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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
5/29/2004 10:21:14 AM

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Purpose of the Event

The Hip Hop Generation is one that has come of age during a unique set of social and historical circumstances. Too many have experienced firsthand the trafficking of drugs and violence in their neighborhoods, rampant police violence and corruption, environmental degradation, failing educational systems, mass imprisonment, war, stolen elections, political corruption, widespread unemployment and economic decay. On the flip side, this generation has been the creators and conveyors of a cultural revolution that has changed music, marketing, clothing and language, both domestically and internationally. Hip-hop music has redefined and created new cultural boundaries to an extent that seems irreversible today. Young people from all over the world claim ownership of hip-hop as an indication and description of whom they are--often claiming “I am hip-hop.” Yet, the power and influence of hip-hop culture for a generation that has been described as apathetic and lost, we believe, has not been maximized and offers an opportunity to develop new paradigms, agency, strength and attention at the crossroads of where hip-hop culture and politics meet.

To assist the maturation of hip-hop politics, a network of activists, organizers, artists, advocates and professors crafted a plan to funnel the political and cultural power of the hip-hop generation into mainstream public policy activities. We are therefore hosting a National Hip-Hop Political Convention to bring together young people from all over the country to develop, endorse and vote on a political agenda for the hip-hop generation. But this Convention, unlike any other convention, will be a hybrid of a cultural/political event. Furthermore, this Convention will be organized by the hip-hop generation and will use the organizational infrastructure of hip-hop culture to create excitement, identify issues, disseminate information and develop a national database of young people interested and ready to act on these issues.

Convention Breakdown

How many of you are familiar with the Gary Convention of 1972? It was a historic mobilization of the civil rights eras’ most progressive leaders intended to create a new portrait of diversity and activism that forced a process of agenda building. This June, we would like to invite you to participate in our version, remixed…The National Hip-Hop Political Convention June 16-19 in Newark, New Jersey.

The kickoff:

Wednesday, June 16 (Tupac’s Birthday):

NHHPC Youth Summit featuring Nas, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, Power 105’s Steph Lova and Rockefella recording artist Rell. This is a closed event for invited school age students only. (provide link to full youth summit schedule and details?)

Thursday, June 17:

Town Hall Meeting featuring an intergenerational dialogue between the hip hop generation and the civil rights generation. Topics to be discussed include Spirituality, Art and Culture, Rethinking Grassroots Activism, and New Challenges in Electoral Politics. Confirmed speakers include: Cornell West, Panama and Marinieves Alba, Haki Madabuti, M-1 of dead prez, Ernie Pannicoli, Boots Riley of the Coup, Rosa Clemente, Rev. Calvin Butts, Michael Eric Dyson, dream hampton, and more! Moderators for this event include Farai Chideya, Gus Heningberg, and Cedric Muhammad. (provide links for description of event and more details?)

Friday, June 18:

A full Day of Workshops, Trainings and Day Long Concerts!

More 30 workshops provide something for everyone conducted on topics including the prison industrial complex, gang outreach, dismantling the criminalization of hip hop, environmental justice, education reform, anti-war issues, reproductive rights, gay rights, drug policy, affirmative action, women in politics, and more. Trainings include cop watch, guerilla marketing, voter registration training, credit and finace repair…. All

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