Learn how these Hip Hop artists and educators are repping the culture and creating community in interactive workshops.
ALICE TSUI is an Asian American/Chinese American pianist, Grammy-nominated music educator, scholar, activist, dog mom, and lifelong Brooklyn, New Yorker! Alice is the Founding Music Teacher and Arts Coordinator at PS 532 New Bridges Elementary, an arts-integrated public elementary school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and is on the piano faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Summer program. She graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Master of Arts in Music Education, and is currently a doctoral candidate (ABD) in music education at Boston University. As a product of the NYC public school system, Alice is passionate about decolonizing, ABAR (anti-bias, anti-racist), abolitionist public music education and empowering the individual and collective voices of youth through music as expression. Learn more about Alice at https://www.alicetsui.com
Brian Mooney is a teacher-educator, artist-scholar, poet, DJ, and author from New Jersey. He is currently a PhD candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University where his research explores the intersections of language, literacy and popular culture with a focus on critical Hip Hop literacies. In June 2015, Brian’s teaching caught the attention of Pulitzer Prize-winning hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar and resulted in a school visit by the rapper. His first book, Breakbeat Pedagogy, was published in September 2016 by Peter Lang Academic Publishing. Brian’s work has been featured by The New York Times, BBC, Rolling Stone, NBC, MTV, and NPR.
Born and Raised in the MATTAPAN section of Boston. Thus I am MATTAPAN MADE. Went to school, learned some stuff, came back home to make a difference. In short I'm Just an AVERAGE DUDE doing ABOVE AVERAGE things wearing Shelltoe Adidas.
Affectionately known as Dani Criss, The Artist, this multidisciplinary artist, artistic educator, and community organizer hail from Durham, NC and is now based in Brooklyn, NY. Criss leads with a passionate perspective driven by her roots and studies of the African Diaspora and uses movement and knowledge as the source to obtain liberation while discovering ancestral connections. She has trained and performed with numerous artists, companies, and festivals in the United States. Her works have been shared in various venues and conferences around the country including Harvard Graduate School’s HipHopEX Lab, Collegium of African Diaspora Dance Conference, New York State Dance Education Association Conference, Arts For All Abilities Conference, and others. She is an artistic educator in primary and higher education in New York, NY and surrounding areas. Check out www.danicriss.com for more information.
HIP HOP YOUTH RESEARCH & ACTIVISM
The Hip Hop Youth Research and Activism (HHYRA) community celebrates youth who are connected to Hip Hop, committed to social change, and unapologetically expressive in their art forms. We aim to decrease the use of stereotyping and unconscious biases, increase unity by building community, and show how Hip Hop has influenced people to speak out and create change. The HHYRA Conference at Rutgers University brings together youth from diverse communities for a day of youth-led workshops, dialogues, and interactions that revolve around the ideas of Hip Hop and social justice.
James Miles is a professor at Seattle University and his TEDx Talk on the hip hop in education has be well received around the world. J. Rawls is a professor at Ohio University and is well respected producer, notably of Black Star's first album. Wordsworth is K-8 teacher in Florida and emcee who founded the TV show Lyricist Lounge on MTV. John Robinson is an emcee, producer, and teaching artist who was in the group Scienz of Life and performed on Lyricist Lounge.
DR. JENELLE ROBINSON
Dr. “Jenelle Nicole” (Robinson) is a scholar, educator, and artist. She is an advocate for improving the health of communities of color. As a nutrition professor at one of the top 10 HBCUs in the nation, Dr. Jenelle has committed to teaching, research, and service projects that promote experiential learning, leadership, and the utilization of the performing arts in health pedagogy to reach underserved ethnic communities. She possesses a Ph.D in Nutrition, a Master's degree in Dietetics, a Bachelor's degree in Health Education, and certifications in health education and life coaching. Dr. Jenelle combines her unique poetic artistic words with a captivating delivery to reach hundreds of thousands.
DR. JIAN JONES
Dr. Jian Jones is an assistant professor and an academic fieldwork coordinator for occupational therapy. She is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science & Health Promotion, a Bachelor of Science in Occupation & Wellness, a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, and a PhD in Educational Leadership. As the Mindful Hip-Hop Scholar, Dr. Jones uses her platform to educate, promote wellness, and help people transform. Furthermore, she utilizes mindfulness and Hip-Hop culture as vehicles for culturally relevant teaching within academia and community settings. Dr. Jones’ research interests include occupational science, culturally relevant teaching, mindfulness, well-being, Hip-Hop studies, Hip-Hop pedagogy, and occupation as identity.
Rhythmic Mind is a nonprofit organization that provides holistic Hip Hop based therapeutic services to “at-risk”/at-promise youth. Co-Founder & Executive Director Jonah Domadia-Scott is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a lifelong Hip Hop head, who first began writing rhymes and making beats in his early adolescence. He has designed and provided cutting edge Positive Youth Development/therapeutic Hip Hop based services to youth in schools, after-school programs, treatment facilities and juvenile justice centers all over the SF Bay Area. He has trained hundreds of mental health professionals, educators, and youth service providers from around the world in the various Rhythmic Mind models. With over 30 years creating hip hop music, he has experienced its therapeutic capacity first hand, and is inspired by the desire to share this with others.
UNLEARN THE WORLD
As a product of Hip Hop’s Golden Era and Late 90s New York underground scene, Rapper, Songwriter and Producer UnLearn The World has seen it all in a career that spans 3 decades of the culture. Having shared stages with legends like Wu Tang, Rakim, KRS one and more contemporary acts like Jay Electronica and Griselda, he has blended worlds of the old school and the new school in order to create his “True School” stylish yet substantive brand of lyricism. As a Hip Hop Educator based in the Bay Area, he is the Education Director of the noprofit Hip Hop For Change, an adjunct professor at Holy Names University, and teaches classes and facilitates workshops in traditional classroom settings as well as Juvenile detention centers. He has also been tapped as a program consultant for Facebook (Meta) and his work has been featured in many publications from the SF Chronicle to The Source Magazine. His latest album CROWNS has been featured in Genius and was named of the top 50 albums of 2021 by Fantastic Hip Hop Blog.
MICHAELANGELO MAURICE HAYES
Michaelangelo Maurice Valentino Hayes works full-time at his own private business, Valentino’s Workshop, a business that tutors disadvantaged and needing children throughout the DMV area in K-12 + Collegiate Math and English subjects of almost every level, Test Prep (GRE, Praxis, SAT, etc.). Valentino’s workshop currently extends to all parts of the nation with online tutoring as well, with contracts offered to the business all across the country for tutoring services. Valentino’s Workshop also works with consulting with those in music careers or pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors. He utilizes Hip Hop and Anime infused curriculums to elevate clients to their desired heights in academia, business, and more.
Nguyễn Minh Tiến is currently pursuing his liberal arts education at Fulbright University Viet Nam. His research interests include socio-cultural approaches on the New Music of Vietnam (Tân nhạc Việt Nam), contemporary issues in Vietnam that focus on Hip-Hop culture, youth identity, and digital folklore. He also had his Honor’s Program bachelor’s degree in Literature at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City.
To engage, enlighten, and educate is NyRee Clayton-Taylor’s focus as she uses Hip-Hop Based Education (HHBE) to explore the therapeutic healing of writing, reading, and performing. NyRee uses this non-traditional way to empower her students to write to heal. NyRee didn’t think academic achievement was a possibility due to being retained in third grade, labeled with a learning disability, and characterized as a behavior problem. It wasn’t until a teacher saw her performing and encouraged her to use her talents to write poetry, that she decided to use her life as a catalyst. She changed her trajectory and became the first person in her family to graduate from college. NyRee Clayton-Taylor considers her most significant contribution in education to be her ability to build relationships with students, parents, and teachers. Even now, as the 2019 KY Elementary Teacher of the Year, Cofounder of Justice Now, and Founder of the nonprofit, HHN2L: Hip Hop into Learning, she shares her talents to her colleagues through her leadership and volunteerism.
ROBERTO "ROB NICE" SANTOS
Roberto Santos, MFA, is a father, husband, and lifelong Hip Hop practitioner. A creative writing educator who co-founded the Barbed Wire Open Mic Series, he is the creator of Rap Seminar– a lyrical analysis and emcee development platform. Santos is also Curriculum Editor and co-founder of Pendulum Ink, a school for Hip Hop lyricism.
BEATS RHYMES AND LIFE
Beats Rhymes and Life is a community organization that utilizes hip hop for growth and change in youth and young adults, ages 13-24. Originally founded in Oakland, CA, BRL has been a part of the Boston community since 2019. Through workshops and proprietary hip hop therapy therapeutic activity groups, young people learn to use their rhymes as a strengths-based form of self-expression and empowerment. Participants gain knowledge about hip hop history, engage in deep conversations about their self-identity and the world around them, and build community and confidence while creating and recording songs. BRL Boston operates in tandem to Children’s Services of Roxbury, to widen the breadth of therapeutic options in Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods.