Hip Hop Youth Activism Conference

Exploring Hip Hop as an Organizing Tool

The CAMD mural was created by Elevated Thought in Lawrence, MA. All conference attendees contributed to the final piece.

Since it’s conception, young people have looked to hip hop as a means to examine and affirm their own identity while promoting the understanding that our individual struggles are rooted in the collective freedom of those around us. It encourages us to speak truth to power and has been a force to disrupt the system as we know/have inherited it. Hip hop has given us a platform to insert the narratives of marginalized peoples into mainstream political consciousness. It’s served as a vehicle for activism, protest, and collective action as well as a means of critiquing institutional racism and violence.

Together we aim to…

Explore youth leadership through art 
Give students agency/empower Young people to speak truth to power
Examine Hip hop as a means of critique
Study the Historical significance of hip hop
determine Why hip hop is an effective medium?
Create a political consciousness
study hip hop in a global context

Keynote Speaker: Dr. David Kirkland

Dr. David E. Kirkland is the Executive Director of The NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and The Transformation of Schools. He has also been described as an activist and educator, cultural critic and author. A leading national scholar and advocate for educational justice, Dr. Kirkland’s transdisciplinary scholarship explores a variety of equity related topics: school climate and discipline; school integration and choice; culture and education; vulnerable learners; and intersections among race, gender, and education. With many groundbreaking publications to his credit, he has analyzed the cultures, languages, and texts of urban youth, using quantitative, critical literary, ethnographic, and sociolinguistic research methods to answer complex questions at the center of equity and social justice in education.

He was a 2009-10 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, a 2011-12 NAEd/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, and is a former fellow of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Research Foundation’s “Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color” program. In addition to several other boards, he currently serves as a trustee for the Research Foundation of the National Council of Teachers of English. A Search Past Silence: The Literacy of Black Malesthe fifth book that Dr. Kirkland has authored, is a TC Press bestseller and winner of the 2015 Daniel E. Griffiths Research Award, the 2014 AESA Critics Choice Award, and the 2014 NCTE David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English. He is also co-editor of the newly released Students Right to Their Own Language, a critical sourcebook published by Bedford/St. Martins Press.

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