Yoruba Richen

Director, WQED

Yoruba Richen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured on multiple outlets including Netflix, MSNBC, FX, HBO, Frontline, The Atlantic and Field of Vision. Her recent films are the Emmy nominated How It Feels to Be Free which premiered on PBS’s American Masters and the Peabody and Emmy nominated The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show which is streaming on Peacock.

Her film The New York Times Presents: The Killing of Breonna Taylor won an NAACP Image Award and is streaming on HULU. Yoruba’s film The Green Book: Guide to Freedom was broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel and was also nominated for an Emmy. Her previous films The New Black won the audience award at AFI Docs, Frameline Film Festival and Philly Q Fest. It also won best documentary at Urbanworld Film Festival. The New Black was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary, before airing on PBS’s Independent Lens and P.O.V. Yoruba won the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access, and was a Sundance Producers Fellow. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim and a Fulbright fellowship, and was awarded the Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award.

Her film Promised Land received a Diverse Voices Co-Production fund award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and was broadcast on PBS’s POV in 2010. In 2007, she won a Fulbright award in filmmaking and traveled to Brazil, where she began production on Sisters of the Good Death, a documentary about the oldest African women’s association in the Americas and the annual festival they hold celebrating the end of slavery. Yoruba won a Clio award for her short film about the Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day.

She is a featured TED Speaker, and was chosen for the Root 100s list of African Americans 45 years old and younger who are responsible for the year’s most significant moments and themes. She is the Founding Director of the Documentary Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.