“We Imagine…Us” is a project of Futuro Unidad Hinojosa, a new division of Futuro Media dedicated to special creative projects.
The “We Imagine…Us” podcast will consist of two interlocking series produced and distributed in partnership with public media organization PRX. The two series will launch together in fall 2021 and will explore and reflect on themes of racial solidarity and equity. Futuro Media’s first-ever audio fiction series, “The Long Way Around,” stars Emmy Award-winning actress Karrueche Tran and a diverse voice cast and was written by two-time Emmy and Peabody Award-winning novelist, screenwriter, and playwright Trey Ellis (The Tuskegee Airmen). A companion series, “Re-Imagination Nation with Maria Hinojosa,” will delve more deeply into the issues raised in the fiction series and will feature interviews with thought leaders, artists, and activists from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Solidarity Council on Racial Equity (SCoRE), including musician John Legend, filmmaker Ava DuVernay (When They See Us), author Heather McGhee (The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together), civil rights advocate and author Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow), and more.
The podcast series will be free via the “We Imagine…Us” podcast feed across all major podcast platforms, including Apple
“We’ve recently witnessed so many big issues that have affected communities in profound and painful ways—particularly the killing of George Floyd, the racism immigrants have faced at our borders or close to home, and how the pandemic has laid bare the inequalities that have historically harmed Black and brown communities. As a journalist, as an immigrant woman, and as a mother, I wanted to do something that could help people see ways to a better future,” said Maria Hinojosa, Founder of Futuro Media. “Through my work with Kellogg and SCoRE, I had access to a brilliant group of people like Michelle Alexander and Heather McGhee, john a. powell, and Saru Jayaraman. I knew Futuro Media could help share their important insights with the larger public to inspire ideas and conversations about how communities can come together to create solutions for our biggest challenges. I’m thrilled we were able to do this with such an incredibly creative team of producers and artists while leaning into our core mission of focusing on our human experiences and interconnectedness.”
“We Imagine…Us” features three different productions that can be enjoyed on their own or as companion series to each other:
- “The Long Way Around,” a multi-part fiction podcast to be released in the fall of 2021. The podcast will tell the story of a Black American father and his Black Vietnamese American daughter who set out across the United States in hope of rebuilding their lives. From the impact of incarceration on parents and children to issues of immigration, environmental racism, and the fight for fair wages, this audio drama offers a moving and clear-eyed look at our contemporary struggles and how, through solidarity, we can make a change. With a focus on representation and centering voices of color, this series presents an expansive multicultural cast and creative team, including Emmy Award-winners actress Karrueche Tran and screenwriter Trey Ellis, Latin Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Ramos, award-winning fiction podcast producer Paula Gammon Wilson, and Heartland Emmy-nominated sound designer Leslie Gaston-Bird.
- “Re-Imagination Nation with Maria Hinojosa,” a companion series to “The Long Way Around” to be released simultaneously in the fall of 2021. The series of inspiring interviews with global change leaders offers inspirational ideas about how we think about issues of racial and social equity with an eye toward addressing some of today’s most pressing concerns for communities. Hosted by Maria Hinojosa and produced by Andres Caballero, each episode meets with thinkers, artists, activists, or community builders who are members of the Solidarity Council on Racial Equity (SCoRE) and are helping to transform our present with visions of what could be a better future. Among the stirring guests are author Michelle Alexander, musician-activist John Legend, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, author-activist Saru Jayaraman, activist Linda Sarsour, political strategist Heather McGhee, author Jerry Tello, and many more.
- An animated shorts series titled “We Imagine…Us” will feature characters from “The Long Way Around” podcast and will be released in the fall of 2021. Available via social media, the series seeks to show what a future could look like if specific issues such as environmental justice and immigration rights were addressed in real ways within our communities. With production from Lori Knight in collaboration with acclaimed animators Sonya Carey of The Animation Lounge and Jardley Jean-Louis of Jardley Studios, the powerful visual works are directed and written by Trey Ellis.
Support for “We Imagine…Us” is provided by a grant from The W.K. Kellogg Foundation: A partner with communities where children come first.