Introducing UROC’s Podcast, Rules of Engagement

Tune in monthly to hear UROC Executive Director Makeda Zulu’s conversations with University and community partners.

The University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) has been partnering with North Minneapolis residents and other urban communities for more than a decade. Stories about those partnerships are known to many, but it’s a big world out there so in in late 2023 UROC Executive Director Makeda Zulu came up with the idea for a podcast called Rules of Engagement.

Podcast highlights

  • UROC’s innovative research, projects, and partnerships
  • Benefits of University-community public engagement
  • Slow Roll bike program's impact on health and wellness 
  • Birth Justice Collaborative's efforts to aid maternal health 
  • UROC's role in creating sustainable jobs with civic, community and private partners
  • Creative approaches to combat diabetes 

The monthly podcast is produced and engineered by Minneapolis-based Blackbird Revolt. Co-founded in 2016 by Terresa Moses and Jordon Moses, Blackbird Revolt worked previously on the University’s Juneteenth celebration, and was chosen to produce the series not just for their skill, but also their mission to use design, art, and audio to amplify diverse voices and inspire justice, liberation, and equity. 

“Corporations have entire design teams to convince us that their products are best, but social movements and nonprofits don’t have those kinds of resources, though there has never been a lack of good artwork,” Jordon Moses explains. As the producer of the podcast, Moses has been in the room for most of the recording sessions, making sure everything is moving along on schedule and handling any issues that come up. “It’s been a lot of work, but it’s also been a great pleasure to be a part of these interviews,” he says.

”Makeda is a fantastic podcast host—she has a great voice and asks people interesting questions,” says Moses. “It’s been a true gift to be able to be in the room and listen to her talk with people about topics they all feel passionate about. It was evident from the start of these interviews that UROC has built a deep trust with the community. Guests have been really open and excited to have these conversations and that’s a testament to how UROC shows up for the community. It’s a powerful thing to be a part of.” 

Listeners can follow the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and on UROC’s website