It was at the most recent Ignite Philly event when Moira Bohannon first started talking about kids in activism. Specifically, political activism.
Bohannon was there to support #TuesdaysWithToomey organizer Jo Johnson, but during intermission, the hosts asked for three people to present a one-minute, non-rehearsed pitch about anything. The next scheduled talk was about starting a podcast. That’s when it just clicked for Bohannon:
That spark of an idea has since evolved into a weekly podcast Bohannon and her preteen son Henry started near the end of March called the PolitiKid Podcast. Three episodes are available right now, all around 20 minutes in length.
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Bohannon says we should think of kids as “pre-voters.” Just because citizens can’t vote until they’re 18, Bohannon discusses with her son in the first episode, “doesn’t mean [they] can’t be involved” in the democratic process.
“Voting is just one act of civic engagement, and there’s a lot more kids can do and should do before they can vote,” she said. “Hopefully, if kids become civically active before they vote, they’ll be more likely to vote when the time comes.
The two discuss marches and demonstrations they’ve attended together throughout the first episode, including the Women’s March on Washington, and some Bohannon attended herself out of safety concerns for her son, such as the Muslim Ban protest at Philadelphia International Airport this past January.
Bohannon isn’t just dragging Henry along for the ride. He chimes in regularly during the first episode about the cool things he saw during the Women’s March (“You could barely walk in the street because it was so crowded!”) and touts his knowledge of our local representatives in government near the end of the episode. Bohannon has even written a heartfelt letter to her son explaining how he was the reason she ended up buying last-minute tickets to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.
The hope is that a kids-focused podcast like PolitiKid can help kids understand and be more interested with what’s happening politically around us. In terms of activism, Bohannon even has a recommendation for kids getting started at home:
Don’t like your bedtime? March in protest.
“Parenting is not a democracy so you may not win that battle,” she said. “But it’s a good practice.”