President & Founder of The Futuro Media Group, Anchor & Executive Producer of Latino USA
As a reporter who was the first Latina in many newsrooms, 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 NPR, 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.
Julio Ricardo Varela
Julio Ricardo Varela
VP of New Business Development, Founder/Publisher Latino Rebels, Co-Host of In The Thick, Senior Digital Editor of LatinoUSA.org
Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela is responsible for all new business leads at Futuro and directs the company’s digital, social and online content across all media properties.
In 2011, Julio founded LatinoRebels.com, one of the top U.S. Latino media sites in the world. In 2017, Latino Rebels officially joined the Futuro Media family. He also co-hosts In The Thick with Maria Hinojosa. He is a frequent contributor to Latino USA and the senior editor of the show’s official site, LatinoUSA.org.
Previously, he was digital producer for Al Jazeera America’s “The Stream” and his work has been featured in many global outlets, including the Guardian, ESPN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC News, Quartz, Le Monde, WGBH, WNYC, Face the Nation, MSNBC, Fusion, Univision and Telemundo. He has made numerous national TV appearances for Latino USA and Futuro Media.
In 2015, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists honored Julio with its inaugural DALE (pronounced like Pitbull would say it) Award, given to “given to an individual or company that steps up and goes above and beyond to ensure Latinos are fairly and accurately represented.” A native of Puerto Rico, Julio spent his childhood between San Juan and the Bronx. He was also a contributing reporter at The Boston Globe. Julio graduated cum laude from Harvard College.
VP of Content Development, Futuro Media
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.
Miguel Macias is a radio and video producer based in Brooklyn, New York. Currently Miguel is the Managing Editor of Latino USA.
Miguel has worked as an associate professor and deputy chair for graduate studies in the Department of Television and Radio at Brooklyn College. Prior to that, Miguel worked as the Los Angeles Bureau Chief for Youth Radio; for American Public Media’s as an associate producer and director for the Marketplace Morning Report; and at New York Public Radio WNYC’s Radio Rookies as an associate producer.
Miguel is also proud to have worked as a volunteer for the NGO MADRE. As such, he has trained indigenous radio reporters in Peru, instructed video editing to teenagers in Colombia, and taught radio production to activists in Nicaragua.
Miguel received a Peabody Award in 2006 as the associate producer for WNYC Radio Rookies’ Mosholu series.
Originally from Seville, Spain, Miguel moved to the U.S. in 2001 and earned an M.F.A. in Television Production from Brooklyn College.
Director Of Programming and Operations
Natalia Fidelholtz holds a B.A. in Film Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation from New York University. Before joining Latino USA, she was formerly at StoryCorps, where she focused on collecting and archiving diverse voices in the US. Prior to joining StoryCorps, she worked for Cinema Tropical doing Latin American film distribution, was Registrar at the Museum of the Moving Image, and she has done research and conducted workshops on ephemeral art preservation. In her spare time she is co-editing a book on Luis Buñuel. Natalia delights in the places where stories, visual media, words, and of course, people meet.
Senior Producer, Futuro Studios
Sophia Paliza-Carre is a Senior Producer at Futuro Studios. She’s based in Brooklyn, NY.
Senior Editor, Latino USA
Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Luis is currently a Senior Editor with Latino USA. He was previously an editor and producer with Radio Ambulante, where he reported on and told stories from Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, among other places. His reporting has been featured in NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Up First. His work has also appeared in Radiolab, Planet Money and Reply All. In 2018, Luis was selected as a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow. His book on artisanal, clandestine rummakers in Puerto Rico, “Metiendo Caña”, was published in Spanish in 2016.
Senior Producer, Futuro Studios
Antonia Cereijido is an award-winning senior producer at Futuro Studios. Her coverage has ranged from cultural analysis of the minions to a deep dive into the immigration reform movement. She is the co-host of Mic.com’s podcast The Payoff. You can hear Antonia on Another Round, The Dinner Party Download and as a guest host on Slate’s Represent. She has interpreted for This American Life and Love + Radio.
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, Futuro Studios
Julieta Martinelli is an award-winning investigative reporter and currently a producer at Futuro Studios. As a Soros Justice Media Fellow, she spent 2019 documenting the human repercussions of changing legal policies along the U.S.-Mexico border. She previously covered the criminal justice system, policing and immigration for Nashville Public Radio.
Her stories about immigrant youth, life in prison — and what happens after — have aired nationally on NPR programs including “Here and Now”, “Morning Edition,” ”All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition”. She’s been invited to discuss her reporting on WBEZ Chicago’s “Morning Shift”, WAMU’s “1A” and NPR’s “Up First” podcast.
Martinelli previously wrote for CBS-46 in Atlanta, Gwinnett Daily Post, and Atlanta Latino Newspaper. Once upon a time, she made a living off writing press kits for indie artists and throwing parties in Atlanta…and in her headphones is still always secretly blasting hip-hop and reggaeton.
Associate Producer, Latino USA
Juan Diego Ramirez
Juan Diego Ramirez
Production Assistant At-Large
Juan Diego Ramirez is Futuro Studios and Latino USA’s Production Assistant At-Large. He is a multimedia producer and journalist based in New York. He co-produces and co-hosts Racist Sandwich, a James Beard Foundation nominated podcast on food, class, race, and gender across the globe. As an undocumented immigrant for over 20 years, Juan Diego decided to focus his works on communities that reflect him. When he was granted DACA he was able to intern for Oregon Public Broadcasting as a production assistant for OPB’s State of Wonder and OPB’s Weekend Edition. He attends Baruch College where he is working towards a journalism degree. Juan Diego is an avid skateboarder and political junky. You can find some of Juan Diego‘s work on Latino Rebels.
Senior Audio Engineer: Latino USA, In The Thick
Stephanie Lebow is the Senior Audio Engineer 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.
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.
Leah Shaw is a Brooklyn-based audio editor, singer-songwriter and composer whose recent projects include audio mixing for Latino USA, the In The Thick Podcast and the Brooklyn College Listening Project, film scoring and sound design for the award-winning short film Bob and Dale and Embodied Labs’ Immersive VR Experience on aging and healthcare access in the trans community. As a musical artist, Shaw has released several EPs that combine acoustic and experimental electronic elements. Her full-length album Play Beautifully, a sonic exploration of loss, healing and self-transformation, debuts this year.
Producer, In The Thick
Nicole Rothwell is a multimedia journalist who has covered politics and human rights in Mexico City, Bogotá, Jerusalem and New York City. Her work has 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.
Associate 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. Before becoming an associate producer at In The Thick, she was their 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.
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.
Executive Producer, America By The Numbers
Sandra Rattley is a behavior change communications specialist with over 35-years experience as a communications leader. In 1999, she launched the Africa Learning Channel, a Pan-African information service broadcast via WorldSpace Satellite Radio to over 100 million listeners in 51 African countries, providing first-voice, best practices information for poverty reduction, civic engagement and good governance. She also led a 3-year HIV/AIDS information campaign in rural villages in Uganda and Zambia to increase AIDS awareness and reduce stigma. Ms. Rattley has directed numerous federal and local government programs designed to increase the capacity of NGOs that serve those disproportionately impacted by poverty, as well as a DC Government HIV/AIDS Administration program to establish HIV/AIDS Drop-In Centers at churches and other faith-based organizations to offer services and support to people infected and affected by the virus.
Ms. Rattley has served as Vice President of Cultural Programming for National Public Radio, as manager of public information, marketing, community outreach and audience research, as well as National News Editor at NPR. She conceived and managed the first comprehensive research study of NPR’s African American audience. She has extensive electronic media and print experience, working as a reporter, oral historian, documentarian and executive producer of major projects, including WADE IN THE WATER, a series on African American sacred music produced in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and hosted by Bernice Johnson Reagon; as well as MAKING THE MUSIC, hosted by Wynton Marsalis. Both 26-part series won the highest recognition in journalism, the Peabody Award. She has been awarded similar honors from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Education Association, among others.
She also has extensive experience planning and implementing public information and media campaigns, conducting research and providing strategic planning advice to numerous organizations such as the African National Congress, Africare, Amnesty International, National Urban Coalition, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Women’s Health Project, and World Music Productions. She also served as Director of Comunications for the Congressional Black Caucus, press spokesperson for Nelson Mandela’s first national US tour, and as media representative and speech writer for Winnie Mandela. She has collected oral histories and produced documentaries about her mother’s family, the Quanders, who are the focus of educational presentations at Mt. Vernon, the home of the first US President, George Washington, as well as the Smithsonian Institution, naming them the oldest documented African family in the US, tracing lineage and history to Ghana, West Africa.
Series Producer, America By The Numbers & Humanizing America
Charlotte Mangin has been a documentary filmmaker since 2000. She spent five years on staff of National Geographic Television & Film, reporting from the jungles of the Amazon to the Himalayan Mountains, followed by five years as story producer for PBS’s international affairs series Wide Angle, overseeing the production of more than a dozen documentaries covering issues such as legal reform in China, race relations in Brazil, and human rights activism in Zimbabwe. Her hour-long Wide Angle program about women’s rights in Morocco won an International Documentary Award.
From 2012 to 2016, Charlotte was series producer for Futuro Media’s television and video series, America By The Numbers and Humanizing America, and in 2017, she served as Futuro Media’s Interim Executive Director. She is currently directing and producing UNLADYLIKE2020, a women’s history series for PBS’s American Masters featuring unsung women from the early years of feminism, in honor of the centennial of women’s suffrage.
A native French speaker, Charlotte was born in Paris, attended Amherst and earned a Masters degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard.
CEO and Executive Director
Tasked to shaping and guiding Futuro Media’s strategic vision and long-term sustainability, Erika Dilday brings over 20 years of experience in not-for-profit organizations specializing in local and national media companies.
Prior to Futuro Media, Dilday was the Executive Director of Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem where she oversaw community cinema and education programs and produced the award-winning documentary, In Transit. She also held strategic planning and financial management roles at The New York Times, National Geographic Television and CBS. Dilday received a M.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a M.B.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. She also holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from Harvard University. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and is a long-time Harlem resident. She is currently a fellow in the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program and a recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from Columbia Journalism School.
Jared G. Lilly
Jared G. Lilly
Consulting Director of Development
A graduate of Wake Forest University and New York University’s M.A. program in Performing Arts Administration, Jared G. Lilly is an accomplished fundraiser with a wide range of experience in nonprofit administration. He has worked with the Metropolitan Opera’s Patron and Individual Giving department, and served as the Director of Development for the Berkshire Opera Festival, a summer opera festival located in Great Barrington, MA. Prior to joining Futuro, Lilly led the management consulting arm of IJ Group International, a boutique consulting and producing firm focused on nonprofit board development and governance, strategic planning, and special events for arts and culture organizations.
Currently, Lilly sits on the Wake Forest University Divinity School Board of Visitors, is the President of the WAKENewYork Community, and is is a past member of the Wake Forest University College Board of Visitors.
Director of Administration
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.
Stacy Parker Le Melle
Stacy Parker Le Melle
Senior Development Manager
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 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 founded 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.
Megan comes to Futuro Media with a background in journalism and nonprofit experience. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She has written for several newsrooms, including LittleThings.com, and was a social media intern at Business Insider. She has a passion for helping people and proudly worked on The Grace Children’s Foundation’s “Children’s Resource Exchange Center” project as their social media coordinator. In her spare time Megan is a theatre critic in New York City where she reviews Off Broadway and Broadway shows. And when she’s not at a show, she enjoys football Saturdays rooting for Notre Dame, following UNC basketball, and serving as Appalachian State University’s NYC alumni chapter president.
Mario Alberto González Pérez
Mario Alberto González Pérez
Mario holds a B.S. in Telematics Engineering from the Instituto Politecnico Nacional in Mexico City and a M.S. degree in Information Systems from Brooklyn College. Before joining The Futuro Media Group, he was an Information Technology Associate at StoryCorps and has been constantly providing IT professional services to a diverse set of organizations. Mario was born and raised in Mexico City and is passionate about Data Security and Artificial Intelligence. His hobbies include jigsaw puzzles, craftsmanship, and baking.