Culture, Climate, and Compassion with Becca Godwin 

becca godwin

We’re so excited to introduce you to Becca Godwin, our Project Manager and Executive Assistant—truly the glue holding FRQNCY together. No one else has the same bird’s-eye view across every project and every team. As Executive Assistant she advises and supports FRQNCY CEO Michelle Khouri; as Project Manager, she keeps the ship afloat while juggling a smorgasbord of clients and spreadsheets and chat groups and boards; and as a lovely, empathetic human she brings all of us closer into community as we collaborate. She brings her background as a writer and a journalist to her work, and her experience with Empathy Lab into every digital conversation. Let’s hear some of those words of wisdom now.

Along with a few others on the FRQNCY team, you started working on The Cultured Podcast with Michelle Khouri, FRQNCY’s Founder and CEO, in the company’s early days. What’s one of your favorite memories from that experience? 

I adore The Cultured Podcast, and I use the present tense because even though the “final” episode was in February 2021, I insist the crew has to revive it when we’re all retired. My favorite memory is (fittingly) abstract, which is that I learned about more boundary-pushing artists from all over the globe when I worked on that show than I have before or since. Every “yes” from a guest gave me a jolt of excitement knowing I’d get to hear them be interviewed by Michelle. As for specific moments, I loved the small happy hour we held, which was attended by one of the show’s awesome guests, Adelaide. Also, getting to reminisce with everyone on the final-not-final episode!

What was the transition away from The Cultured Podcast like for you?

As sad as I was/obviously still am that the show ended, I fully understand it was for the best. Cultured was part of the impetus for FRQNCY, and for that, I’m forever grateful. There came a point where FRQNCY was growing so quickly that we wanted to put all of our efforts there. The payoff has been well worth it. Now I just need to remember to seek out artists doing martial movement, buck dancing, and large-scale installations on my own…

As Project Manager and Executive Assistant, you’re constantly involved with every project FRQNCY is working on. Do you find juggling all these different shows and projects exciting? Is it ever overwhelming?

I love being a small part of most things we have going on. I was on our Strategy team before moving over to Project Manager, so I went from learning the intricacies of one specific team to working in different ways with all of our teams. It’s given me a birds-eye understanding of how things are operating, enabling me to be a point person for questions and a facilitator for ideas. It’s super gratifying and has the interesting side effect of being the antidote to getting overwhelmed. I see how impressive everyone is at what they do, and that eases the soul. 

Every week you assemble the Wavelength Within, our internal company newsletter. What insights do you get into the team from this process? 

I look forward to receiving these updates every week! It’s a place not only for project updates but for everyone to share what they’ve got going in their lives… whether that’s attending a Harry Styles concert (or two) or snapping a cute dog photo (or 200). Our team members work all over the world, so the newsletter is one thing that helps bring us all together. My favorite part is the highest-of-vibes shoutout section. Speaking of which, shout to Paige McCauley, who had the brilliant idea for the newsletter in the first place. 

Your background is in prose journalism—you’ve written a number of articles and book reviews for publications based in Atlanta and elsewhere. What drew you to the field of journalism in the first place?

While trying to decide on my major in college, I got curious about what a professional newsroom was like. I watched movies about disheveled journalists meeting shadowy figures in parking garages. I read books about how relentless coverage of a subject has sculpted history. Then I started noticing something about my journalism professors during their tangents about when they were in the field. Their entire demeanor changed. Their speech was suddenly animated, sentences were punctuated with romantic verbs, their movements more excited. Their pride was conveyed through their reminiscent eyes. So I dove in: I joined the school newspaper and a student news bureau, started freelancing, got an internship in Washington, D.C., and eventually worked as a reporter at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In short, what hooked me into the field of journalism was the image of my professors’ faraway glimpses of their personal yesteryears. Shoutout to educators everywhere.

Full disclosure (because, ya know, journalism ethics): The above was adapted from something I wrote previously, as it’s the closest I’ve come to answering this question. 

After working as a print journalist, you now find yourself in the world of audio. How did you find this transition? What did you learn about the similarities or differences between the two?

The AJC was just beginning its foray into podcasting while I was there, and I was able to work on some episodes discussing local features – such as an oddities dealer who collects all manner of creepy stuff, and a beloved restaurant owner’s nonprofit. The extra dimensions that the addition of audio brought to a print story really excited me. As such, the transition felt like a natural progression. It’s tough to compare them because I believe print and audio are beautiful extensions of one another. Each has its own strong benefits when presented alone, but each is made that much more powerful when combined. 

I’m so grateful that you introduced me to the Empathy Lab community. How did you first get involved in this space? Why should others join us there?

I learned about this community from Theresa Ward, who I met – synchronically – through her amazing consultation work with FRQNCY in the past. Empathy Lab meets online every week for reflection and conversation surrounding our capacity to connect with each other, with the idea being that empathy isn’t a passive, soft skill, but rather one that you must continually practice. That resonates with me because 1) self-empathy is an ongoing struggle and 2) while empathy for others comes much easier for me, my limits are definitely being tested these days. Empathy Lab helps bring me back down to earth. This brings me to why others should join us: being better inhabitants of this universe is of the utmost importance, and this is a fun and encouraging place to work toward that goal. It’s led by Shelton Davis, who is an absolute gem of a human being. Sign up here!

You have an interest in both environmentalism and social justice. If you could create the perfect article or podcast addressing these interests (or others), which would it be? What would it look like?

Whew, that’s a big question. It would be a combination of both mediums, and while we’re at it, let’s add in some photography and videography. To figure out what it looks like, I’d seek the help of our badass strategy team, which has worked on a number of shows touching on these topics. (Why yes, I am shameless, thankyouverymuch). And as I still have oh-so-much to learn, I’d continue to educate myself through the many publications I believe are already doing a great job of this. To name just a few: Anti-Racism Daily (and its podcast), Southerly, and The Marjorie

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