May 6, 2021

“Hear These Voices” is a podcast created by “Key 2 Unity”; a social justice club in Albemarle County. Co-produced by five high school students; the podcast amplifies student voices on current issues such as mental health, virtual learning, COVID 19 and unity. The leadership team includes senior, Naquel Perry Jr. three juniors, Paige White, Jackson Rose, Asianah Gonzalez, and sophomore, Mary Govan. For more information on “Key 2 Unity” follow our Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube: (@key2unity). The podcast launches May 7th at 9am EST!

The pilot episode entitled “The Past 10 Months” features Naquel, Jackson, Paige Mary, and Asianah discussing the dramatic ten-month span (February 2020-December 2020). Tune in to hear youth perspectives on COVID, Black Lives Matter, the 2020 Presidential Election, the return to school and more.

On May 25, 2020 a black man by the name of George Floyd was murdered by the knee of a police officer. His death created a national uproar as millions of people were tired of black people dying at the hands of police. Protests erupted nationwide and pushed difficult, but long-awaited conversations about race, justice, and the treatment of minorities. These conversations reverberated locally and Jackson Rose reached out to Dara Bonham, the principal of Albemarle High school. The AHS students wanted to create change through conversation among students.  On June 2, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam invited Naquel Perry Jr. to speak at his press conference in response to  the murder of Georg Floyd. Naquel spoke to the entire state and caught the attention of everyone in the Aalbermarle/Charlottesville community.. Later that day, Key 2 Unity’s principal congratulated Naquel and invited him to meet Jackson as well as other students selected to join what would later become Key 2 Unit. 

In July of 2020 in the middle of the summer of COVID 19 and racial reckoning, Naquel, Paige White, Asianah Gonzales, and Mary Govan met on a zoom facilitated by principal Darah Bonham. Encouraged by Princiapl Bonham, the students came up with a slew of ideas that they wanted to execute, including a podcast designed to build community and conversation. In Agust they named themselves- “Key 2 Unity.” In their first four months the group successfully launched their website, social media, and projects on topics that reflect unity. In December they finally sat down to film the first episode of the “Hear These Voices” podcast. And in the first week of May 2021 after an intense year the podcast officially launched.

Listen to the podcast here!