President of Futuro Unidad Hinojosa, Founder of Futuro Media, Anchor & Executive Producer of Latino USA
As a reporter who was the first Latina in many newsrooms, Pulitzer Prize winner Maria Hinojosa dreamt of a space where she could create independent, multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diverse American experience. She made that dream a reality in 2010 when she created Futuro Media, an independent, nonprofit newsroom based in Harlem, NYC with the mission to create multimedia content from a POC perspective. Futuro does this in the service of empowering people to navigate the complexities of an increasingly diverse and connected world.
As the Anchor and Executive Producer of the Peabody Award-winning show Latino USA, distributed by PRX, as well as Co-Host of In The Thick, the Futuro Media’s award-winning political podcast, Hinojosa has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad. She is also a contributor to the long-running, award-winning news program CBS Sunday Morning and a frequent guest on MSNBC.
Hinojosa’s nearly 30-year career as an award-winning journalist includes reporting for PBS, CBS, WNBC, CNN, NPR, and anchoring the Emmy Award winning talk show from WGBH Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One. She is the author of two books and has won dozens of awards, including: four Emmys, the John Chancellor Award, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club, and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAHJ. She has been honored with her own day in October by New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and has been recognized by People En Español as one of the 25 most powerful Latina women. Additionally, Hinojosa was the first Latina to anchor a PBS FRONTLINE report: “Lost in Detention” which aired in October 2011 and was the first to explore abuse at immigrant detention facilities, garnering attention from Capitol Hill as well as both the mainstream and Spanish-language media.
As a reporter for NPR, Hinojosa was among the first to report on youth violence in urban communities on a national scale. During her eight years as CNN’s urban affairs correspondent, Hinojosa often took viewers into communities rarely shown on television and continued that work longform on Now on PBS. At Futuro Media, Hinojosa continues to bring attention to experiences and points of view that are often overlooked or underreported in mainstream media, all while mentoring the next generation of diverse journalists to delve into authentic and nuanced stories. In 2018 she was a Fellow at Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and is a frequent speaker across the country. In 2019, she was named the inaugural Distinguished Journalist in Residence at her Alma Mater, Barnard College. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
VP of Podcasts, Futuro Studios
Marlon Bishop is a Peabody Award-winning radio producer and journalist with a focus on Latin America, immigration, identity and society, music and the arts. He got his start in radio producing long-form documentaries on Latin music history for the public radio program Afropop Worldwide. After a stint reporting for the culture desk at New York Public Radio, Marlon spent several years writing for MTV Iggy, MTV”s portal for global music and pop culture. Marlon’s radio pieces and writing have appeared in NPR, Studio 360, The World, The Fader, Billboard, and Fusion, among other outlets. In 2015 he won a Peabody Award for his investigative reporting on gang violence and migration in Honduras.
Executive Producer, Futuro Unidad Hinojosa (FUH)/Co-Executive Producer, Latino USA
As a former investigative correspondent at Univision, Peniley led several official investigations of politicians and business people in Latin America and the U.S. She participated in global investigative projects such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Panama Papers” and the Scripps Howard award-winning “Pandora Papers,” with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Ramírez brings an unparalleled set of experiences to advance the investigative work and special projects led by Maria Hinojosa.
Executive Editor, Futuro Studios
Senior Editor, Latino USA
Senior Producer, Latino USA
Marta Martinez is a multimedia journalist and currently a senior producer at Latino USA. Her work has appeared on CNN, VICE, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Teen Vogue, Univision, Revista 5W, El País, and Le Monde among other media. She is also a creative editor at the journalistic production company Dromómanos. She helped The Fuller Project, a nonprofit newsroom covering issues that affect women globally, set up its first audience engagement and social media strategy.
She specializes in long-form journalism, covering human rights, inequality, migration, and gender, as well as developing audience engagement strategies. She has reported on a sex-based quarantine measure that discriminated against transgender people in Panama, a community built by displaced Colombians that is now welcoming migrant Venezuelans, how the genocide trial came together in Guatemala, and why straight women are marrying each other in northern Tanzania. She is a National Geographic, International Women’s Media Foundation, and European Journalism Centre grantee. She worked as a fact-checker for The New York Times and as a researcher for The New Yorker. She’s originally from Spain, but has been living in New York for over a decade. She believes that everything tastes better with cheese.
Senior Producer, Futuro Studios
Nicole Rothwell is a senior producer at Futuro Studios, where she develops new podcasts, oversees production and lead-produces podcast series. She’s a Webby-nominated podcast producer and a multimedia journalist who has covered politics and human rights in Mexico City, Bogotá, Jerusalem and New York City. Most recently she senior produced The Sum of Us for Futuro Studios with Higher Ground Audio. Previously she was supervising producer for Futuro Media’s award-winning politics podcast, In The Thick, and helped launch the TransLash Podcast. Her work has also been featured with WNYC’s The Takeaway, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, La Silla Vacía, The Indypendent and Americas Program. Nicole is an alumna of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Originally from Washington state, she has a BA in International Relations and Spanish from Seattle University.
Director of Engineering/Sound Designer, Futuro Media
Stephanie Lebow is the Director of Engineering/Sound Designer across Futuro Media’s properties and the voice of Futuro’s funders.
She is a Peabody award-winning audio engineer for her work on Afropop Worldwide. She found her passion for radio at Indie 103.1 FM in LA, as an engineer, producer, and on-air personality.
She has mixed and produced music in a multitude of genres from jazz to pop, and received an independent music award for her work. She has also mixed and done sound sweetening for indie films and documentary series such as America By The Numbers and Miss Sharon Jones!
She graduated from Emerson College with a major in Audio Production and a minor in Broadcast Journalism. When she’s not using ProTools to build radio shows, she uses it as an instrument in her own electronic/indie project Stef Lebaux.
Senior Producer, Futuro Media
Julieta Martinelli is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and a Senior Producer at Futuro Media where she reports on injustice, immigration, and the criminal legal system for Latino USA, Futuro Studios and FUHI, Futuro’s investigative unit. She reported and co-produced Suave, a narrative podcast series about juvenile life without parole in the only nation in the world that still allows children to be sentenced to die in prison. Suave was recognized by the International Documentary Association as 2021’s best audio documentary series and was the recipient of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in audio reporting.
As Soros Justice Media Fellow, she spent over a year traveling alone and collecting stories of asylum seekers stuck in Mexican shelters, documenting the human repercussions of changing legal policies along the U.S.- Mexico border. She previously covered the criminal legal system, policing, and immigration for Nashville Public Radio. Among other awards, her work was recognized by the Tennessee Associated Press three years in a row with first place awards in investigative reporting (audio). Her reporting helped lead to the release from prison of two incarcerated men, one of which had spent nearly two decades wrongfully convicted.
Her stories about immigrant youth, life in prison —and what happens after— have aired nationally on NPR programs including Here and Now, Morning Edition, and All Things Considered, and her original reporting has been discussed in WAMU’s 1A, the BBC, NBC and other national news outlets. She spent the first part of her career covering immigration, culture, and music for Spanish-language print publications in Georgia.
In between, due to her legal status, she worked a number of non-journalism jobs, including making tacos in a drive-thru, working at a music recording studio, eventually helping run one of the biggest nightlife companies in the state, to later helping lawyers representing undocumented and incarcerated clients, all of which she credits equally as the foundation, and sources of important lessons, on how to approach her work, and the people she writes about today.
Senior Production Manager for Latino USA
Mike Sargent is an award winning veteran of audio disciplines including podcasts, radio, radio drama, audiobooks, film and a leading figure in the movement to cultivate diversity in public media. He started his career in theatre and film as a sound designer and won an Audelco Award for excellence in Sound Design.
From there Mike went on to write, produce and direct radio drama and audio books, adapting the works of such acclaimed science-fiction authors as Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark.
A pioneering Afro-futurist, Mike was the creator-producer of the first Black science-fiction audio drama James Scott: When The World’s Need Heroes. Since then he has produced a wide range of podcasts and audio programs.
Currently chief film critic for WBAI RADIO’s weekly film review program, REELWORLD, and host of WBAI’s popular late night radio show, NITESHIFT. Mike co-hosts two Podcasts 2FAST 2FILMS & The BROWN & BLACK podcast for the iHeartMedia Revolver Network. And most recently is producer of THE GREAT WEALTH DIVIDE podcast for WBGO Studios, the new podcasting unit of the world-premier jazz station, based in Newark, NJ.
Senior Producer, Futuro Studios
Senior Audio Engineer, Futuro Media
Julia Caruso got her start in radio as a broadcast engineer for CBS Radio. Prior to working at Futuro Media, she was the Studio Manager for the Music Technology program at New York University overseeing the recording studios and mentoring students. She is an active member of the Audio Engineering Society and has been on the convention committee for their annual international convention in NYC for several years. She holds a bachelor degree in Music Technology and a masters degree in Food Studies, both from NYU. Learning about culture through food and music is a passion of hers.
Producer, Futuro Media
Jeanne Montalvo is a Grammy-nominated audio engineer and radio producer. She spent almost a decade working in music recording before breaking into radio after receiving her Masters in Music Technology from New York University. She has worked as an audio engineer and producer for NPR, Bloomberg Radio, the Duolingo podcast and projects for the New York Times and Sony.
As a radio producer, she focuses on music and culture stories ranging from the inner workings of growing up bilingual to now parenting bilingual children, as well as telling the stories of music icons past and present like Yma Sumac. She is the creator of “Live from Latino USA” a live and (mostly) unplugged video series that features Latinx talent from Jessie Reyez to Jose Feliciano.
When she’s not taking a deep dive into her latest story, she stays involved with the music industry as much as she can. In 2017, she was nominated for a Grammy Award as Mastering Engineer for Vladimir Horowitz: The Unreleased Live Recordings, and her recording of Multiverse by Bobby Sanabria’s Latin Jazz Big Band was nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album at the 2012 Grammy Awards. In 2018, she was selected as the EQL resident, a residency developed specifically for women engineers, to work at the Spotify and Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
Producer, Latino USA
Reynaldo Leaños Jr.
Reynaldo Leaños Jr.
Producer, Latino USA
Marketing Manager, Futuro Media
Luis Luna joins Futuro Media Group after working in the Theatrical Department at film distributor GKIDS. He has also worked on the programming teams at various film festivals, including Hamptons International Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, and others. He received a dual B.A. in Film Studies and English from Hunter College. Born and raised in Jackson Heights, his favorite things include queer cinema, world travel, dancing to Rihanna, and a good cemita.
Lead Producer, In The Thick
Nour Saudi is a journalist focused on interactive and audio reporting. She has worked on data projects with ProPublica and The Hate Index and is the project coordinator for a new initiative from The Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY to teach community journalists how to report on AI. Previously, she was In The Thick’s New York Women’s Foundation fellow, reporting on women and girls of color in New York City. She is an alumna from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Production Assistant, Futuro Studios
Liliana Ruiz is a freelance writer and everlasting positive thinker based out of Chicago. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from DePaul University, and has worked in a variety of professional backgrounds such as finance and education. Lili co-produced her first radio story “From Chicago to Oaxaca” with Latino USA in 2020. She is also a nationally ranked powerlifter. Lili is inspired to continue to flex her producer muscles with Futuro Studios and beyond!
Stacy Parker Le Melle
Stacy Parker Le Melle
Director of Development and Marketing
Stacy Parker Le Melle is the Director of Development and Marketing for Futuro Media. She has spent nearly four years stewarding and cultivating funding support for Futuro’s independent, nonprofit journalism and original programming, with a heavy concentration on institutional funding. As IDD, she is focused on individual giving as well—showing appreciation and care for current and past donors, and inviting new donors into our community. In addition, Stacy is an author, teacher, and non-profit administrator who previously served as communications director and workshop director for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. She is a 2020 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow for Nonfiction Literature. She is the author of Government Girl: Young and Female in the White House (Ecco/HarperCollins) and served as primary contributor to Voices from the Storm: the People of New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina and Its Aftermath and created The Katrina Experience: an Oral History Project. She recently served as a parent representative and communications chair for the Manhattan Country School Board of Trustees. She founded the community effort Harlem Against Violence, Homophobia, and Transphobia and co-founded and curates Harlem’s First Person Plural Reading Series. She previously served in the Clinton West Wing as both an aide and advance person.
Vice President of Administration and Operations
Yolanda comes to Futuro Media with over 10 years of nonprofit administration and management experience. She received her Master’s Degree in International Affairs with a focus on Human Rights and Governance from The New School in New York City. She has a passion for women’s rights issues and completed two practicum programs aimed at combating institutions of gender bias within communities. The first focused on developing a WASH oriented Girls’ School Retention pilot program in Tembaro, Ethiopia with WEEMA International, whereas the second was a skills development communications initiative in India with UN Women. In her spare time, she volunteers and does consulting work. She enjoys traveling, karaoke, cooking and just being with her friends and family.
Danetsy Len comes to Futuro Media after five years of fundraising on behalf of DKMS, an international bone marrow donor center. Previously she worked in development at the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club—after a series of college internships convinced her that nonprofit fundraising was a great way to mix community impact with the skills learned from an undergraduate business degree. At the University of Pennsylvania, she majored in Economics with a concentration in management as well as minored in Latin American and Latino Studies. A native of Panama who grew up in California’s Central Valley, she is excited to join the Futuro team and champion underrepresented voices in media. When not at work, she wakes up way too early to watch soccer games, reads through cookbooks, and tries not to trip over her feet while taking dance classes.