It’s laborious to really feel seen, heard and represented as an individual of shade in right this moment’s present media panorama. Ravneet Vohra (pictured above), founder and CEO of Put on Your Voice, is altering that.
Put on Your Voice is an intersectional feminist multimedia platform that goals to heart marginalized communities, together with those that are queer, trans, non-binary, feminine, black, brown, Asian, Indigenous or some mixture of these identities. The location options tales race, identification, physique politics, tradition, well being and, in fact, information and politics.
“Put on Your Voice was born out of my very own story rising up as a South Asian lady in a primarily white group and never feeling seen or heard,” Vohra informed TechCrunch. “Not simply inside the group I used to be in, but additionally in multimedia. Out of my ache, I made it my energy and launched Put on Your Voice.”
Vohra bootstrapped WYV for the primary 5 years, hit a tough patch in 2018, however survived as a result of “our viewers saved us,” she stated.
“That’s when you realize you’re destined to remain,” Vohra stated. “As a result of nothing speaks louder than the help of individuals on the Web saying, ‘No, you’re integral to our security. You present a secure house.’ So individuals began throwing cash at us.”
However Vohra and WYV have been nonetheless in survival mode. The corporate wanted greater than sufficient cash to outlive. It wanted cash to thrive.
“It’s been an fascinating journey,” she stated. “I’ve tried the VC route and the angel route, and I all the time felt just like the door was getting closed in my face as a result of we weren’t centering white individuals.”
Put on Your Voice didn’t obtain its first bit of out of doors funding till investor and Dallas Mavericks proprietor Mark Cuban got here alongside. Vohra stated she later “stumbled upon Mark, and that was a extremely defining second.”
So far, Cuban is the corporate’s sole exterior investor.
“With him approaching board, I now have a clearer, extra outlined function,” she stated. “I’m now transferring away from a survival mode into with the ability to do my job.”
With a current inflow of capital from Cuban, Put on Your Voice is constructing out its staff, bettering on its expertise and forming partnerships — most not too long ago a paid partnership with Deliberate Parenthood.
“My funding in Put on Your Voice was based mostly on many components, however the final deciding issue was the excessive degree of content material they publish and the group it serves,” Cuban stated in an announcement. “Saying that, WYV doesn’t simply serve underrepresented communities of shade, additionally it is a spot for the remainder of us to hear and be taught.”
Earlier this month, WYV partnered with Deliberate Parenthood for the Summer season of Intercourse marketing campaign. The marketing campaign goals to heart the experiences of lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and different sexualities, sexes and genders (LGBTQIA+) and black, Indigenous, and other people of shade (BIPOC).
Intercourse is one thing that can not be singularly outlined, and but so many regularly try to outline it by way of inflexible hetero and cisnormative understandings. With this marketing campaign, we’re igniting and persevering with essential conversations about intercourse — from intercourse positivity, sexual well being, and sexual liberation to purity tradition’s results on individuals of shade, particularly queer and trans people. From desirability politics — how racism, misogyny, fatphobia, ableism, and extra influence how we take into consideration intercourse, attraction, humanity, and sure individuals’s prescribed roles — to masturbation and intercourse toys. From STI stigma and intercourse schooling to debunking myths concerning the clitoris and de-centering the penis and penetration in our understandings of intercourse and pleasure. We wish to discover the myriad of the way QTBIPOC expertise intercourse and the issues surrounding it.
To realize this, WYV is producing quite a lot of articles, essays and interviews across the matter of intercourse.
“That is enormous,” Vohra informed me. “It’s an enormous deal for me as a result of this explores intercourse by way of the QTBIPOC lens.”
Down the street, count on to see extra partnerships with manufacturers and companies, Vohra stated.
“There are such a lot of different campaigns within the pipeline,” Vohra stated. “We’re additionally on the lookout for extra funding so I can proceed to develop and actually shake up the established order of how regular digital media corporations are operated and present them do it higher.”