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Whether it’s through her musical masterpieces or her memorable roles on the silver screen, Queen Latifah has continually tapped into the power of storytelling to cultivate community. The Newark native—née Dana Owens—is continuing to do so through the creation of a new podcast.

Dubbed Unity in the Community—a play on her 1993 classic song U.N.I.T.Y.—the project amplifies the stories of local unsung community heroes driving change in their neighborhoods. The seven-episode podcast, which is hosted on Audible, captures the uplifting narratives of individuals at the forefront of transformative social good projects.

Amongst those featured are violence prevention coordinator Kevin Grant who has dedicated his work to dismantling the cycle of violence in Oakland, Anthony Tamez-Pochel who is reclaiming indigenous land in Chicago’s Albany Park community, and educator and community activist Dr. Rashida Govan who is empowering young Black girls through her New Orleans-based nonprofit Project Butterfly. Other guests include Newark-based restaurateur Walter Green who used his business to combat food insecurity in his community in the midst of the pandemic and community activist Miya Iwataki who is leading preservation efforts around Little Tokyo in Los Angeles.

“We’re bombarded with so many things, and it’s hard to cut through a lot of it sometimes,” Owens told Audible in an interview. “So, to really hear and know that there are people right next to you, right in your own community, that are doing such impactful things, such positive things, to have such a positive impact on your very own community and the world, is important to hear. And especially hearing these stories in detail. You’re hearing these stories from the roots to fruition.” The podcast is a partnership between Owens and Shakim Compere’s Flavor Unit imprint and the audiobook and podcast company.

The debut of Unity in the Community comes months after Owens cultivated a partnership with Lenovo to empower small businesses.


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