On this episode of Hip-Hop Can Save America!, aka, ‘the world’s smartest Hip-Hop podcast,” we check back in with the dancing diplomat herself, the teacher teaching teachers how to teach through a Hip-Hop inspired lens of empowerment, Aysha Upchurch, lecturer on education, artist in residence and director of the HipHopEx Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Peace and love, friends, neighbors, supporters and haters, welcome back to Hip-Hop Can Save America! aka the world’s smartest Hip-Hop podcast, and happy #HipHopHistoryMonth!

We often talk about the intersection of Hip-Hop and education on this show — and for good reason. It’s an area that has produced a ton of receipts showing the effectiveness of merging these two worlds for the good of our young people. This was perfectly exemplified when we covered the Can’t Stop Hip-Hop: The Education Movement conference at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and first heard form today’s guest. And while we sometimes get lost in the pedagogical weeds, I am so excited to kick it with Aysha Upchurch because not only does she expertly navigate those weeds, but her Hip-Hop spirit is always on full display — and it is that dance and movement-inspired lens through which she views her work, approaches the world, inspires and empowers others, and sparks radical change — that sits at the heart of the very concept of this show, and all my work. That Hip-Hop can save America! And most likely, all of humanity. Aysha Upchurch, I promise you, is part of that blueprint..

Now before we kick it, the usual quick but important rundown for first timers and reminders for the regulars.

If you’re checking us out on our website from a link, you’ll really want to follow the pod wherever you get podcasts

We are also followable on all the socials @hiphopadvocacy

We are emailable at hiphopadvocacy@gmail.com

And we are most certainly supportable. This is a small, independent operation dedicated to advocating for the power of Hip-Hop music and culture to improve society and uplift humanity. We aren’t beholden to the entertainment business. We aren’t afraid to question anyone who might be using Hip-Hop’s name in vain, and we live for episodes like this one, that demonstrates how incredible Hip-Hop can be when placed in the right hands. Help us do this important work. Visit www.patreon.com/hiphopadvocacy to support the show. Shouts to friends including the mighty Jeremy Johnson, SQUISH1, Nicolas, Jesse, The Band Called FUSE and everyone else helping to keep us going.

As you’ll hear from this and our other episodes, I believe there is a hell of a potential for Hip-Hop to be able to improve society and uplift humanity. As we celebrate #HipHopHistoryMonth, we must also question Hip Hop’s future, and how we’re going to be able to ensure its powers are used for good. Luckily, we have a great speaker that has some of those answers and delivers a hell of a presentation on Hip-Hop’s ability to innovate education, health & wellness, science & technology, politics and social justice, business and entrepreneurialism and more. Disclaimer, that speaker is me, but it’s still true. Visit www.hiphopspeaker.com and let’s talk about talking.

And if you do nothing else, please at least subscribe to our free, weekly newsletter — it’s an informative, hand curated collection of stories of Hip-Hop inspired innovation, inspiration and insight — the perfect present for the jaded Hip-Hop fan. Just go to our newsletter page.

If you forgot all that you can find all of this info at hiphopadvocay.org/links

Now, let’s get into it. Here’s my talk with Aysha Upchurch.

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The mission of The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy is to broaden public perception of hip-hop music and culture, ensuring that varied and continuing contributions to multiple fields and disciplines are fairly and accurately documented and communicated. The Center focuses on highlighting hip-hop’s contributions in areas including, but not limited to, music and the arts, education, activism/politics/community, health/sciences/well-being and philosophy. In simplest terms, we exist to help tell hip-hop’s complete story, past, present and future, from an independent perspective, to inform, educate and inspire while protecting and promoting the cultural, artistic and community-based aspects of hip-hop as a whole.