For the past four months, Akron residents Ebanee Bond, RaJohn Butler, Joy Gadson, Charlee Harris, Ebony Hill, Dominic Moore-Dunson, and John Smith have been learning from Futuro Media’s Podcast Lab on how to tell their stories through podcasting. Come hear Futuro Media Director Erika Dilday and Podcast Instructor Ella Turenne talk with the participants about their stories, about the city of Akron, and how they put it all together. 


The Akron Community Podcast Lab

In keeping with its mission of fostering new and diverse journalistic talent, Futuro Media’s Akron Community Podcast Lab is dedicated to developing, piloting, producing, and distributing new audio projects by emerging POC storytellers.

Partnering with Be You Podcasting, The Devil Strip Newspaper and Summit Artspace, Futuro Media brought this program to Akron to help capture the untold stories from the neighborhoods of the city.

Futuro’s Community Media Lab Project stands apart from other incubators in the depth of tutorials, information and skills acquired, duration of the course, the engagement of dedicated personnel and community organizations, and its attendance-based stipend for participants to ensure our course is accessible to all. We will select people with little to no prior experience in media from the diverse and underrepresented neighborhoods of Akron. We will provide participants with the access, skills, and tools necessary to produce and broadcast their own stories and to contribute meaningful pieces of history and culture from the perspective of people of color to the rich narrative of Akron life.

Why Akron?

The City of Akron has a population of just under 200,000 people making it Ohio’s fifth-largest city. Consisting of 21 neighborhoods, Akron’s racial makeup is 62% white and 32% Black, making it a prime location for the community media platform to give a voice to this underserved population. The Akron Community Podcast Lab creates a unique opportunity for local people of color to produce vital storytelling that is not often heard via traditional media outlets in Akron. 

Social issues affect every race but when those issues fall disproportionately on one group it becomes a challenge. For African Americans living in Akron issues like mass incarceration, barriers to employment, entrepreneurship, wealth building, fair housing and single parent families etc. are all not so hidden stories that need to be shared through this initiative. 

Futuro Media is committed to bringing the Community Podcast Lab to Akron to help capture and broadcast the city’s underserved narratives, and to tell the world what makes the city tick. 

For more information contact Matt Wilson at or 617-515-2326.



Outtakes From the Lab

Listen to podcasts from past participants: