The Pop Culture Collaborative is delighted to announce the 2022 Becoming America Fund narrative network, over three dozen grantee partners and Pluralist Visionaries who will work together to build the yearning in tens of millions of people for a just and pluralist future.  

First launched in 2020, the Becoming America Fund supports pop culture for social change practitioners to immerse millions of Americans in narrative oceans of pop culture content that ignite passion, curiosity, and faith in our ability to create something truly visionary, together: a just and pluralist society.

Meet The 2022 Becoming America Grantees

Through Becoming America, more than three dozen grantees will receive support to produce and distribute digital video series, podcasts, social influencer campaigns, concerts, albums, graphic novels, pop culture curricula, fandom activations, and more, that will collectively work to spark the public’s imagination about our pluralist future. They are joined by three new leaders in the Pluralist Visionaries Program whose expertise ranges from journalism to future building to movement leadership. 

Throughout the year, these pop culture projects will help millions of people: 

  • Move from a sense of individualism to a curiosity about our connection to one another; 
  • Normalize abundant thinking and the belief that we, as individuals and collectively, are full of possibility;
  • Seek out and defend our country’s true history—wisdom that is critical to building resilience against toxic disinformation campaigns working to rewrite our past.

2022 Narrative Network 

  • AAPI Digital Influencers Campaign Run AAPI will organize top AAPI digital influencers to make educational and compelling graphics; host a number of in-person and virtual community convenings; and ultimately, mobilize young AAPI to exercise their right to vote in another critical election year.
    Grantee: RUN AAPI
  • ASALI: Power of the Pollinators From 22-year-old global climate activist Maya Penn, a three-time TED speaker, artist, animator, writer, director, and Simon & Schuster author, comes ASALI: Power of The Pollinators, an animated action-adventure short film focused on climate justice and eco-anxiety. A colorful group of pollinators and an environmental scientist unravel a trail of secrets, and must discover if they can save their home from a monstrous and deadly force. This film is being produced through Maya’s own company Upenndo! Productions. In her previous work, Maya made history when she was commissioned to create an animated film for the opening of the first ever digital report to congress, which was to get an American museum of Women’s History built in Washington.
    Grantee: Upenndo! Productions
  • The Anti-Trans Hate Machine: A Plot Against Equality TransLash Media will launch Season 2 of The Anti-Trans Hate Machine: A Plot Against Equality, a podcast series unpacking the cultural justifications for anti-trans legislation, and the way in which fringe arguments in digital culture ultimately influenced pop culture to drive anti-trans hostility.
    Grantee: TransLash Media
  • BLACKNESS UNBOUND AI for the People will publicly launch BLACKNESS UNBOUND, a new, short interview-style video steeped in Afrofuturist visuals and themes, to help spark the imagination and create dialogue among Black communities on how technology can support and serve, rather than surveil and target.
    Grantee: AI for the People
  • Broccoli City Festival Broccoli City Music Festival and Broccoli Conference is an open air festival/conference in Washington DC hailed by Blavity as “ vibrantly contributing not just to the city’s culture, but political voice.” Each year, the festival gathers more than 100,000 BIPOC millennial and Gen Z fans for a celebration of music, art, food, culture and community service. Featuring artists like Childish Gambino, Migos, Cardi B, Miguel, Nipsey Hussle, Future and others, Broccoli City will offer three stages of music and discourse, wellness activities, brand activations, a small business marketplace and experiential art.
    Grantee: Broccoli City
  • Building a Better Digital Narrative for Immigrants Define American will produce compelling social video content, based on years of research, to shift the conversation about immigration for audiences exposed to anti-immigration narratives.
    Grantee: Define American
  • The Colorism Project “The Colorism Project” is a media campaign and toolkit that seeks to address, expose, and end the discriminatory racial dynamics of colorism in Hollywood through historical facts, pop culture analysis, and action steps for both industry insiders and consumers.
    Grantee: The League
  • Culture Surge: 2022 Culture Surge will coordinate over two dozen leading influencers, artists, cultural strategists, and movement leaders to amplify a shared narrative leading up to the 2022 Election, anchored by pop culture for social change field members Harness, The League, The Center for Cultural Power, and IllumiNative.
    Grantee: Culture Surge
  • DENIM From artist, rapper, and director TT the Artist (Dark City Beneath the Beat, Netflix), DENIM is a fantastical imagining of masculinity and femininity that illuminates queer people of color and LGBTQIA+ creatives in fashion, beauty, music, film, and visual art. In a world filled with uncertainty, this digital docuseries will take viewers into the worlds of diverse creatives, showcasing how they use art as a form of activism and self-discovery.
    Grantee: Artistland Studios
  • Domestic Worker Digital Influencer Program NDWA will train a cohort of domestic worker leaders to build and grow their social media brands. Supported by NDWA Influencer Engagement Manager, Ayanna Albertson-Gay (378k+ followers on TikTok), this program will enable workers to use their own voices to creatively engage audiences. NDWA will also partner with a diverse range of digital influencers to bolster narratives on abundance, care and pluralism..
    Grantee: National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • Finding Tamika Social Impact Campaign Released in March 2022 on Audible, ‘Finding Tamika’ is an Audible Original series about Black women and girls who go missing and overlooked by society. Produced by Color Farm Media and SBH Productions, the series is a neo-noir, true crime drama. Color Farm co-founder, Erika Alexander, created, co-wrote and narrates the series about Tamika Huston, a 24-year-old Black woman from Spartanburg, South Carolina who went missing in 2004. Her case became a rallying cry for other missing Black women in America and led to a growing demand to expose a system that ignores missing girls and women of color. 
    Grantee: Color Farm Media
  • Going Native It’s 2022 and too many people believe that Native Americans still live in teepees. From award-winning writer, performer, and enrolled Cowlitz Indian Tribal Member Joey Clift (Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Nerdist, DreamWorks, Netflix) and the creative agency Moore+Associates, Going Native is a digital animated shorts comedy series about common stereotypes and microaggressions made towards Native people.
    Grantee: Joey Clift and Moore + Associates
  • Good Relatives (Working Title) With the 2020 census reflecting an 86% increase in people reporting Native identity, the concept of indigeneity and belonging has greatly expanded in the 21st Century and is fundamental to building power for Native peoples. A digital series will examine and amplify the immense diversity and complexity of Native identity, taking audiences on a learning journey about the diaspora resulting from colonization, while celebrating Black, Jewish, Asian, Muslim, Latinx, White-presenting, and LGBTQ2S Natives.
    Grantee: IllumiNative
  • Grief, Collected From The Mash-Up Americans (To See Each Other, Sunstorm) comes “Grief, Collected,” a podcast series hosted by journalist Amy S. Choi that will bring to life, with deeply personal narration and shared joys and pains, the human condition that is grief. Along with guests from around the country and across the divides, she will ask a fundamental question: Can we change the shape of our future by processing our past?
    Grantee: The Mash-Up Americans
  • Harness Civic Engagement Activations From spring to fall 2022, Harness is planning large-scale activations to increase civic participation for BIPOC youth (18-35), including national televised PSAs and broadcasts, street art, concerts in various key states and localities, a widely publicized bus tour with influential artists, and their Ride to the Polls campaign.
    Grantee: Harness
  • Hometown Labs There is tremendous power in meeting your audience where they are: in their hometowns. Hometown Labs is a nationwide project that encourages civic engagement by leveraging local, and in some cases, hyper-local, culture, with a particular focus on local artists and influencers.
    Grantee: The League
  • The Humans who Feed Us Modeled after popular Instagram photo blog “Humans of New York,” “The Humans Who Feed Us” is a narrative portrait project living both on social media and in restaurants, stores, universities, and food festivals around the country, seeking to humanize and make visible the millions of immigrants who work in the food supply chain, and uplifting their stories of strength, resilience, joy, and hope.
    Grantee: Justice for Migrant Women
  • Imagine Justice Society At select concerts featuring performing artist and co-founder, Common — Imagine Justice will launch “Imagine Justice Society,” a voter engagement campaign to amplify the importance and impact of local elections in ending mass incarceration. Imagine Justice will partner with local organizations and artists to produce pop-up activations and immersive experiences of what a future without mass incarceration can look like for our communities through visual storytelling and original augmented reality content (videos, artwork, music, etc.) and promote high-profile decarceration policies on the 2022 ballot.
    Grantee: Imagine Justice
  • Immigrant Cookoff! (Working Title) The Immigrant Cookoff YouTube series will feature engaging novice chefs in the realest immigrant cookoff since the pandemic forced families to cancel the family cookout. Each episode will highlight family recipes of dishes with shared roots, personal storytelling, and the best judges: family! The Immigrant Cookoff will continue to build a new immigrant culture driven by immigrants, strengthening immigrant identity and inspiring collective transformation towards true racial justice.
    Grantee: United We Dream
  • #iVoted Festival 2022 Electoral margins of victory are frequently the size of a concert venue. By booking talent per the data of what fans are actively listening to, #iVoted Festival is meeting fans and potential voters where they already are. #iVotedFestival 2022’s election night webcast features events around the country from 300+ artists and harnesses the power of music and entertainment to increase voter turnout among young people and fanbases in critical states across the nation. The price of admission? Just a selfie from outside your polling place or at home with your blank and unmarked ballot. Ineligible voters RSVP by letting the group know which artist they’re most excited to check out.
    Grantee: Project I Voted Inc.
  • Joy to the Polls 2022 Joy To the Polls is a non-partisan tour of artists, DJs, activists and community members, focused on doing just as the name suggests–bringing joy to the polling place. This time, with a goal to increase voter turnout. Joy To The Polls will encourage, excite and empower people across the country to feel an expansive possibility with their vote, implementing strategies to entice people to get to the polls with Joy To The Polls Playlists and keep the energy high once they’re there through non-partisan pop-up concerts at select polling locations during the primary and general elections. Voting is a vibe and we are making it something to dance about.
    Grantee: Center for Working Families Fund
  • The Littletons “All In The Family” meets “South Park” in this satirical, stop-motion animation web series about a middle-class, middle-American family navigating current cultural and social issues. Created by comedian Melissa Samuels, directed and edited by her husband, Adam Parker, the series is voiced by their real-life family. Produced by Wake Up And Vote, The Littletons aims to entertain, inform and engage the Hesitants audience.  
    Grantee: Wake Up & Vote, SLED Inc., Melissa Samuels
  • Micro-Influencers Who Care: Amplifying Narratives and Building Our Base The Digital CARE Influencer Program will identify and partner with 15 digital micro influencers of color to collaborate with Caring Across Generations via TikTok on a range of creative rapid response social media activations.
    Grantee: Caring Across Generations
  • Movement to the Ballot Box Fueled by authentic and compelling storytellers, creatives, and artists, Movement to the Ballot Box uses visual art, photos, music, comic strips, and other creative digital content to mobilize young BIPOC, trans, immigrant, and/or disabled voters.
    Grantee: The Center for Cultural Power
  • Mad Different: Black Girl Cornrows “Black Girl Cornrows,” the first single and music video of the Mad Different visual album, is a project by musical artist Lachi. Told through Lachi’s personal experience as a Blind Black woman, Mad Different amplifies the realities in disability culture, while celebrating Black disabled intersectionality and exploring accessibility as an art form.
    Grantee: Lachi Music LLC
  • Murf Meyer is Self-Medicated Murf Meyer is Self-Medicated is a multi-platform series launched in 2020 and hosted by Murf Meyer—a comedian, former heroin addict, and current alcoholic—born and raised in Luzerne County, PA. Murf uses humor and storytelling to lift stigma and provide insight into his (and others’) experience with drug addiction, the war on drugs, and the harm reduction movement.
    Grantees: Murf Meyer and Moore+Associates
  • Muslim Girls DTF: Discuss Their Faith Building on their previous success as winners of the 2020 Roddenberry Impact Award and Yes, And … Laughter Lab, comedians Atheer Yacoub and Aizzah Fatima will produce Muslim Girls DTF: Discuss Their Faith, a digital comedy series where an all American-Muslim female cast perform about topics that “plague Muslim women such as sex, pork, and body hair.”
    Grantees: Atheer Yacoub and Aizzah Fatima
  • Normal Ain’t Normal Normal Ain’t Normal is a scripted digital series exploring the struggles, absurdities, and surprising possibilities of working-class people navigating the strange, almost-but-not-quite-post-COVID terrain across the U.S. Co-produced by and co-starring Rosario Dawson, the series also features performances from D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (Reservation Dogs) and Martin Sensmeier (Yellowstone). Following four colorful characters who offer an intimate glimpse inside our country’s growing fault lines of race, class, and extreme inequality, Normal Ain’t Normal boldly and irreverently challenges what is “normal” – and what should be normal – in a healthy society.
    Grantee: Offsides Productions
  • The Prince Syllabus Produced by scholar and cultural historian Zaheer Ali of The Lawrenceville School’s Hutchins Institute for Social Justice, “The Prince Syllabus” is an interactive digital platform that will expand and deepen how fans and scholars understand and deploy the work of the musical artist Prince Rogers Nelson to cultivate pluralist identity, culture, and fandom.
    Grantee: Hutchins Institute for Social Justice
  • Radiotopia Presents: My Mother Made Me The podcast series My Mother Made Me (Radiotopia Presents; summer 2022) will explore the relationship between award-winning writer and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds and his mother, Isabell. Through interviews and intimate conversation, they wax poetic about what Reynolds was taught as a child as it pertains to ambition, family, and purpose, and how those teachings have evolved with the changing tides of their lives. It’s a love letter to their connection, an homage to parent-child friendship, and a testament to how growth can be perpetual. Part of the Radiotopia podcast network from PRX, Radiotopia Presents is a podcast feed and home for new limited series from independent creators.
    Grantee: PRX, Inc.
  • Reimagining The Beautiful Game in North America In the lead up to the World Cup 2022, Amplifier will commission original AR-activated artworks inspired by a diverse range of soccer players and fans. Distributed in partnership with Common Goal and seven pro soccer teams during Pride month, this art will ignite the imagination about pluralism and LGBTQ justice within soccer fandoms.
    Grantee: Amplifier
  • Searching for Wakanda Drawing on the people and projects that embody Black euphoria, imagination, freedom, and creativity, Searching for Wakanda is a “for fandom by fandom” visual podcast series that showcases the ways in which leaders in multiple sectors are inspired by the Black Panther storyworld and invite them to imagine the future of their work in relationship to the world of Wakanda.
    Grantees: Intelligent Mischief and Picture Motion
  • Sell/Buy/Date Foment Productions is launching the impact campaign for Sell/Buy/Date, the hybrid documentary film that follows Tony Award-winning performer, writer, and comedian Sarah Jones—and the multicultural characters she’s known for—as she explores her own personal relationship to one of the most relevant issues in our current cultural climate: the sex industry, and the surprisingly diverse range of people whose lives it touches.
    Grantee: Foment Productions
  • TRAИƧA: Red Hot Transcends “TRAИƧA:Red Hot Transcends” is an album and multimedia campaign featuring songs by high-profile and emerging gender-expansive artists that are both love letters to the Trans community and cultural bridges to those who may not yet relate to their gender as a space for exploration and evolution.
    Grantee: Red Hot Organization
  • The UnCommons The UnCommons, a digital comic series with over 2.5 million readers, tells the story of Iris, a young West African Black woman who must gather a group of outsiders to form a diverse team of heroes in order to save the world from an upcoming catastrophe predicted by her ancestors. Through their journey, they learn that in order to save the world, they also have to save each other. In 2022, The UnCommons will both relaunch the series, release new comics, and organize an UnCommons fandom to take flight.
    Grantee: Weird Enough Productions
  • Win Black Since the 2020 election cycle, bad actors nationally and abroad have been interfering with the election process in the United States and targeting Black voters with misinformation and disinformation to suppress their freedom. Through their hub, Win Black will convene movement leaders to amplify branded content that activates communities of color towards a shared vision for Black liberation.
    Grantee: The Truth Fund at Amalgamated Foundation

Pluralist Visionaries

  • 2022 Pluralist Visionaries (in formation)
    • Saket Soni will be launching a publicity campaign for his new book, American Promise (Algonquin Press/Hachette), an epic true story about a hurricane, forced labor, and immigrant freedom; including speaking engagements, media and op-ed placements, and potential launch of a podcast connected to his work on the frontlines of climate disaster.
      Grantee: Saket Soni / Resilience Force
    • Farai Chideya is re-centering data to move women of color from the margins to the center, as part of her work on the podcast Our Body Politic. In some ways, Black women and all women of color are canaries in democracy’s coal mine — predictive of future events that affect a majority of the American public. Farai will seek new ways of blending lived experience and qualitative data into actionable insights that can help save and expand the lives of Black women and women of color more broadly.
      Grantee: Farai Chideya
  • Evolutionaries (in partnership with CAA Foundation)
    • George Goehl will be producing the second season of his podcast “To See Each Other” and a new book focused on rural communities, including low-income white people, in order to tell the story of what is possible when we reach beyond the choir and invite more people into the project of building the next, more just version of America.
      Grantee: George Goehl/Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
    • LaTosha Brown is developing a multimedia project that utilizes song, speeches, photography, and visuals to advance new narratives rooted in culture, the arts and the love of humanity.
      Grantee: LaTosha Brown/Truth Speaks Innovation Foundation
    • Cristina Jimenez will be releasing her first book, confronting the long history of white supremacy and anti-Blackness that has shaped the modern-day American immigration system.
      Grantee: Cristina Jimenez/United We Dream Network
    • Crystal Echohawk will be producing a podcast that follows the stories of tribes, activists and families who are actively working today to investigate the abuses that occurred at boarding schools in the United States, where Indigenous children were separated from their families and communities, leading to cycles of generational trauma.
      Grantee: Crystal Echo Hawk/IllumiNative

      See full announcement.

We encourage you to immerse yourself in these pop culture projects as they premiere throughout the year. Engage in their stories. Amplify them. Together, these artists, organizers, and cultural strategists are helping millions of people reclaim the truth of our past, make sense of our present, and unlock imagination about our pluralist future.

COVER IMAGE: As a Black woman, artist and trans rights activist, Shea Diamond elicits joyous pride in our fluid selves though dance hits such as  “I Am America,”  and holds our collective need to mourn, heal, and reconnect with ballads such as “Seen It All.”  Her songs reflect the power that pop culture has to expand public imagination, and that’s why we are so honored that Shea agreed to be featured as our Becoming America 2022 cover artist.  NDWA will train a cohort of domestic worker leaders to build and grow their social media brands. Supported by NDWA Influencer Engagement Manager, Ayanna Albertson-Gay (378k+ followers on TikTok), this program will enable workers to use their own voices to creatively engage audiences. NDWA will also partner with a diverse range of digital influencers to bolster narratives on abundance, care and pluralism.Domestic Worker Digital Influencer Program