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The People Dividend Podcast

Jul 5, 2022

“I didn't want to tell someone else's story. I wanted to speak my own,” shares Fanshen Cox, President of Trujulo Productions. Through her company and her podcast Sista Brunch, Fanshen uplifts underrepresented and marginalized voices, giving people a platform to tell their authentic stories in addition to telling her own. She joins Mike Horne in conversation to discuss the importance of authentic storytelling, the difficulties marginalized storytellers face in Hollywood, and the real meanings of truth, justice, and love. 


Hollywood has a long history of producing the stories of people with privilege rather than providing resources to marginalized storytellers. This leads to less authentic stories being made where the person telling the story does not actually have the lived experience behind it. Fanshen created her own production company and her own one woman show so that she could tell her own story the way she wanted to tell it. She gave herself the agency that Hollywood would not give her. In order to show stories that are inclusive, diverse, and accurate to the experiences of marginalized communities, it is pivotal to approach those stories from a place of truth. Love is an act of speaking the truth and actively pursuing justice. If you make your stories with love, they are sure to be authentic. 


Tune into this week’s episode of the Authentic Change Podcast to learn more about what authentic storytelling means, why it matters, and how you can get started telling your own stories. 


“When I got here, I really realized how limited Hollywood was around not just its depictions of different kinds of people, but also internally, it was limited in terms of who was telling the stories. So I learned how to write, I learned how to produce. And the more I got pushed back from Hollywood around how you fit in, the more I decided to pave my own way.” (2:50-3:16 | Fanshen)

“I feel like I was born to do authentic storytelling. And now I get to be in the incredible position of helping others tell their authentic stories as well.” (3:45-3:56 | Fanshen)

“I learned early on that in telling stories, it was a way one to build empathy with the person that was asking. But also, to survive in a world that pushes us to have to make choices around race, gender, and so many things.” (6:40-7:01 | Fanshen)

“We have to begin with our own story and what happens in Hollywood often is that people with privilege and access to resources tell the stories of marginalized people, instead of giving those resources or supporting the marginalized people to tell their own stories. And so I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to tell someone else's story. I wanted to speak my own.” (8:21-8:50 | Fanshen) 

“It was really about agency, giving myself agency to tell my authentic story and modeling the importance of the person, the community that experiences things being the ones to tell the story.” (9:13-9:27 Fanshen)

“My company, Trujulo, uplifts stories that speak truth in pursuit of justice, in service of love.” (22:54-23:02 | Fanshen)

“A lot of times we go at pursuing justice without having spoken the full truth first.” (24:02-24:09 | Fanshen)

“Love is speaking the truth and actively pursuing justice. That's how we show love. It's the action of doing those two things. It's not just saying that you love someone. It's not just saying, I love everybody. No, we have to actually see you actively being a truth teller and someone who pursues justice.” (25:04-25:32 | Fanshen)



Mentioned in this episode:

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