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Job skills rise from city’s stories

November 12, 2018

Changing the narrative of a city isn’t easy, but Bridgeport-based podcaster Dayna Lindo is up for the task.

Lindo has been tackling topics of concern in her community on her show BPT Talks since January while also providing local youth with an opportunity to hone their creative skills in a professional setting.

“It’s dedicated to telling the untold stories of Bridgeport and humanizing our collective experience,” Lindo said. “My goal is to increase Bridgeport citizens’ pride in themselves and our city by changing the current narrative and by developing the skills for people to do it themselves.”

From criminal justice affairs to the local LGBT community, Lindo hasn’t shied away from any discussion in the quarterly hourlong show focused on changing perceptions of the state’s largest city.

For the past year, the podcast has been run out of the radio station at the University of Bridgeport student center, with the help with local social action network, Bridgeport Generation Now. The grassroots organization, which focuses on civic engagement in the Park City, has been sponsoring the podcast.

“Our work lies at the intersection of community building, self-determination and systems change,” said Callie Gale Heilmann, president of Bridgeport Generation Now. “Last year, we really thought deeply about how there is a pretty large gap in Bridgeport between the stories the established media wants to tell and the stories that we want to hear.”

BPT Talks doubles as local grassroots journalism program providing youth with the opportunity to build their resumes and hone their skills in storytelling, writing, graphic design, photography, videography and more.

The program provides paid internship and volunteer opportunities to local creatives aged 16 to 24. The program currently has five people involved, including Lindo, who plans on adding more interns to the roster as the show grows.

While Lindo is leading the program, she said her goal is to develop it into something sustainable for residents.

“My goal is to increase Bridgeport citizens’ pride in themselves and our city by changing the current narrative and by developing the skills for people to do it themselves,” Lindo said.

As BPT Talks nears its one-year mark, the next step is to invite local businesses and nonprofits to buy time for a topic or advertise their business or nonprofit, Lindo said.

Looking even further into the future, the Bridgeport podcaster is looking to eventually expand the program model into other cities.

“My vision for this is to have a NYC talk, ATL talk, NOLA talk and LA Talk,” Lindo said. “That’s the long-term goal.”

Jordan.grice@hearstmediact.com

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