Recently, I got to be a panelist on a quick segment of All in a Day with Alan Neal for CBC Ottawa where I was asked to talk about housing in Kingston. I was the lucky panelist out of the three invitees.
I spend a fair bit of time on the Kingston subreddit where I look out for what’s happening in the community I live in and Michelle Allan posted on the subreddit asking for insights into the housing issues here (read that post). I couldn’t help but leave a response and while it didn’t receive many upvotes, they reached out to me to learn more. I ended up having some phone calls with Halima Olajumoke Sogbesan where I realized that they weren’t looking for a text based interview where they’d write an article about my experiences but instead were looking to have me on the radio.
Thankfully, it was part of a panel and there were two others being invited, a long time resident that has struggled with housing, and a post-grad student in Kingston also struggling with affordability. I was going to be the “lucky” one on the panel.
I wanted to make sure it wasn’t presented that way. I didn’t want people to say “well, they did it and are now part of that I got mine group.”
When I got to the Kingston Library, I walked in like I knew what I was doing, and met up with Halima and the other two panelists. We sat together off to the side and watched the event get organized. It was neat seeing behind the curtains. One thing that I didn’t think about much until I was there was the audience. They opened it up to the people of Kingston to come and listen live!
By the time, we had to do our segment, the room was standing room only, all of the chairs, save for ours up front that we vacated to do the segment, were full. There was close to one hundred people listening in person and for some reason, I felt more anxious about that than the people that might be listening live on the radio or after the fact on the CBC website or podcasting app.
Before it was our time to answer questions, they had us sitting at the microphones with headphones and we could hear the live performance through the headphones. It sounded amazing!
Then it was our turn to talk and we all tried to focus on Alan, the host. He asked us each two questions and that was it… we were done. All three of us decided not to stick around and watch the rest of the show live, having felt like we were on display, I think we all felt a certain amount of anxiety or discomfort through exposing our situations, thoughts, and feelings to the world.
I think I did well in how I spoke. I really wanted to make sure I focused on how this wasn’t our dream home, we ran out of places we could afford to move where there was other family, and how many of our family and friends weren’t as lucky as us to get into the market and I hope I was successful in those points, despite the limited talking time.
Listen to the clip here: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-92/clip/15909557
I probably could have talked for half an hour on the subject, quite easily. I am happy to have had the opportunity to share some small amount of my experience and opinions and appreciate that CBC gave me that opportunity.
Who would have guessed that leaving a comment on a reddit thread would lead to being on the radio?