Project Ava Presents: Unheard Podcast

Project Ava Presents: Unheard is a new original podcast series produced by our Project Ava podcast team where we share underrepresented stories related to social justice in audio. As we continued to share stories on this last year, we came to the realization that a written medium is not the only or most compelling way to share stories. Writing is not for everyone and it also isn’t accessible to everyone. In an effort to expand the ways, platforms, and types of stories we share and who we share them from, we launched Unheard-a podcast to bring voices of the voiceless to share nuanced dialogue related to social justice and inequity.

Look for us on SoundCloud and iTunes. Contact us at

AAPI Political Action

In this episode Kimberly and Joseph address the results of the 2016 Presidential election as it pertains to Asian Americans. We welcome guests Dan Huynh of AAPI Action, a slack community for AAPIs and allies across the nation to take political action, and Bao-Tram Do a community organizer from Seattle who works with APACEVotes to increase accessibility to civic access and participation for APIA communities.

Happily Ever After for People of Color

Host James Burge discusses the impact of relatable images to children of color with guest Donica Snyder. In this episode, they explore the importance of diversity in fairy tales and fictional stories. Listen, as the two discover what happily ever looks like for minorities. To read more about the topic, view our accompanying piece.

Addiction, Mental Health, and the Stigma

Project Ava’s third installment of Unheard explores the intricacies of mental health addiction. Host Joseph Zhang interviews Joshua Stout, Project Ava Storyteller and PhD Candidate in Sociology from the University of Delaware. Joshua shares his story of addiction, experiences of stigma and finding care.




Being Transgender in the Military pt. 1

In the latest episode of Unheard, Mara Waldruff interviews a transgender female serving in the U.S. Navy as a Nuclear Electrician Mate (or “nuke”). The story includes her experiences as an LGBTQ member of the military and restrictions she has faced transitioning while serving.


Being Transgender in the Military pt. 2

In Part 2 of Unheard’s podcast on being transgender in the military, Mara Waldruff speaks with a Specialist in the National Guard. Our interviewee’s experience transitioning from female to male reveals a unique and important perspective of gender in our society. The episode also explores the empty promises made by the Department of Defense in regards to transgender rights and recognition within the military.

AAPI Mental Health & The Patriarchy

In recognition of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month as well Mental Health Awareness Month, Kimberly is joined by Vanessa Teck and Nghia Le to break down how patriarchal values in Asian cultures contribute to the high rates of mental illness and depression in our community.



Self-Care for Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

In acknowledgment of Minority Mental Awareness Month, host James Burge interviews photographer Varinia Rodgriquez. In this episode, the two discuss using creativity as an outlet for self-care.

The Extraordinary Negroes & Black Writers in Entertainment

In today’s episode of Project Ava Presents: Unheard, Mara Waldruff talks to Jay Conner, Founder and co-host of the Extraordinary Negroes Podcast and a Hollywood television writer. Jay shares his experiences as a Black person in the Hollywood writers room. We discuss the racial disparities within the entertainment industry, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

Social Justice in 2017

2017 has been a wild year for social justice. Unheard’s hosts James Burge, Mara Waldruff, and Kimberly Ta discuss their own experiences with social justice and how 2017 has shifted their perspectives on social progress in the US. From Trump’s inauguration to white supremacist uprisings and what it feels like to play the white people’s game.

Feminism in Film & Art

On this episode of Unheard, we explore feminism in media with Colorado artist Rebecca Berlin who’s pop-art style work explores the roles and representation of women in film.

Women of Color Take on Politics

In this episode we speak to the youngest elected City Council Representative in Aurora, Colorado. This 23-year old powerhouse also happens to be a first generation Mexican immigrant with an inspiring story.

Amplifying Youth Voices: A Teacher Empowers Students through Podcasting

Paul Clifton is a 6th grade teacher from Denver, Colorado’s McGlone Academy and the man behind a student-led podcast, The Voice of Montbello. In this diverse community of Denver, Paul is empowering his students to use their voice to talk about their own lived experiences as they explore topics of racism, police brutality, immigration, and more.

Working While Female with Nicole Hallberg

On this episode, Nicole Hallberg, cost of the Not Each Other podcast and the woman behind the male-female email swap experiment, discusses her experience working while female.

YAAASS QUEEN: Creating Digital Media with Daysha Veronica

On this episode, we feature Daysha Veronica, a Social Media Influencer over 140k followers, an award-winning writer/director/producer, a passionate performer of poetry, and a lover of dance who currently works for herself as the visionary behind Yes Queen, a lifestyle/entertainment website for women. Prior to creating Yes Queen, Daysha is most well known for being a viral video powerhouse, both in front of and behind the camera, at BuzzFeed.

Learn more about Yes Queen at

The Healing Power of Food for First-Generation Americans

Today we’re joined by Thuy Tran, a co-founder of The Rooted Recipes Project, which brings together four culinary artists & experience producers to curate a regenerative afternoon of conversation & storytelling over a shared meal. We discuss microaggressions and appropriation of ethnic food and how food can be healing for first-generation Americans to connect to their roots and family.

The Rooted Recipes Project:




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