Futuro Media Launches Community Podcast Lab in Detroit

Project to elevate stories of people of color, by people of color

Detroit, MI (10/27/21) — Furthering its mission of fostering new and diverse BIPOC journalistic talent, Futuro Media’s Community Podcast Lab has brought together eight leading Detroit residents to develop podcasts that capture the city’s hidden stories.

The Community Podcast Lab is a 15-week program that helps prepare its cohort with the storytelling and technical skills needed to create podcasts about the rich narratives of Detroit life from the perspectives of people of color. 

“We are excited to work with Detroit residents to help develop their storytelling skills and hear the creative stories that are shaping the health and vibrancy of the city,” said Julio Ricardo Varela, Interim Co-Executive Director of Futuro Media.

The program provides hands-on training and experience in audio storytelling including using audio equipment and digital editing software. Participants in this certificate program will learn the fundamentals of long-form, narrative audio storytelling and learn to tell compelling stories using clear and conversational writing, interviews and sound. Additionally, participants will learn about marketing, audience engagement and the landscape of the broader podcast industry. Ella Turenne, an artist, activist educator and podcaster and Joaquin Cotler, a producer at Futuro Media, will be the instructors for the Detroit program. 

More than 90 Detroit area residents applied for the program; eight were selected. The selection committee included Rhonda Welsh, a poet, community activist, and Executive Director for Detroit Outreach at Central Michigan University; Erik Paul Howard, a community organizer, photographer, and co-founder of Inside Southwest Detroit; and, David Leins, Podcast Coordinator and Producer at WDET, which role also includes overseeing WDET’s Story Makers program. 

The Program, which is partnering with WDET, runs through January with a public event to share the stories scheduled for the last week of January. The Detroit Community Podcast Lab is the fourth lab run by Futuro, following classes in Boston, Hartford, and Akron. 

The Detroit Community Lab Participants

Nezaa Bandele is a poet, artist, and community chef, working to build a healthier Detroit through her cooking. Born in Jamaica, moved to Canada, and now living in Detroit, Momma Nezaa fuses different cultures and is excited to share her work and thoughts about food justice, health, and wellness through her podcast

Bryce Detroit is a performing artist, community organizer, and record producer. His Entertainment Justice work focuses on racial, economic, social, and environmental justice. Bryce is looking to the Podcast Lab as a new vehicle to broadcast his ideas to his audiences.

Arlyssa Heard is an education justice organizer at 482 Forward. She can’t wait to get behind the microphone at the Podcast Lab as an opportunity to work with students and parents to build a new vehicle to broadcast creative, engaging and impactful stories and voices for change.

Saundra Little is an architect at Quinn Evans. Her work focuses on the revitalization of the urban buildings and public spaces to renew and lift up vulnerable communities. Her podcast will focus on the role and design that Black women architects play in the revitalization of American cities. 

Eladio Nino is a Youth Specialist at the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation. In Southwest Detroit. He works with returning citizens, drawing from his 17 years as an incarcerated person. He looks forward to creating podcasts about real stories from his community.

Catalina Rios is a poet, author, and organizer who works for We the People Michigan. She looks forward to developing podcasts to highlight the work of artists who are uplifting their community through their creativity

David Rudolph lives on the West Side of Detroit and has been in the public relations business for 27 years. He’s excited to dive into the Podcast Lab to speak for himself (not others) about the homeless recovery and mental health issues that many Black men in Detroit face.

Reda Taleb is a decarceration and healing justice advocate. She was born to Lebanese Muslim parents and focuses her work on Muslim women impacted by incarceration. Her podcasts will work to combat Islamophobia. 


About Futuro Media:

Futuro Media produces the Peabody Award-winning Latino USA, the longest-running national Latino news and cultural public radio program; In The Thick, a political podcast from the perspective of journalists of color; Latino Rebels, a pioneering digital news outlet founded by Julio Ricardo Varela that reaches millions through its website, radio programming, and podcasts; and Futuro Studios, Futuro Media’s newest creative division, focusing on original podcasts and programming. For more information, visit www.futuromediagroup.org. 

For More Information:

Matt Wilson (617) 515-2326