Greenfield woman starts podcast series with an aim toward honesty

  • Keyedrya Jacobs, producer of a podcast titled, Let's Be Honest, adjusts a microphone in a studio at GCTV, sitting with Jon Shina who helps with post-production of the episodes, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—Matt Burkhartt

  • Keyedrya Jacobs, host of a podcast titled, Let's Be Honest, laughs with Jon Shina who helps with post-production of the episodes, in a studio at GCTV, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—Matt Burkhartt

Recorder Staff
Published: 6/4/2017 11:11:20 PM

GREENFIELD — Last year, Keyedrya Jacobs began holding conversations at the Franklin Community Co-Op about issues ranging from racism to the legalization of medical marijuana.

Now, she’s decided to start a podcast series exploring those topics in a more in-depth, intimate way.

“I kind of took a bit of a break during the wintertime, just dealing with personal things — it was heartbreak and those things that make you take a step back and really reevaluate what you want to do,” she said.

Earlier this year, she returned with the idea for the podcast, called “Let’s Be Honest.” She hopes it will supplement the community conversations, which started back up at the Co-Op, where she works, two weeks ago. Jacobs plans to release a podcast at the beginning of each month, then follow up on it with a community conversation several weeks later.

“It’s kind of just the two of them coming together to make a full circle, covering both bases,” she said.

Jacobs recorded the first episode of her podcast in February — called “Chief Talk” — in which she had a frank conversation with Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh about racial bias, opioid abuse, becoming a police officer and marijuana legalization. She said the two delved into Haigh’s personal history, as well, and what he wants to accomplish as chief.

“I thought it was important to show the man behind the badge, and show that he is human and he is a person and he has a job to do,” she said. “He takes his job seriously, but he’s also a father and a husband and all those things people don’t get to see.”

Jacobs has also recorded episodes about white guilt; addiction, recovery and breaking the stigma; and a conversation with her 5-year-old son and his friends about difficult topics that kids have to grapple with, including race, gender, sexuality and war.

One topic she hopes to discuss during an upcoming episode is the homeless population in Greenfield, and how it affects the community.

“I myself was homeless when I first came here. Me and my son had started in the hotels up by Big Y,” she said. “That was something that was really traumatizing for us, so it put me in a different bracket than a lot of people.”

Jacobs moved to Greenfield in 2011 when she found out she was pregnant with her son. She grew up in the Springfield area and decided to move to Greenfield, where her mother and three brothers live, to give her son a better education.

Jacobs said they now live in subsidized housing, which is still stigmatized.

‘It’s a process and a system and something people don’t really think a lot about or see,” she said. “I want people to really know that this is something nobody really looks forward to and wants to happen in their life, but it’s hard to get out of. Talking about it from someone who has been there and is still kind of in it and trying to get out of it is really important.”

During her podcast, Jacobs plans to explore each topic in-depth during a conversation with one or two other people, with the goal of presenting a couple of different opinions and perspectives. Although she has her own ideas for episodes, Jacobs also wants to hear from members of the community about the topics that are important to them.

“I’m just looking for people who feel like they want to get some things off of their chest, and they want to talk about things that are bothering them,” she said.

She added that the podcast allows listeners to process the topics without the scrutiny of eyes.

“Whenever I am listening to podcasts that I’m interested in, I like to be able to take my time with it, I like to be able to stop when I want to, I like to talk back to the people and give my own visceral reactions that might not be OK in a public setting,” she said. “You can honestly have an experience and not just listen.”

Jacobs records the podcast at GCTV, which has filmed all of the episodes so far. She said she is looking for volunteers to help her edit the footage, as only the first episode is available to view online. The others are posted on SoundCloud.

She aims to post new episodes at the beginning of each month. They can be found at Her community conversations are held the last Thursday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Co-Op.

Her interview with Chief Haigh can be viewed at

To contact Jacobs with ideas, email


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