Meet our Six Inaugural Teams for the Google Podcasts creator program

Lauren Rothering
PRX Official
Published in
5 min readJan 10, 2019


Thousands of people from over 100 countries submitted applications for our accelerator program. Here’s who stood out.

In October, we were thrilled to announce that PRX is leading the Google Podcasts creator program. The program is designed to remove barriers to podcasting, to increase the diversity of voices in the industry and to make sure content is available for all audiences. We put out a call for applications and had a great response; thousands of proposals from over 100 countries are another reminder of the power of stories. The review process, undertaken with the help of our advisory committee co-chairs to choose the inaugural cohort was, extensive and exhilarating. We couldn’t think of a better way to spend the final weeks of 2018.

The program kicks off with a intensive “bootcamp” week at PRX’s Podcast Garage in Boston. Teams will continue to meet weekly with webinars, mentorship, assignments and testing to help hone their podcasting skills that will be on display in a live launch show later this year.

Now, Google and PRX are ready to announce the first cohort of podcasters to participate in the accelerator portion of the Google Podcasts creator program.

Let’s meet the teams (in alphabetical order):

AfroQueer, Nairobi, Kenya: A reported, narrative-driven podcast about queer Africans living, loving, surviving and thriving on the African continent and the diaspora.

AfroQueer, from left to right: Selly Thiam, Maeve Frances, Aida Holly-Nambi

Selly Thiam (Executive Producer and Host) is a Senegalese-American journalist, filmmaker, radio producer and writer and the founder of None on Record, an Africa-wide LGBT digital media organization that produces the AfroQueer podcast. A Ugandan born and raised in Kenya, Aida Holly-Nambi (Reporter and Producer) is the Director of Arts and Culture for None on Record. Maeve Frances (Producer), is an independent audio producer and reporter based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Las Raras, Santiago, Chile: This Spanish-language non-fiction podcast tells stories of “The Weird Ones,” the people who live on the margins of society because of their background or life choices, and how these stories challenge social norms.

Las Raras, from left to right: Catalina May, Martín Cruz

Catalina May (Co-Creator) worked in print media for more than a decade before creating Las Raras with Martín Cruz (Co-Creator and Sound Designer), a sound engineer and musician from Santiago, Chile.

Long Distance, Los Angeles, California: This reported, narrative podcast uncovers unknown histories and present-day realities about life in the Filipino diaspora.

Long Distance, from left to right: Paola Mardo, Patrick Epino

Paola Mardo (Host, Producer, and Creator), is an independent audio producer based in Los Angeles. Patrick Epino (Producer) is a director and actor, and the executive producer of the production company National Film Society.

Timestorm, Bloomfield, New Jersey: This audio fiction series tells the story of twelve-year-old twins, Alexa and Beni Ventura, who travel through time to uncover hidden moments in the history of Puerto Rican culture.

Timestorm, from left to right: Dania Ramos, Michael Aquino

Dania Ramos (Creator and Writer), is a writer and teaching artist. Michael Aquino (Audio Engineer and Composer) is a musician, songwriter, performer and producer of podcasts and music.

The Colored Girl Beautiful, Baltimore, Maryland: Explores black women’s concepts of beauty then and now using Emma Azalia Hackley’s 1916 book The Colored Girl Beautiful as a framework.

The Colored Girl Beautiful: Aseloka Smith

Aseloka Smith (Creator and Host) is a graphic designer, MFA candidate and data nerd with a deep love for storytelling.

Who Taught You How To Drive?!, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A humorous interview podcast about how we get around told through the stories of drivers, walkers, riders, and bikers and their habits on the road.

Who Taught You How To Drive?!, from left to right: Melissa Tsuei, Tanikka Charraé, Tezarah Wilkins

Tezarah Wilkins (Creator) is an entrepreneur, arts administrator, photographer and multimedia producer. Melissa Tsuei (Co-Producer) has worked in early child development for 12 years and is most interested in transforming our system of education to serve marginalized communities and promote true inclusion. Tanikka Charraé (Co-Producer), is a singer/songwriter/vocal producer, clothing designer and professional background vocalist from Philadelphia.


We’re working to bring even more voices into podcasting, and we will be releasing a series of Podcast 101 educational videos in multiple languages as well as sharing case-studies and key learnings from the first round of training. Sign up to get notified when the next round of applications of the Google Podcasts creator program opens up.

Join us in welcoming the first cohort of six teams to the Google Podcasts creator program — watch this space for updates from bootcamp, the live showcase in June and more!



Lauren Rothering
PRX Official

Director of Marketing at PRX