The Rebel Class

HBCU Initiative

The Vanguard Podcast Network powered by Afros & Audio™ (VPN) is on a mission to increase the number of active Black podcasts in the market by teaching the next generation of podcast creatives and audio professionals.

This ambitious initiative will connect higher education students interested in learning the fundamentals of podcasting, podcast production, and distribution.


Class of '22-'25

 VPN will partner with student body governments and academic departments for a collaborative podcast development campaign. The campaign mission is to increase active podcasts by Black creatives in the marketplace, support industry DEI hiring efforts through skill training, and boost Black listenership.


100+ students

Various HBCUs

50+ Audio Productions

5 Live Event Showcases

Ready for the World of Podcasting

The Rebel Class campaign will emphasize the viable opportunities to create and produce podcasts, seek employment in podcast media, and become a knowledgeable and ethical podcast industry influencer.


Through the use of expert facilitators, skill-building exercises, and audio equipment training, this project-based campaign will produce and distribute podcasts from 10 different HBCU cohorts.

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Rebel Class
Podcast Series

Vanguard Podcast Network powered by Afros & Audio™ will teach young adults the fundamentals of creating a podcast over the course of 12-15 weeks with culminating

multi-city live events to showcase audio productions.

  • Train and build skills for podcast development, all stages of production, marketing, audio scriptwriting, and voice acting.

  • Present podcasts to a live audience of peers, select sponsors, and facilitators.

  • Publish and distribute 50 new audio productions to the podcast market.

Flexible Curriculum Options

  • 7-8 week self-paced course with 90-minute weekly check-in (can be adjusted to bi-weekly)

  • 5-day in-person/virtual Bootcamp

  • 30-day in-person/virtual Summer Bootcamp

  • Institutional Level Program: Passing the Torch - 4-year program - Seniors pass the podcast program to Freshmans-Juniors. 

  • 15-week program (integrated into an existing curriculum or project-based club)

Adding value matters

The Rebel Class campaign has the opportunity to impact the media/podcast industry by providing:


  • Industry-standard trade skills

  • Employment opportunities for POC freelance audio professionals

  • Market increase of active podcasts by Black creatives

  • Grow Black listenership data

  • Unique value proposition for the next generation of podcast creatives and audio professionals at the collegiate level

Help us Fund the Way!

The Rebel Class will require funding to execute and facilitate. Our overhead costs include personnel, operations, various hardware/software licenses, resource materials, etc.

Funding Partner Opportunities:

  • Competitive Market Wages

  • Venues

  • Hardware Equipment

  • Software Licenses

  • Travel

  • Campaign Visibility Marketing

  • Resource Materials

Meet The Team

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Talib Jasir

Talib is a creative entrepreneur with over 19 years of professional experience managing accounts in marketing and advertising. In 2018, he founded Afros & Audio Podcast Festival the first two-day conference for and by Black Podcast Creatives and Audio Professionals in Brooklyn, NY.

Afros & Audio expanded in 2020 with the launch of their online Community Network, now Black Podcasters Association powered by Afros & Audio and production company, Vanguard Podcast Network

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Founder/Program Director

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Armand Jennings

Armand Jennings is first and foremost, an Audio Engineer. As a storyteller and teacher, he finds joy and excitement in sharing stories or helping others share their stories through audio-related media. With over 8+ years of audio engineering experience and 12+ years of teaching experience he embraces innovation and creativity. He has managed, edited, and mixed several podcasts throughout the years and worked his way to multiple audio positions including Co-Chair for the HipHop and R&B track for the Audio Engineering Society and Speaker Liason/ for Afros and Audio Podcast Festival.  Armand Jennings is constantly seeking to share his own story as well as the stories of others through podcasting, audio dramas, and other audio archetypes.

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Program Lead


Michael McConnell

Michael McConnell is a brand consultant, community builder and wellness advocate who has helped launch everything from tech start-ups to orchestrate community meditation groups. He is a multi-dimensional creative and community leader. Michael is the founder of The Rebel Camp LLC a brand consulting and multi-media agency.

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Community Outreach Manager


We'd love to hear from you


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