Mass Incarceration

Tracee Ellis Ross Talks New Podcast Celebrating Community Heroes

For so long as America has existed conversations have taken place globally exploring the nation’s distinctive identification. Inside these conversations, America is commonly famous for serving as a melting pot of wealthy cultures adhering to the beliefs of equality, freedom, individualism, and arduous work. Nevertheless, whereas selling these values, America’s identification has additionally been known as to query throughout occasions when these beliefs have been a mere hope for choose populations.

The necessity to struggle for civil rights, gender and marriage equality, and equal alternatives for these in another way abled are prime examples of exits, for some, from these wealthy beliefs. However at America’s core, is the facility of on a regular basis folks placing humanity first to steer the nation nearer to one of the best it has to supply.

In her newest executive-produced, created, and co-written undertaking I Am America, Golden Globe-winning, Emmy-nominated actor, producer, and entrepreneur, Tracee Ellis Ross, goals to seize these tales by means of a podcast shining a lightweight on on a regular basis folks affecting their communities with kindness and humanity.

Why The Podcast?

I Am America is a podcast supposed to be counteractive to stereotypes which have historically disrupted life for a few of America’s communities. “We pull again the curtain on typically unexplored tales of on a regular basis individuals who have an effect on their communities with their kindness and humanity. These hidden angels encourage risk by means of their actions. And their tales are worthy reflections that exhibit one of the best of this nation,” says Ross.

She has discovered these tales to additionally showcase these “redefining identification and the thought of neighborhood.” In doing so, her hope is that this podcast might at occasions really feel lovely, uncomfortable, or gentle, permitting listeners to reckon with the triumphant realities some on a regular basis heroes have navigated to reimagine and reframe what listeners find out about America’s identification.

The podcast’s title, which is symbolically impressed by the imaginative and prescient Ross and crew set forth to assist reimagine America, was curated after the late nice Langston Hughes’ poem “I, Too.” Within the poem, Hughes unpacks the story of race relations in the course of the time of the Harlem Renaissance and the concept in the future individuals of coloration too can be equally celebrated as a lovely a part of America. Therefore, the tales featured in Ross’ podcast I Am America shine a lightweight on the historic journeys of on a regular basis Individuals that Ross and her crew discover are too celebratory.

“I like that at its roots, I Am America is about identification and belonging. This was intentional. We stay in a society that likes to put folks in packing containers and I feel it is essential to debate our humanity and connectivity exterior of packing containers. I wish to stay in a world the place all of us really feel linked to one another and seen by one another,” shares Ross.

How I Am America Is Shifting Narratives

“These tales present that America will not be a monolith however a fancy and exquisite promise,” says Ross. For the primary season of her ten-episode podcast, every week an individual of coloration shares how they’re impacting their neighborhood and the journeys they’ve navigated which have typically been lesser informed.

For instance, one episode of the collection unpacks the story of Deanna Van Buren who’s defying the percentages as one of many few black girls licensed architects in America constructing the world we stay in right now. Van Buren highlights her journey by means of cities and colleges the place she describes being generally segmented as different. This led to her path of therapeutic from externally inflicted, but internalized hatred from others, to go on to create a few of the nation’s most dynamic restorative justice centers. Her facilities right now divert from techniques centered on mass incarceration to deal with crime as relationship breaches that merely require stakeholders to carry house collectively to restore the breaches.

The podcast takes on a first-person narrative led by heroes like Van Buren and attracts within the listener to visualise the environments the heroes describe. Complementary to those narratives is the crash and wave of sounds illuminating the occasions, supported by data interspersed by the present’s runner, author, and govt producer Nichole Hill to broaden the photographs described by featured friends.

Why Narratives Matter & Behind The Collaboration

As Ross recounts why podcasts like I Am America issues she is most moved by how “tales of belonging create house in historical past books to reframe an American identification that is filled with coloration, tradition, and neighborhood.”

With this being the primary podcast Ross has labored on, illuminating America’s identification on this means was essential. Trying again on the method Ross shares she has discovered: “There was lots of studying and that’s the thrilling half. There have been additionally some issues that felt acquainted. The teamwork and collaboration is much like tv and movie; I like the crew a part of every thing. Audio, nonetheless, could be extra intimate in a means as a result of with out visuals there’s extra weight on the phrases and tone. Because the presenter of those tales, I’ve the accountability of framing the tales with considerate context. The method of writing the intros and outros was not simple; like writing a TED discuss for every episode. However, a formidable job is a chance and a present when you have got a fantastic crew.”

This undertaking is one which Ross, has taken on by means of a partnership with Pricey Media and her firm Pleasure Mill Leisure. Dear Media is infamous for having hosted over 80 podcasts led by right now’s high leaders. Their crew is integral to supporting idea creation, editorial, advertising and marketing, distribution, and extra by means of collaboration with world manufacturers.

Equally, Pleasure Mill Leisure is a growth and manufacturing firm that amplifies multilayered tales with the aim of reframing assumptions about how folks see themselves and one another. “Pleasure Mill expands the way in which those that coloration exterior the strains are recognized, inviting creators to discover the complexities of the human expertise mirroring again the reality of who we’re. Our content material celebrates the truth of our worthiness,” says the Pleasure Mill crew.

The expansive podcast, I Am America, could be accessed on all main platforms.

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