Hip-Hop Education Center
Program Area: Education
Location of Impact: New York, NY
Bold Idea: Address the glaring dropout crisis by using Hip-Hip pedagogy to increase student and community engagement.
Why I Am Passionate About This: Over one million students drop out of high school each year. My father, brother, and ex-husband were all dropouts; were all incarcerated; and each fathered many children by several different women. The cycle of dropping out and the social issues that follow cause women and children to suffer—I’ve experienced this firsthand. Hip-Hop is a powerful educational arts-based tool that enables black men and boys to turn a negative situation into an opportunity. I launched the first Hip-Hop film festival, held a summit about Hip-Hop education, and founded an association to move the sector forward. I learned about the obstacles those who sought to use Hip-Hop as an educational method faced: lack of funding for projects, lack of empirical data, and lack of distribution and jobs. The Hip-Hop Education Center seeks to formalize the field of Hip-Hop education. We provide a centralized hub to determine best practices and strategies, enabling students to use Hip-Hop to reach their full potential.
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