Yoruba Richen is a documentary filmmaker whose work explores issues of race, space and power. She has directed films in the U.S. and abroad, including Africa, Asia and South America. Her last film, The New Black won Audience Awards at AFI Docs, Philly Q Fest, and Frameline LGBT Film Festival. The film also won best documentary at the Urbanworld Film Festival and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award. The New Black opened theatrically at New York’s Film Forum and aired on PBS's Independent Lens.
Yoruba’s previous 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, Yoruba won a Fulbright award in filmmaking and traveled to Salvador, 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. Prior to that, Yoruba was the co-producer of Take it From Me, a documentary exploring the effects of welfare reform on New York City women, which was broadcast on POV in 2001. She was also an associate producer for the investigative unit of ABC News as well as a producer for the independent news program Democracy Now. Yoruba has received numerous grants including from Sundance Documentary Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and the Ford Foundation. She won the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was also a Sundance Producers Fellow. Yoruba is a featured TED Speaker and a Guggenheim Fellow. She is director of the documentary program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.