Friday, May 11, 2007

Why It Matters: Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Unity Through Music

Why Support New Orleans Hip-Hop for Hope?

 Raising awareness about issues which affect our community; violence, HIV/AIDS, and education.
 A unique experience: achieving unity through music.

Raising awareness about issues that affect our community: Violence

 In the mainstream media, Hip-Hop music is often associated with an urban culture of violence and crime, however, Hip-Hop has done a great deal in uniting communities, providing young people with alternative ways of expressing themselves, and calling for an end to violence.
 We aim to support artists who actively speak out for positive change and peaceful expression, and attempt to create an event centered around positive actions.
 New Orleans has one of the highest crime and murder rates in the country; many studies have shown that violence and crime are closely linked to poverty.
 We are dedicated to raising money for education in New Orleans, with the belief that education is fundamental for combating poverty.
 We are actively engaging the young people in the city in an attempt to provide a positive outlet, a source of hope and a sense of pride in New Orleans culture.

Raising awareness about issues that affect our community: HIV/AIDS

 New Orleans is struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, however, with so much work to be done, many issues that affect the community are being overlooked.
 Healthcare is one major issue that is impacting New Orleans; one major crisis is the growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS that disproportionately affects minority youth.
 The mainstream media often blames hip-hop music for glorifying sexual promiscuity, however, many hip-hop artists are using their influence to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and encourage safe sex.
 One way of fighting back against this epidemic is by raising awareness; hip-hop music provides us with one of the best means of communicating with today’s young people.
 We actively seek to raise awareness about this epidemic in appropriate and effective ways, and we provide condoms at events intended for young adult audiences to promote safe sex.

Raising Awareness about Issues that Affect our Community: Education

 Many scholars and social commentators have called today’s young people the “Hip-Hop Generation”, due to the broad influence of hip-hop culture on young people from a variety of backgrounds. White or black, rich or poor, toddlers or adults, and everything in-between, hip-hop culture is heavily influential in breaking down social barriers and opening up dialogue.
 While many criticize the negative aspects often associated with hip-hop and rap, there has always been a strong movement within the culture to raise social-consciousness and empower the powerless. If we want to reach today’s youth, it seems evident that we must learn to speak their language.
 We believe a solid education is the foundation for a healthy community because it provides individuals with valuable life skills, enables people to think critically and creatively, and helps prepare children to become responsible citizens.
 Fact: New Orleans has a 40% illiteracy rate.
 Fact: Louisiana has the third-lowest rank for teacher salaries in the nation.
 Fact: Louisiana is ranked 49th out 50 states in education.

A Unique Experience: Achieving Unity through Music
• New Orleans, birthplace of jazz and home of the blues, has a rich tradition of music dating back centuries.
• In New Orleans, and later the Nation as a whole, Jazz served as a shared culture for young people from a variety of backgrounds, and helped to break down social and economic barriers.
• Hip-Hop is arguably the latest movement in the Jazz, Blues and R&B legacies, combining many elements from these different traditions in a uniquely modern and American music.
• Hip-Hop makes you dance! Hip-Hop makes you think! This music is universal because it has great rhythms that almost anyone can dance to, yet it continues to be relevant because it is able to convey messages that people can relate to and take interest in.
• At Hip-Hop for Hope 2006, Tipitina’s was full of people of all different ages, races, backgrounds and interests, yet everyone came together through the enjoyment and appreciation of the music.


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