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Political podcast coming to Mission

A political podcast dedicated to bringing the news from the perspective of people of color will be recording two of their upcoming episodes later this week in Mission.

In the Thick, a political roundtable discussion hosted by award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, will be at the Mission Center for Education and Economic Development on Friday, Feb. 22, to record two episodes dedicated to the changing politics in Texas and borderland life, respectively.

InTheThickpodcast“In the Thick is different from other podcasts because we try to cover news from the perspective of a person of color,” In the Thick Producer Juan Pablo Garnham said. “We try hard to not just cover the issues we feel mainstream media doesn’t talk about because they aren’t as diverse as we’d like them to be, but to also provide a space for journalists of color to bring them and talk about different issues.”

The show’s episodes include guest speakers such as Cristina Tzintzún Ramírez, executive director of the local nonprofit Jolt and Efrén Olivares, a director with the Texas Civil Rights Project. Both of them will be interviewed by podcast hosts Hinojosa and Varela for the episode titled “Purple Texas?” which explores the political landscape in the state.

“We’re looking at how Texas is changing in terms of politics and demographics and what new voices of color are there and if they are being heard,” Garnham said. “It’s a general episode on the state and very political.”

The second episode, titled “Borderland Life” has the hosts exploring what it’s like to live on the border.

Guests for the episode are Beatrix Lestrange, a local drag queen and activist, and Derick Lee Garcia, a reporter with the local NBC affiliate News Center 23.

“We want our audiences to understand the region, which has a unique, binational community,” Garnham said. “We want to go beyond the cliche topics of immigration and the border wall issues and showcase how interesting the area is.”

This will be the first time In the Thick records an episode in the state. Previously it has held live recordings in Boston, Chicago, New York and Mexico City, Garnham said.

As part of their live show, In the Thick is collaborating with the Mission Economic Development Corporation to host a podcast workshop for 18 individuals under the direction of Varela. The workshop, which closed registration last week due to a large amount of applicants, is to introduce the community with an outlet to tell their own story, Garnham said.

“There’s a great racial community here, something we’re interested in giving a space to and with all the national spotlight on the Valley due to controversy over the border wall, it’s the perfect moment for that,” Garnham said. “We want to subvert the situation and use the interest of the discourse in the region to talk about other things. People need to know and understand the good things here.”

Garnham also said that people can participate in the Borderland episode by calling the In the Thick hotline at 505-226-8973 and respond with the prompt “What’s one thing people don’t understand about the Valley?” for a chance to have the responses show up on the episode.

Those interested in attending the free live show can apply to be put on the waitlist at

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