March 19, 2018
The following is a guest post from Voqal Fellow, Imara Jones sharing the motivations behind Jones’ new show on Free Speech TV, “The Last Sip.”
We all know that stronger more diverse voices are needed behind news desks and in communities telling stories. That’s why I’m proud to say that with the support of my Voqal Fellowship, today I announced the launch of my upcoming, half-hour news program “The Last Sip” on Free Speech TV (FSTV). Debuting on Sunday, April 15 at 9:30 a.m., my hope is that the use of my voice as a transwoman of color on one of the last remaining, truly independent news networks–also a Voqal grantee–will help shift tired paradigms.
The premise of “The Last Sip” is a straightforward one. In order to build a better world, new possibilities and new ideas must be presented. The problem is that traditional news sources cannot offer us the information that we need to help drive social change. All we have to do is look across the media landscape where even so-called “liberal news” establishments are busy bringing in talent who champion a non-existent, anti-diluvian past and marginalize the voices of people of color, women and LGBTQ talent within their own ranks.
As a response to this crisis in journalism and across society more broadly, each week “The Last Sip” team will focus on the people and places in frontline communities who are creating solutions to our most pressing problems from the ground up. Every moment on air, I will bring the full range of my experience in politics, business, entertainment and journalism to break down complex systems for our audience; creating awareness for change.
In fact, my fifteen other colleagues at “The Last Sip” and I believe that challenges and effective responses to them lie in the same place. And that social innovation is originating from the current generation of Americans, the nation’s largest and most diverse, which is increasingly black and brown, female and queer.
For all of these reasons “The Last Sip” is considered to be an experiment. So far our nonprofit and foundation funders have given us funding for eight weeks to prove that there is an actual demand for our brand of journalism. That’s why we need your help in getting the word out: every set of eyes on us each week will help us make our case.
But the truth is, I could not have come this far with “The Last Sip” without the support of Voqal. I know this is also the case for the other 2018 Fellows. By allowing us to use our talents at this critical moment in history, Voqal is indeed making change happen.