Approximately 200 people came out from across the greater Seattle Area to participate in the 1st Seattle/NW Hip-Hop Leadership Council on Saturday February 28th at Seattle Central Community College.
Presented by the Seattle Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council, Bush School Diversity Speaker Series, UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center and Seattle Central Community College Black Student Union, the conference provided a wealth of information beginning with history and socio-cultural analysis related to the hip-hop generation in workshops like Hip-Hop 101 presented by Suntonio Bandanas of Alpha-P and Seattle hip-hop pioneer Silver Shadow D and “The N- Word” presented by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. co-convener of the conference.
Women In Hip-Hop was a power packed panel with lively discussion facilitated by Rahwa of Hidmo. The panel featured artist/educators/organizers Toni Hill, Khmet, Moni Tep, Monika Matthews Exective Director of the Nia Center and Life Enrichment Group, student Caela Palmer and fashion mainstay FirstLady Beunique of Presidential Clothing/Beunique Agency.
The Hip-Hop, Politics & Community focused on how the energy of hip-hop can be focused on practical community development projects like the developing Hip-Hop themed UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center in the central district and bringing justice to the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center as well as other hot issues such as school closures and the proposal to build a new jail in Seattle. Other related panels included Hip-Hop & Green Economy as well as panels promoting Youth Activism and Social Entrepreneurship presented by Youth Venture.
The conference also provided a forum for practical information regarding the business of hip-hop in sessions including “Getting Your Business Tight” which featured music executive Ricardo Frazier, acclaimed producer Robert Redwine and Meli Darby of Obese Productions addressed getting into the business, how to get booked on shows, the new playing field and revenue models and the ever growing role of technology in shaping the future of the music industry.
The popular “Fashion Biz 101” presentation by Cassius of Triple Crown Boutique (formerly Laced Up) providing an insider’s perspective on how to break in to the fashion industry by either opening your own retail store, starting your own line or becoming a buyer.
From The Hood To The Club: Violence in Hip-Hop & The Black Community was a packed session and featured a panel of people hands on with the issue including DJ Kun Luv Salisbury who recently launched the Thou Shalt Not Kill/Break The Silence campaign, Gregory Lewis a security consultant specializing in night clubs, Omari Tahir-Garrett who founded the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center providing historical analysis of the problems. The information was flowing and the audience was engaged as issues were being dug into, the conclusion is that there was not enough time. Look for a follow up event on this pressing topic real soon.
The keynote presentation by Dr. Sujan “Supreme Understanding” Dass was definitely worth the wait addressing the root causes of violence, solutions that don’t work and those that do. Using powerful images he illustrated and provoked thought and discussion about the root societal inequalities that cause the hopelessness that leads to lack of value of life and resulting violence plaguing our communities.
Many collaboration opportunities and partnerships were born out of the conference including the Seattle/NW Hip-Hop Leadership Council which will continue to produce regular events and activities. The next event will be a follow up to From The Hood To The Club: Violence in Hip-Hop & The Black Community.
For more information on follow up events contact Wyking at 206.941.2527 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.