A podcast about reckoning, reconciliation, and rebuilding. The first season of Belonging follows teachers and students from across the U.S. on a journey to confront their biases and build classrooms where students can bring their full selves. Teachers have the power to affirm students’ identities. Unchecked teacher bias can cause harm.Young people’s perspectives can spark the change needed to build belonging in schools. Featuring original music by high school students in New York City and Chicago. Explore more at


July 27, 2022 3 min

Is It Freedom? is a song featured in Episode 06: Where Do We Go. The song is the result of a unique collaboration between Jorie, Erica’s niece, and Larii, a young Chicago-based artist.

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Erica‘s quest to advocate for her niece, Jorie, hits a wall when Jorie’s teacher doesn’t respond to an offer to learn about the history of Juneteenth and visit nearby Eatonville, the first all-Black municipality that Erica‘s family established. To support Jorie’s critical consciousness, Erica guides her in writing a letter expressing her feelings of exclusion in school, and knowledge about her people’s history. But due to the anti-...

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July 11, 2022 26 min

What happens when students’ identities are not reflected in the curriculum? Erica connects with an Asian American mother concerned with the lack of representation of Asians in the curriculum. The mother questions her own child’s teacher in Brooklyn, and students from a tiny school in Colorado who brought the local history of Chinese exclusion to light, and want to learn more about Mexican-American local history. These stories exami...

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July 3, 2022 2 min

Erica pauses programming and encourages us all to think deeply about Independence Day and what it means to be free.

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June 27, 2022 23 min

Erica reconnects with her third grade teacher, and tells her that her classroom was the first place she felt she belonged in school. The idea of a “homeplace” is further explored with an educator in Queens who established a Black affinity group at her school, and with three students who are part of that group.

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This podcast used to have a different name: Blindspots. Erica explores her own biases and responsibility for inclusion by talking to a writing teacher who is blind. A new name for the podcast is born: Belonging.
To hold her former colleague accountable for listening and learning, Erica has a follow-up courageous conversation about the impact of her actions on students.
The podcast theme song is born as students in Washington Heights,...

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June 13, 2022 25 min

Erica’s classroom was right next door to her wife’s classroom, but nobody at school knew they were married. They built a safe space that allowed them to grow. And they want to hear from others who “have the gall to live their truth.”

Erica co-hosts this episode with her wife, Daphne. They explore bias and belonging for LGBTQ+ students and teachers with a third grader in Chicago, a high school student in Bronx, NY, and GSA (Gende...

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June 9, 2022 20 min

“To make it right for your children, you have to make noise”
— Erica Young

Educator and storyteller Erica Young talks to her mom about leaving her all-Black school for an integrated school in the 1960s, an experience that left her without confidence. 

When Erica realizes her beloved 12-year-old niece is also experiencing feelings of exclusion in her education, Erica commits to sharing voices of those impacted by bias and belonging in ...

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