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Special Project

Special Project
From the 3rd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

The Brave: Rise Up As One

Entered in Social Justice


Univision-FMG and The California Endowment came together in partnership with the goal of creating a high-impact, large-scale digital media project that would amplify the voices of a new generation of activists in California who are looking beyond their own immediate communities, embracing intersectionality, and finding strength in solidarity with other causes to create social change. The project ties in thematically with The California Endowment's #RiseUpAsOn campaign, which aims to communicate a message of unity amongst diverse movements such as the immigrant rights movement, Black Lives Matter, the struggle for LGBTQ equality, and the ongoing fight for affordable health care.

Strategy and Execution

Our project took the form of an 8-part podcast series, titled The Brave: Rise Up As One. Each episode features an in-depth conversation with a different activist in California who is advancing social justice by building alliances with other communities and movements. While several of the featured guests are known within activist circles, the majority of the voices we amplified are making important social contributions under the public radar:

Episode one features Ivan Ceja, an undocumented youth from Compton who is using the social network he founded for undocumented immigrants, Undocumedia, to build solidarity among immigrants, the black community, the LGBT community, and beyond.

Episode two features Bambadjan Bamba, an Ivorian-born actor who chose to divulge his undocumented status and now uses his Hollywood platform to advance immigrant rights and challenge public misperceptions of undocumented people.

Episode three features twin sisters Gabrielle and Amanda Gorman. The former is an activist filmmaker and the latter is the first Youth Poet Laureate of the U.S. Both are using their platforms to explore the role of intersectionality in movement building.

Episode four features Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and a director with the Domestic Workers Alliance, who believes the future of community organizing is intersectional.

Episode five features Rida Hamida, a first-generation Palestinian-American from Orange County who launched a project called #TacoTrucksAtEveryMosque to build community among Muslim and Latino immigrants.

Episode six features Dean Welliver, a queer youth organizer in Bakersfield with the Dolores Huerta Foundation who is advancing LGBTQ and youth issues in rural and conservative Kern County.

Episode seven features Yeimi Lopez, an undocumented farmer, indigenous healer, and anti-war activist in Sacramento.

Episode eight features Omequetzal Lopez and Alicia Olivares, partners in the growing "artivism" scene in Fresno who are using their art and organizing backgrounds to create inclusive community spaces in the rural Central Valley.

All of the interviews were conducted by youth reporters from Rise Up: Be Heard, Univision/FMG's journalism training and mentorship program for young people in underserved communities, supported by The California Endowment. In most cases, the youth reporters sourced the featured activists from their own community networks, then recorded their interviews under the supervision of professional radio producers. Their contributions to The Brave were part of a yearlong fellowship that included professional mentoring from Univision/FMG, digital media trainings, access to technology, compensation, and editorial support resulting in over 35 published videos and articles on Univision/FMG digital platforms.

In addition, Univision/FMG brought aboard social commentator and comedian Felonious Munk to host the series and provide sonic consistency with thoughtful social commentaries and takeaways at the top and bottom of each episode. Munk also hosted a highly successful, one-hour live podcast recording of the The Brave that was later released by Univision/FMG as a "bonus" ninth episode. The live event was held at an art gallery in downtown Sacramento and attended by a diverse group of over 100 community members, artists, and activists from Sacramento and the greater San Joaquin Valley.


Our work lifted up the stories of ten inspiring, young activists who are emerging as leaders in their respective community's efforts for change. The podcast format allowed us to go deep on the issues, on their personal backstories, and on the reasons why solidarity with other racial groups, cultures, religions, and identities has become central to their work and worldview.

The podcast was distributed by Univision/FMG and has been heard by over ten thousand listeners to date on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, TuneIn, and other popular platforms. The release was accompanied by a social promotion campaign comprised of audio teasers, graphics, studio photography, and short videos produced by Univision/FMG. Audio ads for The Brave also ran across FMG's extensive portfolio of popular podcast programs.

The live podcast recording in Sacramento attracted a diverse and enthusiastic audience to listen to a live conversation about intersectional activism featuring several of the guests who were profiled in the podcast episodes. Audience members also had an opportunity to network, participate in live art-making installations, experience immersive VR-video content created by Rise Up Be Heard youth reporters, and enjoy music by local artists and DJs. In a post-event survey distributed by Univision/FMG, 100 percent of respondents described the event as worthwhile or very worthwhile.


Video for The Brave: Rise Up As One

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Univision Communications Inc. and The California Endowment


Entry Credits