Erykah Badu & Big Boi – The Healer

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While working on this Summit, this song has been key to keeping me focused. This song speaks to my Soul and communicates my love for Hip-Hop Culture… Let this song inspire you as much as it has inspired me… Peace

– Natisha Jordan (Founding President and Program Coordinator – ClassAction Student Group)

Department of African & African American Studies

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The Department of African and African American Studies is in the School of Arts and Humanities with such departments as History, Music, Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies, English, and Philosophy. Courses taken in African and African American studies can fulfill the College’s distribution requirement in historical studies, comparative culture, the arts and literature. Students can take courses in African and African American studies for elective credits. Students may also elect to major or minor in African and African American studies.

African and African American Studies is a body of knowledge that records, describes, and analyzes the experience of Black people in all parts of the world, but especially in America, the Caribbean and Africa. African and African American Studies appraises the past, examines the present, and seeks to shape the future. The African and African American Studies Department offers an interdisciplinary major leading to a B.A. degree. The courses are grouped into five sequences: African-American, community and urban, Afro-Caribbean, African, and arts and languages. The Department also participates in the interdisciplinary programs in Latin American and Caribbean studies and women’s studies.


Mark Christian received his B.A. (Hons.) in Sociology & American Studies from Liverpool Hope University, his M.A. in African & African American Studies from The Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Sheffield, England. He is a senior Fulbright scholar recipient, a former research fellow at the University of London’s Institute of Commonwealth Studies, and is currently a visiting fellow at the Department of Sociology, The University of Liverpool. He arrives at Lehman after spending eleven years at Miami University of Ohio, where he taught courses in African Diaspora Studies with a comparative analysis of the UK and US; and courses in sociology, such as social stratification and race and ethnic relations. His research interests primarily stem from a historical/cultural lens taking into account the social construction of knowledge and social identities. Currently, he is the book review editor for the Journal of African American Studies. His latest interdisciplinary research interests include the Liverpool Black Atlantic, African American music influences on The Beatles, and the development and struggle of African & African American Studies as a field/discipline in the 21st Century.

Selected Publications:

  • Christian, M. (Ed.). (2012). Integrated but unequal: Black faculty in predominately white space. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.
  • Mark Christian. (Ed.) Integrated but Unequal: Black Faculty in Predominately White Space (Africa World Press, 2012)
  • Mark Christian. (Ed.) Black Identity in the 20th Century: Expressions of the US and UK African Diaspora (Hansib, 2002)
  • Mark Christian. Multiracial Identity: An International Perspective (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press/s, 2000)
  • Mark Christian (with Stephanie Y. Evans, Guest Editors) ‘Africana/Black Studies at the Graduate Level: A Twenty-First Century Perspective’ Western Journal of Black Studies. 34. (2) (Summer 2010)
  • Mark Christian. (Guest Editor) ‘Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association: New Perspectives on Philosophy, Religion, Micro-Studies, Unity and Practice’ Journal of Black Studies 39 (2) (November 2008)

MC K~Swift

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MC K~Swift

M.C. K~Swift (New Rap Order/ Universal Zulu Nation) is the Director of Youth Services for the Universal Zulu Nation. He is a Hip-Hop artist and educator, who has been recording and performing since 1994. He’s been a published poet since the age of 17, and appears in HBO’s “Brave New Voices” series. M.C. K~Swift has conducted creative writing and performance workshops in hundreds of high schools in NYC and throughout the tri-state area since 1999, as well as in institutions including: CUNY Grad Center, The New School, NYU, Wesleyan University and Columbia University. He has also trained educators at numerous schools, non-profit organizations and community centers on cultivating creativity in their classrooms.  A founding member of the progressive Hip-Hop collective, New  Rap Order, and a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, M.C. K~Swift is among both the vanguard and the old guard of True School Hip-Hop Culture.

M.C. K~Swift has been very instrumental as a co- coordinate for the 1st Annual Hip-Hop History Month Celebration: Elements of Culture Hip-Hop Educational Summit. Over a chance meeting and brief converstaion, he threw his total support and heart into making this Summit a success. ClassAction Student Group thanks you M.C. K~Swift, for sharing our vision for the future of Hip-Hop Education… 


Meet This Year’s Keynote Speaker… Toni Blackman

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toni Blackman


Poet, Educator, Author, Actress, Lyricist, Songwriter, Producer, and Hip-Hop/Musical Ambassador to the U.N…. Toni Blackman is this year’s Keynote Speaker for the 1st Annual Hip-Hop History Month Celebration: Elements of Culture Hip-Hop Educational Summit.  

Toni Blackman is a cultural ambassador and an advocate of improvisation. Her experiences as a diplomatic worker enable her to move through various communities (the arts, political circles, international gatherings, youth groups, academia, and the music industry) with ease. As America’s first Hip-Hop Ambassador, her work has consistently communicated that hip-hop is the international platform to position the US as a good global citizen.

Blackman has traveled and worked in 30 different countries including Senegal, Ghana, Botswana, Swaziland, Ivory Coast, the DRC, Brazil, South Africa, Angola, and a host of places in Europe. Her diplomatic work encompasses peace and reconciliation, literacy, HIV awareness, and gender violence prevention. Highly respected as the founder and director of Freestyle Union, a cipher workshop that uses free styling as a tool to encourage social responsibility, Blackman’s work has held great influence in the world of hip-hop activism. This former Echoing Green Fellow has also been a fellow with the Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute. A great deal of Blackman’s creative organizing efforts involved the Freestyle Union and its woman-centric initiative Rhyme Like a Girl, which launched in partnership with Girls, Inc., and later partnered with the New School University.

Toni Blackman has transformed her passion for creativity and improvisation into a powerful presentation on “getting open,” being centered, and harnessing one’s own personal power from the inside out. She has performed and spoken at the Aspen Institute Summit in Oman, at the prestigious Pio Manzu International Conference in Italy, during the World Cup at the ManUp Summit in South Africa, and for the FORD Foundation and City Xpo Big Ideas Conference in Virginia. She has led workshops and trainings for the NBA, Craigslist Foundation events, Julliard, Ross School of Business-UM, Smithsonian Museum, Harvard, Girl Scouts “Beyond Bars” program for incarcerated mothers, Latin American Youth Center’s Gang Violence Prevention, MDGFive UN program for Maternal Health, and Institute for Policy Studies. A former adjunct professor of hip-hop at Binghamton University and a visiting professor at University of Michigan, Blackman is currently a judge for the US Department of State’s American Music Abroad program.

She toured Southeast Asia with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Musical Ambassador Program and has shared the stage with the likes of Erykah Badu, Mos Def, The Roots, Wyclef, Dougie Fresh, Wu Tang Clan, GURU, KRS One, Bahamadia, Dead Prez, Boot Camp Clic, Me’Shell NdegeoCello, Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Jill Sobule, James “Blood” Ulmer, Vernon Reid, Youssou Ndour, and even Rickie Lee Jones. Her first book, Inner-Course, was released in 2003 (Villard/Random House). Toni Blackman is available for performance workshops, lectures, inspirational talks, and small group and private coaching.

cited from: http://www.apbspeakers.com/speaker/toni-blackman