trio, who are each 20, said the length of the episodes can range from 30 minutes to an hour. Each will have a specific topic and they’ll talk about how it affects Black girls and women in Chicago.
“I’m really excited to be able to share this space with my best friends together, and I'm just really excited for people to hear what we have to say because we all got a lot to say,” Nolen said.
Harris said the podcast is very hands-on and the hosts help with its production.
“There's definitely gonna be other people behind the scenes that are going to assist with the editing and just helping us to perfect it, but we are like extremely involved,” Harris said.
Sewell described the podcast as a “safe haven” for Black girls in Chicago where they can come to talk about anything they want. In future episodes, the trio hopes to feature special guests from Chicago to include in the podcast.
Harris said the initiative is important to girls because the city has such a rich culture especially for Black people, and more specifically Black girls.
“I'm excited for the collabs that we'll be doing,” Harris said. “We'll be speaking to some really important people within Chicago who are doing great work under different organizations and under different issues and everything.”
The first episode, set to debut Dec. 24, will center on COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on girls.
The podcast will be available on Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts and YouTube. Video of the hosts recording the podcast via Zoom will be available as well.
“We have the best podcast coming out of Chicago, and there’s nobody like us, we’re unique,” Sewell said.