This episode, Manny Faces talks with Dr. Ian Levy about hip-hop and school counseling.
Those who may be less familiar with the depth and nuances of hip-hop music and culture might think that these two worlds are incompatible — how could a genre with music that revolves around materialism, misogyny, partying, drug use and violence possibly be beneficial in a school setting, much less one that is supposed to be helping students in their time of emotional distress.
Well, that’s not all that hip-hop is about, and the 2016 New York State school counselor of the year, agrees. And he has the receipts to show for it.
Dr Ian Levy brought together these worlds as a counselor at New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math and Science in the Bronx. As of our talk, he was lecturing at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and has since taken a position back in the BX as Assistant Professor of School Counseling at Manhattan College.
Levy, who has been recognized for piloting the development, implementation, and evaluation of a Hip Hop based counseling framework in urban schools, examines mental health practices in urban schools, interrogating the role of the school counselor and other school staff to ensure the emotional lives of young people are adequately addressed.
His work has been featured on CNN and in the New York Times.
But most important. He has used hip-hop to help kids. Lots of them.