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Harnessing the Power of Hip Hop for Change

Thursday, April 8, 2021 -
2:00pm to 3:30pm PDT
Zoom Webinar
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Hip Hop is an artistic and cultural force uniquely suited to speak to many of the urgent social issues of our time, from racial and socio-economic equity to women's empowerment and justice reform, to education and the environment. Join moderator Davey D in conversation with Khafre Jay, founder and Executive Director of Oakland grassroots organization Hip Hop for Change, along with its amazing staff and artists, and experience the force of art and culture being deployed to express, educate, empower and transform. Featuring performances by DJ Lady Ryan, Ryan Nicole, and Kev Choice. 


Gema Cantu, Development Director, Hip Hop For Change
Gema Cantu (she/her) was born and raised in the Mission, San Francisco. She received her bachelor's degree in Sociology from San Francisco State University and has worked at Hip Hop For Change since 2016. She secures funding to provide cultural enrichment programs in her community. She has garnered partnerships with agencies like the City of Oakland, the California Arts Council, the Akonadi Foundation, the Zellerbach Foundation, OUSD, and others. Gema works to build and cultivate relationships with like-minded individuals and organizations dedicated to deconstructing colonial frameworks and pave the way for community-based strategies. Through art expression, Gema believes her community can come together and create an economic base of self-determination for cultural innovation, empowerment, and exchange. 
Davey D, Journalist, Author, Adjunct Professor, Hip Hop Historian (moderator)
Dave "Davey D" Cook (he/him), is a nationally recognized journalist, author, adjunct professor, Hip Hop historian, political commentator, syndicated talk show host, radio programmer, media justice, and community activist.  He is the co-founder and host of Hard Knock Radio, an award-winning syndicated show focusing on Hip Hop culture and politics (heard locally on KPFA), and has been featured on Democracy Now, CNN, BET, and numerous other outlets. He is the co-author of the upcoming rewrite of Can't Stop Won't Stop with Jeff Chang.
Khafre James (He/Him) Executive Director, Hip Hop For Change
Hailing from hunter's Point, San Francisco, Khafre's experience in merging activism and expressive cultural arts led him to found Hip Hop For Change in 2013. This 501c3 education organization uses Hip Hop culture to educate and advocate for social justice in the Bay Area. Hip Hop For Change has created over a thousand grassroots jobs and raised over three million dollars to advance social justice and Hip Hop activism in the Bay Area. Hip Hop For Change has worked with over 20 thousand K-12 youth to create healthier spaces for children to foster their healthy self-expression and positive identity. Khafre travels the country speaking academically at conferences, universities, consulting, and leading diversity workshops, and has also graced the TEDx stage. As a performing artist, Khafre has shared the stage with world-class acts such as Rakim, Method Man, Dead Prez, Hieroglyphics, Pharcyde, and Talib Kweli. In addition to being the lead Visioneer of this dynamic organization, he is also a father and hosts Hop Hop For Change Radio which plays nothing but local Hip Hop every Sunday on KPOO 89.5 FM.
Stephanie Liem, Director of Communications and Marketing, Hip Hop For Change
Stephanie (she/her) is a Chinese-Indonesian, Asian American activist whose activism revolves around building Afro-Asian solidarity and challenging the Model Minority Myth. Through her work with Hip Hop For Change, she has been able to speak on panels and events on the importance of allyship and multiracial coalition-building. She received her BA from UC Berkeley, with a degree in Global Studies, concentrating in Peace & Conflict in Southeast Asia. As an academic, her research revolves around ethnic conflict, human rights, and international governance. Stephanie is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Public Policy at the University of Southern California.
Marlon Richardson, Education Director, Hip Hop For Change
 Marlon aka UnLearn The World (He/Him) is an EmCee, Producer, Actor, Writer, Activist, and Hip Hop Educator. Having been raised and groomed in the Culture, Music, and Movement of Hip Hop, UnLearn has toured internationally and has released several mixtapes and albums over 20 years in the music industry. UnLearn has always understood and revered Knowledge as an essential 5th element of Hip Hop. As the Education Director of Hip Hop For Change, UnLearn has developed curriculum, facilitated assemblies, workshops, conferences, and multi-week classes on all the elements of Hip Hop as well as training dozens of new Hip Hop educators in classroom management, dynamic mindfulness, and trauma-informed care. As a Hip Hop historian, academic and cultural critic, UnLearn has made it his focus to ensure that Hip Hop For Change is at the national and international forefront of ushering in a new wave of Hip Hop creativity, led by the youth of the community.  


Target Audience 

This program is open to NCG members and nonmember funders.