Initial Run Targets Millennials of Color with News For Social Change
Denver, March 19, 2018 — Free Speech TV announced today that it will premiere The Last Sip, a half-hour weekly program aimed at activating and mobilizing historically marginalized communities, on Sunday, April 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET. Directed at millennials of color, especially women and the LGBTQI community, the program will filter national news stories—during its initial run of at least eight weeks—through the lens of grassroots communities on the frontlines of social change. Emphasizing solutions which foster equity, the program will be hosted by journalist, economist and on-air news analyst Imara Jones—a transgender woman of color—whose work in media has garnered EMMY and Peabody Awards. The Last Sip will be produced by Oria Media which Jones helms.
“Our television network is committed to amplifying voices of those left out of mainstream media such as people of color, youth, indigenous people and the LGBTQI community,” said Ron Williams, Executive Director of Free Speech TV. “We are proud to announce the exclusive premiere of The Last Sip with host Imara Jones, the only national news program hosted by an openly transgender person.”
Imara Jones added, “My hope is that this show will support and enhance change by focusing on the people and places driving societal transformation from the ground up. I believe that solutions-based reporting grounded in the experience of our audience is essential to bringing the transformation required to make our society fairer and more equitable. Each week I will use the full range of my experiences, from the White House to the private sector to independent media, to break down complexities and bring forward the stories that our communities need to hear. That’s why the debut of our program on an independent network like FSTV makes so much sense.”
At 8:30 pm ET today, a Facebook Live interview with Jones will be moderated by Kai Wright, Host of the WNYC Studios’ podcast “The United States of Anxiety.”
The Last Sip has received important support from foundations such as VOQAL and The New York Women’s Foundation among others.
Voqal President John Schwartz added, “At Voqal we are dedicated to supporting the dissemination of alternative ideas and have supported Free Speech TV for quite some time. We continue this commitment with the support provided to Imara for The Last Sip as a 2018 Voqal Fellow. The fact that this project also involves another 2018 Voqal Fellow, Chris Vaeth, only adds to our excitement.”
Ana Oliveira, President and CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation said, “The New York Women’s Foundation is pleased to support The Last Sip. It is critical to support news and media focused on highlighting the solutions that women are creating locally to our most pressing social problems. We are particularly pleased to work with Imara Jones, a groundbreaking trans woman of color in this space. Our nation needs more voices like hers and we look forward to her work uplifting the leadership of women, members of the LGBTQI community, and immigrants and communities of color.”
The Last Sip will be shot at the MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Center, part of the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, with whom FSTV has a broad-based partnership.
Dan Coughlin, President and CEO of Manhattan Neighborhood Network, added: “MNN opens our doors to people from all walks of life—giving marginalized communities a place to tell their stories is something we’re proud to do.”
The program will also partner with the online action portal How to Help, which will allow its audience to connect directly with the change agents featured in The Last Sip’s content and explore how they themselves can spark transformation locally.
Chris Vaeth, Founder of How to Help said, “There’s no shortage of news. In times like these, the question is what we will do with that news. How to Help, a digital news startup, is thrilled to partner with Imara and The Last Sip. We’ll seamlessly connect The Last Sip viewers to ways to do something about stories covered on the show. Imara and I are both 2018 Voqal Fellows, but more importantly, The Last Sip’s host, audience, and format all make it the ideal partner for How to Help and our mission to publish news you can do something about.”
The Last Sip will air on cable, satellite, social media platforms, and through websites as well as OTT devices like Apple TV and Roku.
Free Speech TV is a national, independent, nonprofit news network committed to advancing progressive social change. As the alternative to media networks owned by billionaires, governments and corporations, Free Speech TV elevates unique perspectives through daily news programs, independent documentaries and special events coverage. Free Speech TV reaches over 38 million households nationally on DISH (channel 9415), DIRECTV (348), and over 150 community cable affiliates. Free Speech TV streams live at freespeech.org and is available on Roku and Apple TV. Free Speech TV believes a more just and democratic world is possible when the media empowers people with the information they need to fight for what matters.
About Imara Jones
An EMMY and Peabody Award winner, Imara is the host of The Last Sip, an upcoming weekly, half-hour news show which targets Millennials of color; especially women and the LGBTQI community. The program is produced by Oria Media, which Imara leads, and airs on the independent news network FSTV. In addition to her career in journalism, Imara has held economic policy posts in the Clinton White House and communications positions at Viacom. Imara holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Columbia. More information about her can be found at www.imarajones.com
About Oria Media
Oria Media is a New York City-based digital and broadcast news production company that originates programs for millennials of color. Oria receives support from a number of leading foundations for the creation of content which combats lower levels of democratic engagement amongst historically marginalized communities by filtering national issues through the people and organizations redefining society one community at a time.
Voqal is a national collaboration of EBS (Educational Broadband Service) licensees that work to advance social equity by creating an educated and informed public. Voqal provides grants and investments for organizations and individuals, affordable mobile internet and wireless spectrum advocacy. Our efforts center around using media and technology to increase access, community and knowledge.
About The New York Women’s Foundation
Since 1987,The New York Women’s Foundation has advanced a dynamic philanthropic strategy based on the fundamental reality that, when women thrive, their families and communities also thrive. The Foundation’s grantmaking places it at the top of public women’s foundations in the United States, and in the top two in the world. We invest in women-led, community-based solutions that promote the economic security, safety, and health of the most vulnerable women in New York City. We foster women’s leadership, create partnerships that spark catalytic change, exchange insights with experts across sectors, and empower women by training them in activism and philanthropy to accelerate and sustain forward progress. Visit http://www.nywf.org to learn more about our work to transform lives, families, and communities – and create a better New York City for all.
Founded in 1992, Manhattan Neighborhood Network is New York City’s free public-access cable network. Operating five channels (Community, Lifestyle, Spirit, Culture and HD Community) and reaching over 600,000 cable subscribers in the Manhattan area, MNN is the largest public-access cable network in the nation, with programs airing in more than 40 languages. Find MNN on Twitter (@MNN59), Facebook, YouTube, and at MNN.org. In 2012, MNN opened a state-of-the-art community media center at the old Engine Co. 53 Firehouse on East 104th Street in East Harlem. The facility features three HD production studios, including a three-camera studio, as well as editing services and a Youth Media Center. The Firehouse offers classes in English and Spanish and hosts community events throughout the year. MNN also produces the cable and digital channel NYXT.nyc (pronounced next dot n.y.c.). Presented in partnership with more than 60 Manhattan community-based organizations, NYXT.nyc shines a spotlight on groups that are working to connect people and build neighborhoods. NYXT.nyc is available on TWC 1992, FiOS 38, and online at nyxt.nyc.
About How to Help
How to Help is a digital media startup publishing at the convergence of news and social change. We work in the news cycle to connect people with ways to do something about the day’s big stories. Find more at www.howtohelp.co.
FSTV: Sunnivie Brydum, Digital Managing Editor
Oria Media: Imara Jones, President