Hop Youth Activism
Here at The
Freechild Project we have heard a lot of talk about hip hop
activism. Some people refer to hip hop as a tool for social change, others
see it as a degrading force that alienates communities. Young
people are using hip hop culture to reach and teach their communities
about social justice and taking action.
Point to Ponder
"Activism, attackin' the system, the
blacks and latins in prison Numbers of prison they victim lackin' in
the vision... Sh-- and all they got is rappin to listen to..." - Talib
Kweli, Get By
The following resources are websites and
publications we have identified that can help young people and adult allies understand
and engage in hip hop activism.
Organizations & Websites
in response to the rising
social inequalities and human rights abuses perpetrated against people, the
Los Angeles based organization, Mobilized 4 Movement (M4M) is born. M4M is
committed to fostering awareness about the current realities facing the
Hip-Hop generation. Our goal is to inform, teach, and mobilize the masses
for social change.
Speaking Truth is
A nonprofit organization
committed to empowering youth by providing political information online, on
TV thru Cousin Jeff's show on BET (Rap City), a speaker's bureau, and other
National Hip Hop
A national gathering of the
hip-hop generation to vote on, adopt and endorse a political agenda for the
hip-hop generation. This is a political event for the hip-hop generation. We
are using the historical/ cultural framework of hip-hop as a rally cry for
organizing and mobilizing young people to develop a political agenda and get
them involved in electoral politics on the local, state and federal level.
Our mission is to support new artists and their
creations, to encourage theatrical self-expression among young people within
local communities, and to develop audiences that have not been engaged by
traditional theater. A variety of theatrical forms are included, theater,
dance, spoken word and live music sampling, to express the diversity of
human experience through Hip Hop culture.
Urban Think Tank uses scholarly activism to give vice to members of the
Hip-Hop generation and influence public policy by providing a forum for
discussion of Hip-Hop music, culture and politics.
The Midnight Forum
Empowers youth to generate
positive changes through Hip-Hop within their communities. They believe in
individuals and communities to unify the ideas and resources of society.
Summit Action Network
Founded in 2001, the HSAN is dedicated
to harnessing the cultural relevance of Hip-Hop music to serve as a catalyst
for education advocacy and other societal concerns fundamental to the
well-being of at-risk youth throughout the United States. Don't know how
youth-led it is, but its worth a look-see.
Project Hip Hop
(Highways into the Past: History, Organizing & Power)
In the '90s a diverse group of
high school students from Massachusetts journeyed on a 5,000 mile civil
rights tour throughout the South. On their return, they have shared their
experiences with nearly ten thousand of their peers in hundreds of schools
and community groups around the state, focusing on the socially transforming
role played by youth in the 1950s and 1960s and on the Movement's
The Youth League of Hip-Hop
211 S. 4th St, Brooklyn, New
York, 11211. A group of 10-15 youth members of El Puente’s Leadership
Center. The Leaguers use the information learned during their leadership
seminars to mobilize young people to create concrete change in the areas of
social, economic and political justice. Components of the Youth League
include Stictly Skillz Seminars, Presentations, Event Production, The
Hip-Hop Alliance, a Conscious Clothing and Accessory Line and The Written
The Source Youth Foundation
Based on the recognition that
young people should have support, encouragement and opportunities to pursue
a positive lifestyle, the foundation's goal is to help at-risk youth make
constructive choices, develop skills and achieve self-sufficiency.
Publications and Media
Mobilizing the Hip Hop Generation
What is Hip Hop Activism?
An article critical of the jargon and lack
of definition behind hip hop activism.
Move the Crowd—The Emergence of Hip-Hop Activism
A webpage including
Real Media files from a forum where several experts provided evidence and
examination of hip hop activism.
Time to Elevate: Hip Hop Resists War and Terror
Hip Hop Activism Spreads in Chicago
Younger Activists Use Music to Get the Message Out
No More Prisons: Urban Life, Homeschooling, Hip Hop Leadership, The Cool
Rich Kids Movement, A Hitchhiker's Guide to Community Organizing, and Why
Philanthropy is the Greatest Art Form of the 21st Century.
By William Upski Wimsatt.
Bomb the Suburbs
By William Upski Wimsatt.