On This episode of Hip-Hop Can Save America! we recap an all-day conference and symposium held at one of the most prestigious of educational institutions to examine the breadth and depth of how Hip-Hop music and culture can influence and uplift the field of education.
That’s right y’all, Hip-Hop, all up the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Few would disagree that the education system in America could use some tweaking. Maybe large-scale reform. Perhaps even a complete overhaul. Educational output across most metrics fall short of where we probably want to be as a nation, and in some aspects — particularly with poorer populations and especially communities of color, the outlook is even more discouraging. 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic further exposed flaws in many social systems including education that dramatically exacerbated these issues.
Luckily, there are exceptional people who study education — whose job it is to examine and measure the effectiveness of educators and educational systems in the country. They conduct research, they develop ideas, they train other teachers.
Over the past few years, many of them point to a powerful tool that has long been shown to increase capabilities of students across all grade levels and demographics, and particularly among those traditionally underrepresented groups. And while we’re still waiting to see how potentially drastic changes to the educational system as a whole will play out, this tool remains as potent as before — perhaps more than ever.
In April, 2019, as it had been doing for the previous two years, that tool was on full, glorious display at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, in a day-long exploration and celebration of Hip-Hop based Education attended by education professionals and students from all levels.
It exemplified the incredible potential that sits at the intersection of education and the arts, particularly the undisputed youth culture champion of the world.
Now, we originally planned to release this episode which recapped the 2019 event, just before the April 2020 event, which would have been the next iteration in the series — but as fate would have it, things got waylaid due to the Coronavirus.
Still, there is no way that we could hold on to this informative and inspiring collection of brilliance that we saw at our time at Can’t Stop Hip-Hop: The Education Movement — and as we’ve seen from their constant presence on Instagram and with online panel discussions, i know that they’ll be back in 2021 with a vengeance.
After all, can’t stop, won’t stop, right?
Now, I often like to talk with folks who might be a bit removed from the Hip-Hop cultural experience, and hit them with some of these crazy concepts about Hip-Hop’s beneficial involvement in areas like education, science and technology, health and wellness… and that’s part of the job, right? To bring these stories to those who are less familiar, to education, and again, perhaps inspire.
So, when we talk about Hip-Hop at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the obvious question is, what was THAT like?
Well, it went a little something like this…