What Hip Hop Educators Can Teach Us About Everything Else
School's out, but Hip Hop inspiration, innovation and insight is a year-round thing with these brilliant educators and thought leaders
Hello friends, neighbors, supporters and haters! It’s me, Manny Faces. Working hard as always to share innovative Hip Hop stories, events, inspiration and insight.
Sometimes, I do this by speaking at colleges, conferences and organizations about ways that Hip Hop can help uplift humanity. (Wanna book me?)
Sometimes, it’s on my podcast Hip-Hop Can Save America! (wanna listen?) and sometimes it’s here, in my Words I Mannyfest! newsletter.
I think I’m finally in a place where I can do these more often (weekly is the plan). It’ll always be free but if you want to help, feel free to contribute to the cause.
Now, let’s get it.
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🎓 GET YOUR MIND RIGHT [Hip Hop x Education]
Once again I feel like I have to start this newsletter off with this topic. While schools have let out for the summer, my mind continues to race thinking back to the experiences I’ve had over the past few months that have amplified my resolve to do my part to advocate for the intersection of Hip Hop music and culture, and education.
I may recap some of these incredible experiences over the next couple of newsletter drops in greater detail, but in the meantime, I know many of you are teachers, educators, teaching artists and education-adjacent folks. I want to learn as much about your work as possible, so I can help amplify it for others in that space.
So please send me any updates regarding programs you’re involved in, papers or articles you publish, events — anything you think that I could either a) help spread the word about or b) participate in.
For those who are NOT in the “Hip Hop education” space, you should know that there is so much inspiration, guidance and innovation from that world that I believe nearly everyone can benefit from.
If you are a parent for example, I would urge you to listen to some of the episodes of my podcast Hip-Hop Can Save America!, follow some Hip Hop-related education social media accounts, and try to attend some Hip Hop education-related webinars or conferences. The insight gleaned from how these incredible, caring, innovative educators utilize music and culture to connect with, inspire, and learn from young people is something that can easily be translated to interactions with our own children.
I’m going to list a few of those resources below, and plan to continue to connect similar dots so that all of us can learn from folks who are finding great success at improving the lives of young people through Hip Hop music and culture.
Hip-Hop Can Save America! with Dr. Bettina Love
The inaugural episode of the podcast that set the tone for all those to follow. Dr. Bettina Love breaks it all down and you’ll never look at Hip Hop-based education the same.
Hip-Hop Can Save America! with Dr. Lauren Leigh Kelly
Dr. Kelly runs an initiative called the Hip Hop Youth Research and Activism Conference out of the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. Her research and hands-on work with young people provides a wealth of understanding when it comes to bridging generational and knowledge gaps to help improve the lives of our young people — while making sure we’re learning from them in the process.
Hip-Hop Can Save America! Can’t Stop Hip Hop Education at Harvard University
For the past few years (COVID years notwithstanding), Aysha Upchurch has been at the helm of the Can’t Stop Hip Hop Education conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A few years ago, I attended this inspiring meeting of the minds, and documented the many education and education-adjacent innovators linking these worlds, and doing so in a way that centers young people. My experience there became another touchstone in my Hip Hop advocacy path, and I am honored to have been able to participate in this initiative in the years since. BONUS EPISODE: A more recent interview with Aysha Upchurch.
SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS TO FOLLOW
#HIPHOPED on Twitter
This weekly Twitter event (which started as a chat and has evolved into Twitter Spaces discussions) is a gathering of educators, education-adjacent folks and people who generally love, or are curious about the idea of Hip Hop as a tool to improve the educational and behavioral well-being of young people. Helmed by long-time advocates in the space, Dr. Chris Emdin and Timothy David Jones, #HipHopEd is pure inspiration, innovation, and fellowship through Hip Hop.
HIPHOPEX LAB on Instagram
The IG account for Aysha Upchurch’s Hip Hpo EX Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, home to the aforementioned Can’t Stop Hip Hop Education conference series.
HHYRA on Instagram
The IG account for the Hip Hop Youth Research and Activism Conference and initiative, led by Dr. Lauren Leigh Kelly
HIPHOPCU (Hip Hop CommUniversity) on Instagram
An organization with a focus on the intersection of Hip Hop and education, constantly posting related info.
HIPHOPADVOCACY on Instagram
One of my other Instagram accounts, affiliated with The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy, an organization I founded and am looking to build on. We often post information about work that other folks and organizations are doing.
I want to make these newsletters more frequent, so that’s all I’m going to share this time around, except for a few reminders and announcements below.
Please reply and tell me how I’m doing. 🙏
HAPPENINGS AND THINGS
(Send yours by tagging me on social: @MannyFaces on Twitter, @MannyFacesOfficial on IG)
[JUNE 26 - JULY 2] Illinois Summer Youth Music Hip Hop
ISYM Hip-Hop engages middle and high school students in individual and collaborative creation and performance of original music in a variety of roles and styles. Participants will work in lab, studio, and workshop settings alongside experienced educators and musicians to produce beats, write and record lyrics, and prepare for a live performance at the end of the week. Variable supplemental activities will explore additional elements and foundations of hip-hop culture.
[JULY 5] NYC: Shanté Paradigm Smalls + Regan Sommer McCoy: Hip Hop Heresies
An in-person event with Associate Professor and Co-Director of the LGBTQ+ Center at St. John’s University Shanté Paradigm Smalls for a discussion of their new book Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City. Joining Shanté in conversation is Chief Curator of The Mixtape Museum Regan Sommer McCoy. This event will be hosted in the Strand Book Store's 3rd floor Rare Book Room at 828 Broadway on 12th Street.
[NOVEMBER 4] Minnesota Hip Hop and Education Summit
A one-day festival at St. Cloud University for teachers, community members and artists to celebrate hip hop and learn about its use in educational spaces.
MANNY’S FLAVOR OF THE WEEK
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