We The People for #HipHopEducation
We The People for #HipHopEducation
We The People for #HipHopEducation is a petition requesting that President Obama designate Hip-Hop culture as a valuable and uniquely American national treasure worthy of being taught and practiced in all K-12 public schools. Our goal is to preserve the legacy of the pioneers, artistic expressions (DJing, Rapping/Spoken Word, B-Boying aka Break Dance, Aerosol Art/Graffiti Writing, Beatboxing), and the Fifth Element (Knowledge of Self and Community) of Hip-Hop culture. We intend to institutionalize Hip-Hop history in the same way that Jazz is canonized in museums and schools, and the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1998 is established in the National Park Service.
Launched by the Hip-Hop Education Center, We The People for #HipHopEducation is a strategic intervention and solution to address the U.S. education crisis, which worsens poverty, crime, and economic conditions in our society. Hip-Hop-based education should be part of our urgently needed national conversation on education reform and policy. According to Re-imagining Teaching and Learning: A Snapshot of Hip-Hop Education, a field report published by New York University Metropolitan Center, Hip-Hop-based education improves educational outcomes for students in the following areas: STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics), social and emotional learning, academic literacy, and high school graduation rates. These programs improve attendance; increase student engagement; prepare students for college and access to college; prevent drop-out for students at risk for school failure; reconnect out of school youth to school (drop-in); supports vocational development, and instills character education (e.g., building self-esteem, empathy, citizenry, leadership).
- Students are not being engaged in school. Approximately, 1.2 million American high school students drop out every year. That’s a student every 26 seconds – or 7,000 a day.
- The poverty rate for families headed by dropouts is more than twice that of families headed by high school graduates. A high school dropout will earn $200,000 less than a high school graduate over his lifetime and almost a million dollars less than a college graduate.
- 75% of the crimes committed are by high school drop outs.
- 60% of black students who drop out end up spending time in prison
What are we going to do about it?
The Hip-Hop Education Center will launch a yearlong campaign leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election focusing on the following three action steps:
1. Have President Obama publicly acknowledge Hip-Hop culture as an American treasure worthy of study and practice in all public schools.
2. Create a national alliance with a policy committee for the Hip-Hop Education movement.
3. Introduce a joint resolution in both houses of Congress to integrate Hip-Hop culture in K-12 public schools curriculum and the National Park Service programs.
Hip-Hop culture has created a vast global youth movement that is accessible and deeply educational. Hip-Hop education lives within Hip-Hop's power to adopt, redefine, and equip young people to D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself). The study of Hip-Hop’s culture, leaders, literature, music, movies, and artifacts is essential to students' identity, growth and learning. In communities around the nation and internationally, youth are learning to organize and build community, collaborate on music, art, publishing, and are launching entrepreneurial ventures through Hip-Hop. Failing to acknowledge this dismisses our contributions to American and world history and deprives us of the many ways that Hip-Hop-based education and pedagogy have been transforming society.
List of Allies
Beat Making Lab
Beats, Rhymes, and Life, Inc.
Black Girls Rock!
High School for Recording Arts aka Hip-Hop High
Hip-Hop Hall of Fame + Museum
Hip Hop Public Health
Institute for Urban and Minority Education- Teachers College, Columbia University
McNally Smith School of Music Hip-Hop Studies Program
Natural Ivy Foundation
NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools
NYU Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality
The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy
The Village of Arts and Humanities
Universal Hip-Hop Museum
Urban Word NYC
U.S. Department of Arts and Culture
Words Beats and Life, Inc.
Zulu Nation, Inc.