We are thrilled to announce that the Pop Culture Collaborative has joined forces with the CAA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the talent and sports group Creative Artists Agency, to launch Evolutionaries, a first-of-its-kind program to advance the vision and voice of pluralist visionaries.

Through this partnership, the Collaborative and the CAA Foundation are supporting civic activists, artists, and movement leaders whose work seeks to change unjust social systems and cultural norms and put forth an actionable vision to transform them. Evolutionaries are leaders who have spent their careers dedicated to creating systemic change towards a more just and pluralist society through the power of storytelling and narrative change.

Both the Pop Culture Collaborative and the CAA Foundation will provide resources for Evolutionaries to advance a pop culture narrative shift project, such as books, podcasts, TV shows, performance art intended for mass audiences, and more. In addition, the Collaborative will offer Evolutionaries access to its Abundance League, a squad of experts, advisors, and coaches spanning a range of capabilities from PR and digital branding to content production, and each Evolutionary will also be able to activate the power and reach of the entertainment, media, and literary industries through the CAA Foundation.

“We are so thrilled to be working with our friends at Pop Culture Collaborative,” says Natalie Tran, Executive Director of CAA Foundation. “This partnership is an exciting step to amplify these movement leaders as storytellers and beacons for social change.”

Meet the Inaugural Evolutionaries

 

The first Evolutionaries cohort includes:

  • LaTosha Brown, the Co-Founder of Black Voters Matter, Black Voters Matter Fund, and Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute, designed to boost Black voter registration and turnout, as well as increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities. LaTosha will develop a multimedia theatrical project that will utilize song, speeches, photography, visuals, and more to bring people in community together to shift narratives.
  • Crystal Echo Hawk, Founder and Executive Director of IllumiNative, the first and only national Native-led organization focused on changing the narrative about Native peoples on a mass scale. Crystal will produce a podcast that follows Native people as they investigate abuses that occurred at boarding schools in the United States, where Indigenous children were separated from their families and communities, which led to cycles of generational trauma.
  • Cristina Jiménez, Co-Founder and former Executive Director of United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth–led organization in the country. Cristina is writing a book calling on readers to confront the long history of white supremacy and anti-Blackness that has shaped the modern-day American immigration system.
  • George Goehl, Director of People’s Action, the most race-conscious rural organizing program in the United States. George will advance his storytelling through podcasts and a book to reach low-income, often-overlooked voters  around race, immigration, policing, and more.

An Expansion of the Pluralist Visionaries Program

The Evolutionaries partnership is an expansion of the Collaborative’s Pluralist Visionaries Program, dedicated to supporting a new generation of pluralist leaders, as they step into their roles as cultural guides for America’s future.

Advancing powerful narratives on care and domestic workers, racial justice, trans liberation, white nationalism, immigration, and societal healing through pop culture projects and thought leadership, the Pluralist Visionaries Program supported national movement leaders and artists in 2020 and 2021 to help expand our collective imagination of what is possible for our country. These Pluralist Visionaries, and their projects, include:

  • Ai-jen Poo | Launched the second season of Sunstorm podcast with co-host Alicia Garza, published op-eds, essays and featured in interviews on caregiving and the Care Agenda.
  • Alicia Garza | Launched the second season of Sunstorm podcast with co-host Ai-jen Poo, launched
    her new book, “The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart” in October 2020.
  • Elle Moxley | Developed and produced her short-biopic film, Black Beauty, on her journey as a Black trans woman.
  • Eric K. Ward | Published op-eds, essays and featured in interviews around white nationalism and critical race theory. (Huge congratulations to Eric for being awarded the 2021 Civil Courage Prize!)
  • Imara Jones | Produced “The Anti-trans Hate Machine” and “Translash” podcasts, published op-eds, essays and featured in interviews around racial justice and trans issues.
  • Maytha Alhassen | Developing and launching the upcoming digital series “Key Terms” exploring controversial words in culture that create deep societal polarization.
  • Paola Mendoza | Worked with a group of fandom experts around the release of her Young Adult fiction novel Sanctuary” in September 2020.
  • Zahra Noorbakhsh | Developed her comedy special “On Behalf of All Muslims” and “Don’t Stop Believing” podcast.

The Pluralist Visionaries Program is housed under the Pop Culture Collaborative’s Becoming America Fund, which is dedicated to supporting grantee partners to work together to ignite public imagination about the pluralist nation we are capable of becoming.

We are truly excited to evolve the Pluralist Visionary Program with this partnership to the entertainment industry in order to further our mission of elevating this growing community of cultural stewards. Stay tuned for more!



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