I am submitting this description for activating the UHipHop Global research project in my class last year, and student work from the unit this year. I have done this project with students for the last five years, and it blossomed from general overviews of hip-hop to studies of social movements to studying hip-hop and other community arts work as community development. The project involves students studying community arts, hip-hop, and how the two connect worldwide in community work and social development especially for youth and their surrounding neighborhoods, favelas, borroughs. This year the students have connected the project to the youth summit that they are organizing (mentioned on the Ning at the beginning of the class). Several tech tools have been used to facilitate the project this year. Two blogs give information on the University of Hip-Hop, and the youth summit coming this May 21: they are universityofhip-hop.blogspot.com and commonstruggle.blogspot.com. In addition we brought in a music producer to use the Reason program and Garage Band to record student poetry and back-drop it with music. I posted a few of the recordings that students have done as part of the poetry that will be showcased as one of their contributions to the youth summit. Some of them are posted here as well.
The purpose of this project is to connect youth interests to social movements, and for students to se that there is an ongoing social undercurrent within creative movements that is informed by empowerment and voice. There are really multiple layers happening, in that they are doing their own individual project development, studying various internationally distributed movements, and then organizing a youth summit for ~300 youth from Chicago. This paper is a resource for other activists, youth advocates, artists, and youth to continue adding new curricular work that intertwines the arts, academic research and youth cultural and creative interests. Please share any ideas, criticisms, suggestions, love, for growing this further.