How does one of the most successful podcast start-ups cap off its first year? By debuting Our America, its 9th and most hotly anticipated series, featuring Secretary Julián Castro.
Lemonada Media has released the first episode of Our America, helmed by Julián Castro, Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former presidential candidate.
The podcast network made its debut in October 2019 with Last Day, which broke down the opioid addiction crisis after its co-founders, Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs, lost their brothers to overdoses. “Our America,” in kind, is a very personal project for Julián, who was raised alongside his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, by a single mother in a working-class, largely segregated, and predominately Mexican-American neighborhood on the West side of San Antonio. The series puts a spotlight on vulnerable communities not often highlighted in politics and invites everyday people, community organizers, and cultural icons to discuss solutions for national issues such as poverty, hunger, housing insecurity, and discrimination.
“I’m incredibly proud of my family’s journey—from my grandmother’s immigration to the U.S. as a seven-year-old orphan, to me standing on a presidential debate stage. It’s a journey borne of hard work and opportunity,” says Secretary Castro. “Too many people don’t have that opportunity in life. Not even close: they’re struggling just to get by. I’m proud to launch Our America to tell their stories and explore ways we can help more families reach their own dreams.”
The topical Our America begins by telling Julián’s personal story, then discusses how we can reclaim the promise of our nation for more people, by taking a humanizing and hopeful look at how drastically the American experience shifts from one person to the next. Our America launches as 29M+ people have filed for unemployment and 37M+ Americans face hunger, with people of color disproportionately suffering. (Sources: NPR, JulianCastro.com, Economic Policy Institute, USA Today.)
“We are beyond excited that Secretary Castro decided to launch his podcast series with Lemonada Media,” says Cordova Kramer, the network’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our America taps into Lemonada’s emphasis on authenticity, touching on its hosts’ personal experiences to confront national epidemics. Julián is uniquely positioned to explore, in a nonpartisan way, the torture and joy of the human experience, along with the policies that contribute to inequality.”
Lemonada’s roster will continue to expand in Q4 with the Oct. 14 return of Last Day; its second season explores the country’s growing suicide epidemic. On Sept. 29, its other flagship series, Good Kids, will return with 15-minute takes on modern parenting in trying times.
“Our goal this calendar year has been to shape and build out shows that speak to the zeitgeist,” says Wittels Wachs, Lemonada’s Chief Creative Officer. “Sometimes that zeitgeist isn’t pretty, but our mission is always to present tough realities alongside real solutions, and an appropriate dose of laughter.”
The podcast network, which recently earned $1.38M in seed funding, already boasts several popular ongoing series. They include:
- “The Untold Story: Policing,” hosted by actor Jay Ellis (Insecure, Mrs. America) and executive-produced by Lemonada and Campaign Zero activist DeRay Mckesson, takes a critical look at law-enforcement reform.
- “In the Bubble,” hosted by Obama healthcare guru Andy Slavitt, addresses life during a pandemic.
- “In Recovery,” hosted by physician-educator Dr. Nzinga Harrison, examines addictions of all kinds in a non-judgmental, traditional chat format.
- “Tell Me What to Do,” hosted by writer-producer Jaime Primak Sullivan, gives fans no-nonsense, entertaining advice.
About Lemonada Media:
Lemonada is a podcast network founded in 2019 by Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs. The company’s podcasts share an unfiltered version of the human experience that, in a time of increasing polarization, is a place where people come together. Lemonada provides a robust advertising platform, one that is nonpartisan and deeply engaging, with uniquely amiable host-read ads. Lemonada is represented by Oren Rosenbaum at UTA.
Lemonada in the Press:
- Houston Chronicle | “Making Lemonada Out of Lemons”
- MSNBC | “Julián Castro Reacts to Trump’s Eviction Ban”
- Bello Collective | “8 Podcasts That Help You Talk to Kids About Race”
- CNBC | “What Biden Could Do on Day 1 to Fight the Pandemic”
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