Voices in America

THIS IS VOICES IN AMERICA

Voices in America are the stories of 21st-century pilgrims; who they are, how they got here, why they came, and what they think about their new country. As the nation debates immigration, Voices in America invites you to do one revolutionary thing: Listen

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

We aim to give voice to people who have fled to the U.S. in order to save their lives and the people who have volunteered to help them. Using narrative to shine a light into the Kafkaesque world of immigration policy and law in the hope that people we might open some eyes and hearts. Public Counsel of Los Angeles, the nation’s largest provider of pro bono legal services is helping produce the show.

Voices In America will introduce a number of amazing people and their stores to the world. They include Javier, a refugee from gang violence in San Salvador, who fled to the U.S. at the age of 11 with his 8 year old brother; Syrian artists who spoke out against the government’s use of torture, and now face arrest and death if they are forced to return, and a doctor from the Congo who was tortured for having told Human Rights Watch about the murder of innocent protestors.

Each one of these stories carries a weight of truth and hope. America was founded by immigrants, and we continue to grow and change because of it. Telling the stories of immigrants today allows us to hear the voices of those who will shape our future.

  • The New Colossus
    by ZyteHeist on January 12, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    A reading of The New Colossus. A poem by Emma Lazarus displayed at the base of the statue of Liberty. Read by modern-day American immigrants.Thanks again to everyone for lending their voice to this project. Special thanks to Greg Grunberg, Cristela Alonzo, Wilmer Valderrama, Judy London and Public Counsel.Music provided by Bensound.com

  • The Blessing of Hospitality
    by ZyteHeist on November 9, 2017 at 3:32 am

    Meet Catherine Wager, Deacon at Episcopal Diasis in Los Angeles. She opens her heart and her home to immigrants seeking asylum in the United States. Although Catherine has had guests in her home for up to 3 years at a time, she and her husband Bruce see the deed as nothing special. If you as Catherine why do this, she states "we do this because we can".

  • Patriotic Protest or Enemies of America
    by ZyteHeist on October 27, 2017 at 6:44 am

    Long before there was 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernik, San Francisco was home to another protestor, Harry Bridges; Australian immigrant, American citizen, union leader, protestor. The U.S. government’s efforts to throw Bridges out of the country is the story of loyal American dissent and the the price the protestor pays for exercising “free” speech.

  • Someone’s Child
    by ZyteHeist on October 17, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    Too often, the fact that there are millions of refugees in the world becomes a deadening statistic. In this episode, the story of one refugee offers an insight into the horrors these refugees escape, and the challenges the face if they’re fortunate enough to come to America.

  • State Sanctioned
    by ZyteHeist on August 30, 2017 at 3:34 am

    Refugees seeking asylum often have one thing in common, being victims of torture. State sanctioned terrorism on an individual level. Physician Cynthia Willard shares her experiences working with and supporting victims of torture.

  • The Most Vulnerable
    by ZyteHeist on August 25, 2017 at 6:59 am

    They are the youngest asylum seekers. Victims of rape, abuse, deprivation, they are expected to represent themselves in the complex world of Immigration Court. Attorney Judy London of Public Counsel tells the story of a life spent her trying to help the neediest and most vulnerable.

  • Wilmer Valderrama
    by ZyteHeist on August 17, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Actor and activist Wilmer Valderrama tells his immigrant story, what it means to him to live in America, how division rather than diversity is the biggest threat to our democracy, and why you— yeah, YOU -- need to get up and stand for your rights.

  • The Crimes Of Immigration Court
    by ZyteHeist on August 9, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Most Americans will never see the inside of an immigration court,which is too bad, because if they did, maybe they would demand dueprocess, fairness, and the resources to ensure both sides have a shotat getting something close to justice. Attorney Peter A. shares hisfirst-hand experience with the surreal world of America's worst courtsystem.

  • The Road From Damascus
    by ZyteHeist on August 2, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Jay was was one of the Middle East’s most popular television and film stars; think the Russell Crowe of the region. He was rich, famous, and popular. Then he criticized the Assad regime. Forced to flee Syria with almost nothing but a Hollywood dream, he and his wife Fadia are starting over in America.

  • The Funniest Texan Ever
    by ZyteHeist on July 26, 2017 at 5:03 am

    Born in the USA on the Mexican border, Cristela overcame poverty, homelessness, and racism to become a star, with her own network television show and thriving stand-up comedy career. So why does she sometimes feel like an immigrant in her own country?

  • The Congo
    by ZyteHeist on July 19, 2017 at 5:59 am

    When a highly respected Congolese physician comes to the aid of protesters beaten and killed by government officials, he is arrested and tortured. Forced to flee for his life. he arrives in America with dreams of reuniting his family and practicing medicine. But not all dreams come true. Dr. Didier adds his story of horror and heroism to the Voices in America podcast.

  • Painting Syria
    by ZyteHeist on July 12, 2017 at 3:49 am

    Fadia uses art to convey her and other Syrian women's experiences as activists, victims, and refugees. From the hope of the "Arab Spring" to the tragedy of civil war, she discusses her obligation as an artist, a woman, and "a citizen of the world."

  • El Train De La Muerte
    by ZyteHeist on July 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

    You may already know about people like Javier. In 2003, the Los Angeles Times won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on children like him, the ones from Central America who risked their lives riding “The Train of Death” to get to the United States. Clinging to fast-moving freight cars, dodging immigration officials, like Javier, they came alone, without parents, money, or the English language. Like all good stories, this one has a happy ending.

HOST & PRODUCER - JONATHAN SHAPIRO

Shapiro is a former federal prosecutor and law professor. He is the creator/executive producer of the Amazon Prime series Goliath and co-executive producer of the NBC series The Blacklist. He has written two book --Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling and the novel Deadly Force — and is the founder of the Public Counsel Emergency Fund for Torture Victims.  

PRODUCER & EDITOR - CHRISTIAN HUMES

Producer and Editor for online media. Former Cinematographer. Creator of The Zyte Heist Podcast Network. Host and Producer of various podcasts, such as The Zyte Heist Podcast, Unranked and Producer & Editor of The Broad Cast.

PUBLIC COUNSEL

Judy London is the Directing Attorney of Public Counsel’s Immigrant’s Rights Project. The former Legal Director of the Central American Resource Center in Los Angles, she is an Adjunct Law Professor at UCLA Law School teaching a clincial course on immigration law, focusing on the representation of asylum-seekers.