According to Yasmine Ouirhrane and Jana Degrott, co-founders of We Belong, Diversity and Inclusion is a topic that matters to all – and that’s why they work every day to bring the culture of D&I to as many people as possible. Here’s the solution they’ve found: a podcast.
Education also has non-formal expressions, which in some cases can also be more impactful than their more formal counterparts. Modern media, and in particular podcasts, are perfect examples of such non-formal educational tools that are increasingly being used to spread ideas, concepts and stories. And, with We Belong, Yasmine and Jana managed to actualize this learning potential and educate the general public on a topic as important as it is complex, like Diversity and Inclusion.
So, what exactly is We Belong? First off, it’s a podcast on Diversity & Inclusion with an interview format and inspiring guests: people who broke stereotypes and succeeded in spite of many difficulties. Around these stories they built a community and a network of professionals offering D&I services addressed to companies and organizations. Here’s how Yasmine and Jana used these non-formal educational tools to spread D&I’s culture.
made up of interviews with guests with an inspiring story and underrepresented backgrounds.
where people from different backgrounds can feel they belong, get support and access opportunities for growth.
to increase companies’ awareness around D&I and help them create more inclusive workplaces.
How did it all start? From a desire for redemption in contrast to hatred online to facing hostility in political spaces, the reasons behind We Belong’s foundation are actually deeply related to both Jana’s and Yasmine’s personal stories and the D&I situation in Europe.
Storytelling is an essential educational tool. Both hearing and telling stories can spread ideas, stimulate creativity and imagination, as well as promote critical thinking, emotional intelligence and context awareness. All the more when the stories told are also inclusive.
Representation matters and inspires. And it’s exactly through this logic that the We Belong podcast simultaneously reaches three goals: amplifying voices that usually struggle to be heard, inspiring others through example, and spreading the culture of Diversity & Inclusion.
What are the stories that had the greatest impact on the community? There’s certainly that of Nadia Nadim, a professional footballer whose tale can be resumed as follows: chase your passions, in spite of any stigma and difficulty.
Former Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities in France. How does a businesswoman originally from the Republic of Cabo Verde enter politics? Her story is almost dream-like!
A Dominican-Italian trilingual popstar who experienced migration and separation from her mother at the age of four.
A Syrian refugee, humanitarian activist, and swimmer. Her story has also become popular thanks to the Netflix film The Swimmers.
We Belong’s podcast always begins in the same way, with a powerful message of encouragement. Yasmine and Jana wanted to start with the same question: how can we take action to create a more inclusive world? It all comes down to our daily attitude.