Colleges of Education: A National Portrait

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Authors, Artists and Activists Convene for AACTE’s Hip-Hop Educational Forum

Teacher education confab hails Jason Parker, Bakari Kitwana,
Dr. Tricia Rosa and Gabriel “Asheru” Benn

CONTACT:
Jade Floyd,
amangino@aacte.org
or 202.478.4596

New York, N.Y. (January 30, 2007) The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s (AACTE) will host a uniquely innovative and explorative educational seminar, entitled, Exploring the Use of Hip-Hop as an Innovative and Culturally Relevant Pedagogical Resource, at its 59 Annual Meeting & Exhibits in New York City on Monday, February 26 from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. at the thHilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10010.

Music affects all of us, whether it be on the way to work with an iPod in your ear or listening to the newest beat during commercial runs. Beastie Boys, Busta Rhymes, Bow-Wow, Bone-Thugs, Bubba Sparks – all of these artists have one thing in common – they are hip-hop.

The forum is open to the public and attendees will experience ground-breaking transitional and cross-cultural opportunity for dialogue among hip-hop practitioners, scholars, activists and artists who are at the forefront of the creation and dissemination of this unique art and cultural form.

Some of the biggest names in hip-hop education will participate in this revolutionary forum, including: Jason Parker, a hip-hop political strategist and actor who currently stars on HBO’s original series, “The Wire”; Bakari Kitwana, co-founder of the first ever National Hip-Hop Political Convention, author of The Hip Hop Generation:, Young Blacks and the Crisis in African Culture, and former editor of the nation’s top-selling music magazine The Source; Dr. Tricia Rose, a professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and specialist in 20th century African-American culture and politics, social thoughts, popular culture and gender issues; and Gabriel “Asheru” Benn, an accomplished hip-hop artist, activist, and practitioner who has worked with several notable hip-hop artists and groups, including, J-Live, Mos-Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Common, Raheem Davaughn and DJ Jazzy Jeff. In addition, he developed the Hip Hop as an Educational Literacy Program (HELP), a creative reading program which combines the power of hip-hop music with proven reading instruction, he served as a school administration and Benn is currently director of Arts in Education and Transition Services at a D.C. based special education school.

More and more, educators are tapping into the energy and culture of hip-hop as an effective and transformative pedagogical tool. These educators are finding that hip-hop offers a means for reaching minority students and fostering links between racial and ethnic groups while providing a wider understanding of how these groups are integrated into global hierarchies of power. This forum dissects the history of hip-hop and how it relates to education today. Presenters will provide their insights which are critical for relevant explorations, not only in the practice of hip-hop, but also of the ways in which it can be effectively utilized as a source of empowerment at local and global levels.

For more information on Exploring the Use of Hip-Hop as an Innovative and Culturally Relevant Pedagogical Resource, please visit http://www.iconnecthedots.com/images/Exploring_DOC_Final.pdf, or contact Jade Floyd at jfloyd@aacte.org or by phone at 202.478.4596.

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