31 episodes

The Covid-19 pandemic introduced the term “Essential Workers” for a class of people who existed before and will persist long after the virus is gone. Vital to society, but rarely heard from, this “essential” class is often hit hardest by the imbalances and injustices of our culture. In each episode, host Wilmer Valderrama will have intimate conversations with people on the frontlines of the food system, transportation, child-care and other workers who are so often overlooked. That conversation leads to a round-table discussion with activists and politically-active celebrities, discussing themes, issues and areas of needed change. The show seeks to reveal the invisible connections between all of us.

Essential Voices with Wilmer Valderrama My Cultura Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 3.9 • 104 Ratings

The Covid-19 pandemic introduced the term “Essential Workers” for a class of people who existed before and will persist long after the virus is gone. Vital to society, but rarely heard from, this “essential” class is often hit hardest by the imbalances and injustices of our culture. In each episode, host Wilmer Valderrama will have intimate conversations with people on the frontlines of the food system, transportation, child-care and other workers who are so often overlooked. That conversation leads to a round-table discussion with activists and politically-active celebrities, discussing themes, issues and areas of needed change. The show seeks to reveal the invisible connections between all of us.

    Turning the Mic Around

    Turning the Mic Around

    The crew of Essential Voices shares what they’ve learned through our conversations with essential workers. 

    Episode Transcript: https://app.trint.com/public/76b71a81-586f-4e9e-87c3-84b788e5d621

     
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Still Essential

    Still Essential

    Walter Merino, Terence Abram, and Dr. Sara Velasco are all essential workers who went above and beyond to take care of their communities during the height of the pandemic. Walter Merino runs the Olé Soccer Club, where he coached young players from afar and made sure that even if they weren’t on the field, their team had their back. Terence Abram is an occupational therapist at a nursing facility in Los Angeles, who was there for his patients even when their families could not be. Finally, Dr. Sara Velasco has been a family physician for over 40 years and kept up her duty of care when her families needed her the most. 

    Learn more about Olé Soccer Club: http://www.olesoccer.org/

    Episode Transcript: https://app.trint.com/public/72d513c6-25a8-4eb2-b2d5-cb4c1639c69d

     
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 33 min
    Not Even Minimum Wage

    Not Even Minimum Wage

    Andres Almeida is a server at a restaurant in New York, along with being a graduate student and advocate for the organization, One Fair Wage. The restaurant he works at didn’t close during the pandemic, so Andres tells us all about what it was like working during all the different stages of the past couple years, including adapting to new safety regulations, but also adapting to the attitudes of different customers. Roundtable guests: chef and host of Broken Bread, Roy Choi, and author and President of One Fair Wage, Saru Jayaraman.

    Learn more about One Fair Wage: https://onefairwage.site/ 

    Learn more about Broken Bread: https://www.kcet.org/shows/broken-bread

    Episode Transcript: https://app.trint.com/public/e2c0bcc1-9e1b-4ebe-9a02-a6555537000f
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 53 min
    Lifelines

    Lifelines

    Please note this episode deals with discussions of sexual and domestic violence.

    Solange Ramkissoon has worked as part of a sexual assault response team and answers the phone when someone calls into their hotline. Throughout the pandemic when the instructions were to stay at home to stay safe from Covid, home was often the least safe place to be for those at risk of assault within the home. Throughout the pandemic when intimate partner violence increased with lockdowns, Solange and her team were answering phones and were 24/7 lifelines to support survivors. Roundtable guests: actress and advocate Gabrielle Union and expert on gender-based violence prevention and response, Lina AbiRafeh.

    Learn more about SAVE of Essex County: https://www.familyserviceleague.org/save-of-essex#:~:text=SAVE%20of%20Essex%20County%20operates,%2C%20friends%2C%20and%20significant%20others.

    Episode Transcript: https://app.trint.com/public/d61089fc-001c-4bd4-9327-c199d03f79d4
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 50 min
    Black Visions - Part Two

    Black Visions - Part Two

    Last week we spoke with Miski Noor about their community organizing in Minneapolis. To continue that conversation this week, we'll speak with Benjamin Crump who is one of the foremost figures in our current social justice movement. He has represented families in multiple high-profile police violence cases, including the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. He has been leading the same fight in the courtroom that Miski and Black Visions have been leading on the front lines in Minneapolis. Part two of two. 

    Learn more about Benjamin Crump: https://bencrump.com/

    Episode Transcript: https://app.trint.com/public/af72bb47-ef08-4144-86f5-f252adffe699
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 37 min
    Black Visions - Part One

    Black Visions - Part One

    Miski Noor is an organizer and writer based in Minneapolis, MN where they are Co-Director with Black Visions, a power and base-building force for Black Queer and Trans people and their families within the larger Movement for Black Lives. They were mere blocks from George Floyd when he was murdered in 2020 and can speak to what it was like protesting during a pandemic along with how transformative justice informs their vision for a brighter future in Minneapolis. Part one of a two part series. 

    Learn more about Black Visions: https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/home1 

    Episode Transcript: https://app.trint.com/public/ac998ef7-8913-4b0f-939d-c3389656540a

     
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
104 Ratings

104 Ratings

misaworldorder ,

essential listening

M.R. is a great interviewer!

Megan639 ,

.

Wilmer is a statutory rapist and should never work again.

Sweetnursehustle ,

EMS!! AMR! Pay them!

They are the true FRONTLINE.. as a 13yr year Anthony’s interview resonated so much with me. They deserve rightful compensation. Period. I’ve suffered too mentally being a covid nurse these last two yrs.. I always say it wasn’t the pandemic that broke me mentally it was my hospitals lack luster response to the pandemic that broke me mentally. We need better mental health support for healthcare providers.

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