Panel Discussion: Bilingual Podcasting and Multilingual Media

December 7, 2019 @ 8:00 am – 10:30 am
PRX Podcast Garage Boston
267 Western Avenue
MA 02134

Almost half of the world’s population speaks two or more languages fluently. Podcasts have become a medium for makers to challenge the monolingual norm in media. Join bilingual podcasters and media makers Iohann Vega, Ada Volkmer, Rafael Trujillo, and Heloiza Barbosa in conversation about their work and what goes into creating a multilingual audio piece. We’ll listen to examples of various formats of bilingual podcasts and discuss the nuance in each. We welcome multilingual people new to podcasting who want to tell stories with their full selves and seasoned podcasters looking to incorporate multilingual content and broaden their audience.

These bilingual podcasters and language workers will share existing models for doing this type of work as well as their own experiences with media making.

This event is part of Listening to Language: Language Justice and Multilingual Media. Learn more at

Free and open to all. RSVP here:


Ada Volkmer is a native of Mexico who is proud to call the US South her home. Her multicultural, bridge-crossing experiences growing up on the US-Mexico border inspire and inform her language justice work. Ada has more than 10 years’ experience interpreting and coordinating interpretation in community-based settings, including interpreting at the Highlander Research and Education Center, the World Social Forum on Migration, and Mijente. Ada loves fried chicken, cumbia and summer. Ada coordinates the Language Justice Circle at the Center for Participatory Change, where she trains interpreters and is the host of Se Ve Se Escucha (Seen and Heard) a language justice podcast about language justice, interpreting what it means to be bilingual and an organizer in the South

Iohann Rashi Vega was born and raised in Mexico City, started music training at the age of six, and has a background on journalism and media. He moved to Puerto Rico, where he worked for 12 years in different roles as producer, on-air host, news anchor, promotion coordinator, and music program coordinator, at the University of Puerto Rico’s Public Radio Station, WRTU. Iohann has also worked as the Media Literacy Coordinator at the Gándara Youth Development Center, in Holyoke, MA, where he worked with youth, creating media content with social justice, and self-advocacy focus. Also, he is the producer of Radioplasma, a local podcast that is a workshop for the youth and community to share stories and discussion of topics of relevance and interest, not always covered by mainstream media. Currently, Iohann is the Director of Media Engagement with Holyoke Media,

Rafael Trujillo is a recent graduate from Emerson College with a degree in Journalism. His interest has led him to produce stories in education, politics, and the lack of representation of Latinxs and Hispanics in Boston media. He has reported photography packages, audio stories, and anchored a Spanish-language newscast at Emerson. He is currently the Teaching Assistant for the Podcasting at the Library workshop series at East Boston Library Branch and recently assisted at the Community Podcast Lab. Rafael was born in Venezuela, so he speaks Spanish and English.

Heloiza Barbosa was born in Belém, a city in the mouth of the Amazon river, Brazil. Both of her parents are illiterate, her father a native from the forest, her mother a daughter of Campesino Portuguese immigrants. Heloiza migrated to Boston in 1994. In the city, she worked as a waitress, barista, and housecleaner. She marched through many classes of ESL and applied to graduate school. In 2004 Heloiza received her doctorate in Education from Boston University. She was a tenured professor of Education in Brazil for almost a decade. Today, Heloiza writes short-fiction and produces audio-documentary and is the creator of Faxina, a Portuguese language podcast telling true stories of Brazilian house cleaners living and working in the United States. She lives in Brookline with her husband and daughter.