A local entrepreneur has started a podcast to tell the stories of the People of Downtown Silver Spring.
Ade Toye, who’s the CEO of Impose Design, LLC (8241 Georgia Ave., #125), launched the podcast about three weeks ago.
“I’ve been doing podcasts [commercially] for four years now,” Toye said, “and I’ve always liked the idea of using media to do good.”
He did an earlier 26-episode series called Friends at Work Podcast, on mastering emotional intelligence at work, and was looking for a new series to do.
“It occurred to me that there’s a lot of stories in downtown Silver Spring,” Toye said, an area he defines as roughly from Spring/Cedar Street to Montgomery College.
So he decided to focus on telling stories of the area’s diversity, as well as cultural and other events happening in places such as Veterans Plaza.
“I didn’t think there was anybody telling those stories in a consistent way,” he said. “I wanted to try to reach into what people were doing, and also find real stories and real experiences of real people downtown.
“I think, especially in the political climate we’re all forced to be part of more than ever to be a part of more now, there’s all this ‘otherness’ and the thought about the otherness being dangerous and being bad inherently,” Toye continued.
“I am trying to say ‘Look at this other person,’ he added. ‘They’re not from the same background as you, but if you look at their goals, their aspirations and their challenges, they are almost identical to yours.’”
He compiled a spreadsheet of businesses and contact information of local businesses that he could contact and invite to appear. For example, last week he interviewed Yakov Elizarov, chairman and CEO of Elizarov Consulting Group.
He also started working with Eric Rasch, the operations manager of the Silver Spring Civic Building and Veterans Plaza. Rasch helps Toye to connect with the organizers of local events that he could cover.
With that information, Toye creates episodes titled Civic Center Roundup, which are posted each Monday.
“I love the diversity there,” Toye said. “Just multiple perspectives of interaction with people who—some are like me, most are not like me, in different ways—but just seeing that we have a common shared humanity, and there’s a story behind all of these things.
“That’s my goal,” he added, “to tell those stories and say ‘Here, we’re one people.’”
Photo of Ade Toye by Mike Diegel.