Our Mission

Futuro Media creates multimedia content for and about the new American mainstream in the service of empowering people to navigate the complexities of an increasingly diverse and connected world.

Who We Are

The Futuro Media Group is an independent nonprofit organization producing multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diversity of the American experience. Based in Harlem and founded in 2010 by award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, Futuro Media is committed to telling stories often overlooked by mainstream media by expanding narratives as we report on issues where we see a lack of racial equity. Futuro Media produces Peabody Award winning Latino USA, the longest running national Latino news and cultural public radio program; In The Thick, a political podcast from the perspective of journalists of color; Latino Rebels, a pioneering digital news outlet founded by Julio Ricardo Varela that reaches millions through its website, radio programming, and podcasts; and Futuro Studios, Futuro Media’s newest creative division, focusing on original podcasts and programming.

About Our Distribution Partner

PRX is a public media organization shaping the future of audio by producing and distributing content, building technology, and training talented, independent producers. It is a leading creator and distributor, connecting audio producers with the most engaged, supportive audiences across broadcast, web, and mobile. As a distributor, PRX licenses public radio programs and pieces to public radio stations across the country. With an award-winning portfolio ranging from iconic public radio programs such as The World, This American Life, Snap Judgement, The Moth Radio Hour, TED Talks Daily, The Takeaway, and Reveal, as well as a growing body of podcast-first productions, including the Radiotopia podcast network, PRX reaches more than 28.5 million listeners and generates close to 80 million podcast downloads per month.

Our Production Team

  • Maria Hinojosa

  • Maria Hinojosa

    President & CEO of The Futuro Media Group, Anchor & Executive Producer of Latino USA

    As a reporter who was the first Latina in many newsrooms, Maria Hinojosa dreamt of a space where she could create independent, multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diverse American experience. To that end, in 2010, she created the Futuro Media Group, an independent, nonprofit organization based in Harlem, NYC with the mission to create multimedia content for and about the new American mainstream in the service of empowering people to navigate the complexities of an increasingly diverse and connected world.

    She is the Anchor and Executive Producer of the Peabody Award-winning show Latino USA, distributed by PRX, as well as Co-Host of In The Thick, Futuro Media’s award-winning political podcast, Hinojosa has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad. She is also a contributor to the long-running, award-winning news program CBS Sunday Morning and a frequent guest on MSNBC.

    Hinojosa’s nearly 30-year career as an award-winning journalist includes reporting for PBS, CBS, WNBC, CNN, NPR, and anchoring the Emmy Award winning talk show from WGBH Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One. She is the author of two books and has won dozens of awards, including four Emmys, the John Chancellor Award, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club, and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAHJ. She has been honored with her own day in October by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and has been recognized by People En Español as one of the 25 most powerful Latina women. Additionally, Hinojosa was the first Latina to anchor a PBS FRONTLINE report: “Lost in Detention” which aired in October 2011 and was the first to explore abuse at immigrant detention facilities, garnering attention from Capitol Hill as well as both the mainstream and Spanish-language media.

    As a reporter for NPR, Hinojosa was among the first to report on youth violence in urban communities on a national scale. During her eight years as CNN’s urban affairs correspondent, Hinojosa often took viewers into communities rarely shown on television and continued that work longform on Now on PBS. At Futuro Media, Hinojosa continues to bring attention to experiences and points of view that are often overlooked or underreported in mainstream media, all while mentoring the next generation of diverse journalists to delve into authentic and nuanced stories. In 2018 she was a Fellow at Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and is a frequent speaker across the country. In 2019, she was named the inaugural Distinguished Journalist in Residence at her alma mater, Barnard College.

    View Posts by Maria Hinojosa
  • Julio Ricardo Varela

  • Julio Ricardo Varela

    Editorial Director and Co-Interim Executive Director, Futuro Media

    As Editorial Director for Futuro Media, Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela is responsible for the overall editorial vision and voice of Latino USA, Latino Rebels and In The Thick. As Vice President of New Business Development for Futuro Studios, he also heads up the division’s new business initiatives, which have received industry accolades and have positioned Futuro for continued, sustainable success.

    In 2011, Julio founded Latino Rebels, one of the top U.S. Latino digital media sites in the world. In 2018, LR officially joined the Futuro Media family. He also co-hosts In The Thick with Maria Hinojosa. He is a frequent contributor to Latino USA, and as Digital Director for Futuro from 2015–2020, Julio expanded the show’s digital footprint, overseeing historic gains in online and social audiences.

    Previously, Julio was Digital Producer for Al Jazeera America’s “The Stream” and his work has been featured in many global outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian, ESPN, NBC News, Quartz, Le Monde, WGBH, WNYC, Face the Nation, MSNBC, Fusion, Univision and Telemundo. He has made numerous national TV appearances for Latino USA and Futuro Media.

    In 2015, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists honored Julio with its inaugural DALE (pronounced like Pitbull would say it) Award, given to “given to an individual or company that steps up and goes above and beyond to ensure Latinos are fairly and accurately represented.” A native of Puerto Rico, Julio spent his childhood between San Juan and the Bronx. He was also a contributing reporter at The Boston Globe and a top publishing executive. Julio graduated cum laude from Harvard College.

    View Posts by Julio Ricardo Varela
  • Andrea López-Cruzado

  • Andrea López-Cruzado

    Senior Editor, Latino USA

    A bilingual journalist with 20 years in the field, Andrea is currently a senior editor at Latino USA.

    Andrea spent just over half of her career at Dow Jones where she worked as an editor for The Wall Street Journal Americas division. For several years, she was also the New York-area correspondent for El Comercio, her native Peru’s leading daily newspaper. After a one-year stint as a copy editor for Bloomberg News’s Spanish-language service, she entered the world of podcasts. She was Radio Ambulante’s fact-checker for over two years as well as Radio Ambulante Studios’ news-oriented podcast El Hilo.

    Andrea is also a busy freelancer. She frequently fact-checks for This American Life, Columbia Journalism Review, and Vox Media. For Election 2020, she joined Telemundo News and ProPublica’s Electionland as a fact-checker and tip- catcher, respectively.

    Finally, she is also an adjunct at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY where she teaches research to the bilingual class.

  • Marta Martinez

    Marta Martinez

    Senior Editor

    Marta Martinez is a multimedia journalist and currently a senior editor at Latino USA. Her work has appeared on CNN, VICE, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Teen Vogue, Univision, Revista 5W, El País, and Le Monde among other media. She is also a creative editor at the journalistic production company Dromómanos. She helped The Fuller Project, a nonprofit newsroom covering issues that affect women globally, set up its first audience engagement and social media strategy.

    She specializes in long-form journalism, covering human rights, inequality, migration, and gender, as well as developing audience engagement strategies. She has reported on a sex-based quarantine measure that discriminated against transgender people in Panama, a community built by displaced Colombians that is now welcoming migrant Venezuelans, how the genocide trial came together in Guatemala, and why straight women are marrying each other in northern Tanzania. She is a National Geographic, International Women’s Media Foundation, and European Journalism Centre grantee. She worked as a fact-checker for The New York Times and as a researcher for The New Yorker. She’s originally from Spain, but has been living in New York for over a decade. She believes that everything tastes better with cheese.

  • Stephanie Lebow

    Stephanie Lebow

    Supervising Senior Engineer

    Stephanie Lebow is a Peabody award-winning audio engineer for her work on Afropop Worldwide. She found her passion for radio at Indie 103.1 FM in LA, as an audio engineer, producer, and on-air personality. She got her start at WFNX, WERS, and WBOS in Boston.

    She has mixed and produced music in a multitude of genres from jazz to pop, and received an independent music award for her work. She has also mixed and done sound sweetening for indie films and documentary series such as America By The Numbers and Miss Sharon Jones!

    She graduated from Emerson College with a major in Audio Production and a minor in Broadcast Journalism. When she’s not using ProTools to build radio shows, she uses it as an instrument in her own electronic/indie project Stef Lebaux.

  • Mike Sargent

    Mike Sargent

    Senior Manager and Line Producer

    Mike Sargent is an award winning veteran of audio disciplines including podcasts, radio, radio drama, audiobooks, film and a leading figure in the movement to cultivate diversity in public media. He started his career in theatre and film as a sound designer and won an Audelco Award for excellence in Sound Design. 

    From there Mike went on to write, produce and direct radio drama and audio books, adapting the works of such acclaimed science-fiction authors as Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark. 

    A pioneering Afro-futurist, Mike was the creator-producer of the first Black science-fiction audio drama James Scott: When The World’s Need Heroes. Since then he has produced a wide range of podcasts and audio programs. 

    Currently chief film critic for WBAI RADIO’s weekly film review program, REELWORLD, and host of WBAI’s popular late night radio show, NITESHIFT. Mike co-hosts two Podcasts 2FAST 2FILMS & The BROWN & BLACK podcast for the iHeartMedia Revolver Network. And most recently is producer of THE GREAT WEALTH DIVIDE podcast for WBGO Studios, the new podcasting unit of the world-premier jazz station, based in Newark, NJ. 

  • Julieta Martinelli

  • Julieta Martinelli

    Producer At-Large

    Julieta Martinelli is an award-winning investigative reporter and currently a producer at-large. As a Soros Justice Media Fellow, she spent 2019 documenting the human repercussions of changing legal policies along the U.S.-Mexico border. She previously covered the criminal justice system, policing and immigration for Nashville Public Radio.

    Her stories about immigrant youth, life in prison — and what happens after — have aired nationally on NPR programs including “Here and Now”, “Morning Edition,” ”All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition”. She’s been invited to discuss her reporting on WBEZ Chicago’s “Morning Shift”, WAMU’s “1A” and NPR’s “Up First” podcast.

    Martinelli previously wrote for CBS-46 in Atlanta, Gwinnett Daily Post, and Atlanta Latino Newspaper. Once upon a time, she made a living off writing press kits for indie artists and throwing parties in Atlanta…and in her headphones is still always secretly blasting hip-hop and reggaeton.

    View Posts by Julieta Martinelli
  • Jeanne Montalvo

    Jeanne Montalvo

    Producer

    Jeanne Montalvo is a Grammy-nominated audio engineer and radio producer. She spent almost a decade working in music recording before breaking into radio after receiving her Masters in Music Technology from New York University. She has worked as an audio engineer and producer for NPR, Bloomberg Radio, the Duolingo podcast and projects for the New York Times and Sony.

    As a radio producer, she focuses on music and culture stories ranging from the inner workings of growing up bilingual to now parenting bilingual children, as well as telling the stories of music icons past and present like Yma Sumac. She is the creator of “Live from Latino USA” a live and (mostly) unplugged video series that features Latinx talent from Jessie Reyez to Jose Feliciano.

    When she’s not taking a deep dive into her latest story, she stays involved with the music industry as much as she can. In 2017, she was nominated for a Grammy Award as Mastering Engineer for Vladimir Horowitz: The Unreleased Live Recordings, and her recording of Multiverse by Bobby Sanabria’s Latin Jazz Big Band was nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album at the 2012 Grammy Awards. In 2018, she was selected as the EQL resident, a residency developed specifically for women engineers, to work at the Spotify and Electric Lady Studios in New York City.

    View Posts by Jeanne Montalvo
  • Victoria Estrada

    Victoria Estrada

    Producer

    Victoria Estrada edits and produces audio stories from Xalapa, Mexico. Before getting into audio, Victoria worked in academia, in media, and as a freelance translator. In 2016, she co-founded Máquina de Coser, an artistic project focused on sound experimentation. And in 2020, she was a recipient of the Adelante Fellowship from the International Women’s Media Foundation to report from Tapachula, on the Mexico-Guatemala border. Before joining Latino USA, she was an editor at Radio Ambulante, NPR’s award winning Spanish language podcast.

  • Patricia Sulbarán

    Patricia Sulbarán

    Producer

    Patricia Sulbarán is a multimedia reporter and producer whose experience has focused on delivering breaking news and enterprise stories to international and multicultural audiences. Born and raised in Venezuela, she developed her career as a radio producer in Colombia and spent more than five years working with the BBC in the United States as a bilingual reporter and producer for the web BBC Mundo and more recently as a correspondent for BBC Mundo in Los Angeles.

    Her latest work has mainly focused on the experience of Latinx communities in the United States and how they are impacted by local and national policies from a character-driven perspective. Her coverage of Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, migration from rural Guatemala and conditions of immigrant detention during the COVID-19 pandemic has been translated and published throughout various BBC outputs, as well as her coverage of breaking news events such as the 2020 U.S. presidential election and the Parkland High School and El Paso mass shootings. She also produced and presented TV and radio documentaries about femicide and violence against women in El Salvador and has covered elections and referendums in Colombia and Venezuela for the BBC.
  • Julia Caruso

    Julia Caruso

    Assistant Senior Audio Engineer

    Julia Caruso got her start in radio as a broadcast engineer for CBS Radio. Prior to working at Futuro Media, she was the Studio Manager for the Music Technology program at New York University overseeing the recording studios and mentoring students. She is an active member of the Audio Engineering Society and has been on the convention committee for their annual international convention in NYC for several years. She holds a bachelor degree in Music Technology and a masters degree in Food Studies, both from NYU. Learning about culture through food and music is a passion of hers.

  • Alejandra Salazar

    Alejandra Salazar

    Assistant Editor and Associate Producer

    Alejandra Salazar is an Assistant Editor and Associate Producer at Latino USA. She is a multimedia journalist from San Antonio, Texas and previously worked as a radio producer at WNYC, where she contributed to the station’s daily flagship shows Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her reporting on arts, culture, and politics has appeared on NPR, The San Francisco ChronicleThe Dallas Morning News, and Refinery29, and she also worked as an advocacy fellow with the National Hispanic Media Coalition. She got her start in radio at her college station at Stanford University.

    View Posts by Alejandra Salazar
  • Reynaldo Leaños Jr.

    Reynaldo Leaños Jr.

    Associate Producer

    Reynaldo Leaños Jr. is an associate producer at Latino USA and is based in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas. Leaños is an award winning journalist who recently covered the U.S.-Mexico border and immigration for Texas Public Radio. While at TPR, his work was frequently featured on NPR’s national news shows like Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, as well as NPR’s newscasts.

    Prior to joining TPR, Leaños was a freelance journalist in the Rio Grande Valley and in New York City. His work has appeared on PRX’s The World and Global Nation, NBC News, Latino USA and KUT’s Texas Standard.

    He has an undergraduate degree from Texas State University, where he studied journalism and international studies. Leaños also has a master’s degree from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where he specialized in international reporting.

    View Posts by Reynaldo Leaños Jr.
  • Luis Luna

    Luis Luna

    Digital Editor

    Luis Luna joins Futuro Media Group after working in the Theatrical Department at GKIDS. He has also worked on the programming teams at various film festivals, including Hamptons International Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, and others. He received a dual B.A. in Film Studies and English from Hunter College. Born and raised in Jackson Heights, his favorite things include queer cinema, world travel, dancing to Rihanna, and a good cemita.

    View Posts by Luis Luna
  • Julia Rocha

    Julia Rocha

    Associate Producer

    Julia Rocha is an Associate Producer at Latino USA. They graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University, where they got their start in radio at 89.9 WKCR FM, hosting a show on Latin American and Latinx music and social movements. Julia is committed to sharing stories that uplift the important work that women and gender non-conforming people of color are doing to express themselves and uplift their communities.

    View Posts by Julia Rocha

Our Administrative Team

  • Charlotte Mangin

    Charlotte Mangin

    Co-Interim Executive Director

    Charlotte Mangin has been a documentary filmmaker since 2000. She spent five years on staff of National Geographic Television & Film, reporting from the jungles of the Amazon to the Himalayan Mountains, followed by five years as story producer for PBS’s international affairs series Wide Angle, overseeing the production of more than a dozen documentaries covering issues such as legal reform in China, race relations in Brazil, and human rights activism in Zimbabwe. Her hour-long Wide Angle program about women’s rights in Morocco won an International Documentary Award.

    From 2012 to 2016, Charlotte was series producer for Futuro Media’s television and video series, America By The Numbers and Humanizing America, and in 2017, she served as Futuro Media’s Interim Executive Director. She is currently directing and producing UNLADYLIKE2020, a women’s history series for PBS’s American Masters featuring unsung women from the early years of feminism, in honor of the centennial of women’s suffrage.

    A native French speaker, Charlotte was born in Paris, attended Amherst and earned a Masters degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard.

  • Stacy Parker LeMelle

  • Stacy Parker LeMelle

    Senior Development Manager

    Stacy Parker Le Melle is the Interim Development Director for Futuro Media. She has spent nearly four years stewarding and cultivating funding support for Futuro’s independent, nonprofit journalism and original programming, with a heavy concentration on institutional funding. As IDD, she is focused on individual giving as well—showing appreciation and care for current and past donors, and inviting new donors into our community. In addition, Stacy is an author, teacher, and non-profit administrator who previously served as communications director and workshop director for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. She is a 2020 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow for Nonfiction Literature. She is the author of Government Girl: Young and Female in the White House (Ecco/HarperCollins) and served as primary contributor to Voices from the Storm: the People of New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina and Its Aftermath and created The Katrina Experience: an Oral History Project. She recently served as a parent representative and communications chair for the Manhattan Country School Board of Trustees. She founded the community effort Harlem Against Violence, Homophobia, and Transphobia and co-founded and curates Harlem’s First Person Plural Reading Series. She previously served in the Clinton West Wing as both an aide and advance person.

  • Yolanda Moore

    Yolanda Moore

    Director of Administration

    Yolanda comes to Futuro Media with over 15 years of nonprofit administration and management experience. She received her Master’s Degree in International Affairs with a focus on Human Rights and Governance from The New School in New York City. She has a passion for women’s rights issues and completed two practicum programs aimed at combating institutions of gender bias within communities. The first focused on developing a WASH oriented Girls’ School Retention pilot program in Tembaro, Ethiopia, with WEEMA International, whereas the second was a skills development communications initiative in India with UN Women. In her spare time, she volunteers and does consulting work. She enjoys traveling, karaoke, cooking and just being with her friends and family.

  • Stephen Rudd

    Stephen Rudd

    Sr. Finance Manager

    A native Washingtonian, Stephen grew up predominantly in the DC metro area, with the exception of a few years in San Francisco, California, where he graduated from high school in 1985. He returned to the DC metro area to study accounting and business management at the University of Maryland. In the mid 1990’s, he moved back out to San Francisco and worked for an investestment bank along with helping a few internet startups get on their feet financially. Upon the tech market crash in the late 1990’s, Stephen worked for several federal government contracts (non-profit and for profit) in the international development arena managing funds from USAID, DOS, DOD and HHS. As a result of last year’s pandemic, Stephen relocated to South Florida to be near his parents.

  • Danetsy Len

    Danetsy Len

    Development Officer

    Danetsy Len comes to Futuro Media after five years of fundraising on behalf of DKMS, an international bone marrow donor center. Previously she worked in development at the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club—after a series of college internships convinced her that nonprofit fundraising was a great way to mix community impact with the skills learned from an undergraduate business degree. At the University of Pennsylvania, she majored in Economics with a concentration in management as well as minored in Latin American and Latino Studies. A native of Panama who grew up in California’s Central Valley, she is excited to join the Futuro team and champion underrepresented voices in media. When not at work, she wakes up way too early to watch soccer games, reads through cookbooks, and tries not to trip over her feet while taking dance classes.

  • Megan Wrappe

    Megan Wrappe

    Development Assistant

    Megan comes to Futuro Media with a background in journalism and nonprofit experience. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She has written for several newsrooms, including LittleThings.com, and was a social media intern at Business Insider. She has a passion for helping people and proudly worked on The Grace Children’s Foundation’s “Children’s Resource Exchange Center” project as their social media coordinator. In her spare time, Megan is a theatre critic in New York City, where she reviews Off Broadway and Broadway shows. And when she’s not at a show, she enjoys football Saturdays rooting for Notre Dame, following UNC basketball, and serving as Appalachian State University’s NYC alumni chapter president.