Music

Positive Learning at Lehman College By: Lisa Goings

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Positive Learning at Lehman College

By: Lisa Goings

Beats, poetry, people, learning… these are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about the great time I had at the Hip-Hop event at Lehman College.  I learned more about Hip-Hop as a whole and how it’s more than just today’s hottest rapper.  I was able to learn about a group of students who went to egypt and how they benefitted from that trip.  My time spent at this event was the opposite of boring and I would experience it again if I could.

As my friends and I walked into the auditorium of the music building, we heard the sound of beatboxxing and started dancing – we knew the rest of our time there would be fun.  We sat down and listened to a speaker who had literally grown up with Hip-Hop; he would sneak out of his house as a child to go listen to it.  I enjoyed how he was authentic and spoke from his experiences like how he would walk past a street with graffiti on it and read the names, then years later in school he learned that those names were actually important people who had an impact on Hip-Hop.  It showed me that most people who don’t know about Hip-Hop as a whole would look at all graffiti and associate it with gang bangers with no education, not realizing some were just an expression of the struggle of Hip-Hop.

As much as I enjoyed the parts of the program I was able to attend, I have to admit one of my favorite moments was the panel discussion on Hip-Hop.  The panel was conducted like a Cipher, everyone saying their piece, taking their answers to the next level. I learned that Hip-Hop has a past, present and future though it has changed, and is all over the world.  I was impressed that all the speakers from different places taught something related to Hip-Hop.  In addition there was a program involved that had people from all over the world come to listen and watch the panel. They related what Hip-Hop was about and how people wanted to stop it from evolving to things everyone relate to or things we were familiar with such as the “east coast” “west coast” issue or Tupac and Biggie.  Hip-Hop is an art and though it faced some opposition, it continues to evolve.

The final part of the program I attended was the presentation on Egypt.  The fabulous Professor Glover, who currently teaches African Civilizations at Lehman College, took students with her in order to dispell the myths about Africa.  The students fun-raised all the money and took off to Egypt.  I appreciated how they took pictures to show how Africa was modernized and had technology; cities with buildings; and electricity; and not just some poor continent where everyone is ill in the village and live in huts.

To sum up, the event was amazing.  I learned a little history of Hip-Hop, instead of someone just talking and reciting from a book or paper it was much more lively and informative.  Lehman College took it beyond that, helping us learn in an interactive environment with people young and old from all over the world, eliciting the cultural diffusion of Hip-Hop.

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K.D.W – Kicking Down Walls…

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Brotha Malcom(11yrs. old) & Sista Dae(8yrs. old) make up the group K.D.W. which was introduced 2 the industry in 2009. K.D.W. stands for Kicking Down Walls. They may be small but pack a big punch when it comes 2 delivery and lyrical content. They attack social issues that most groups don’t touch, issues like Bullying, Stem cell research, self awareness and the alarming epidemic of gun violence. 9 songs  make up the album from “Good Day”, “Thanks Mr. President” to “No Time For You Bully” and “Fallen Angels”. With this diverse collection of music, it’s evident that they are ready for the industry.
With show after show that have left people stunned at their performances, it is safe to say that that they are making their mark.  Having performed at showcases like Maria Davis’ at The Shrine as well as shows at the Times Square Arts Theater, Von Kink Park’s “Family Day” in Brooklyn and  Maria Davis’ “Aid Awareness Day” in Harlem K.D.W. has been busy.  They have also performed at P.S.26, P.S. 81 and M.S.204 as well as churches and other community events around the city.  They are ready to showcase their talents anywhere and at anytime.  they love performing, especially when they get a chance to perform for kids their age.
Being a triple threat, from singing, rapping and acting Brotha Malcolm and Sista Dea are poised to have a major impact on the entertainment business.  They recently had the opportunity to showcase their acting skills in a wonderful play entitled “Reality Check,” written by Ms. Britt, the Executive Director of the Von King Cultural Center.  The play poignantly portrays the sad reality of bullying and gun violence in urban areas and their song “No Time For You Bully” was featured in the play, with an overwhelmingly positive feed back from the packed audience.With endorsements from Nancy SillberKheit, Co-CEO of Archie Comics and Danny Simmons (Rush Arts) for their anti bullying campaign, many prominent and influential people are lining up behind K.D.W. because they believe in the music.  2013 promises to be a big year for the group and for all of those who have the opportunity to experience their music and shows.
Performing for the Hip Hop Summit For Lehman College is an honor for K.D.W. Entertainment Group
ClassAction is honored to have K.D.W. Entertainment Group
perform at the 
1st Annual Hip-Hop History Month Celebration: Elements of Culture Hip-Hop Educational Summit

Meet Special Guest Panelist – Dr. Christopher Emdin…

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Christopher Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University; where he also serves as Director of Science Education at the Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education. He is currently a Caperton Fellow and Hip-Hop Archive Fellow at the WEB DuBois Institute at Harvard University.

Dr. Emdin is a social critic, public intellectual and science advocate whose commentary on issues of race, culture, inequality and education have appeared in dozens of influential periodicals including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

Dr. Emdin holds a Ph.D in Urban Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science, and Technology; Masters degrees in both Natural Sciences and Education Administration, and Bachelors degrees in Physical Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry.

He is the co creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement, and a much sought-after public speaker on a number of topics that include hip-hop education, STEM education, politics, race, class, diversity, and youth empowerment. He is also an advisor to numerous international organizations, school districts, and schools where he delivers speeches, and holds workshops/ professional development sessions for students, teachers, policy makers, and other education stakeholders within the public and private sector.

Dr. Emdin writes the provocative “Emdin 5” series on a number of contemporary social issues for the Huffington Post. He is also author of the award winning book, Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation.

Cited From: http://chrisemdin.com

ClassAction Student Group

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What is the ClassAction Student Group?

ClassAction Student Group is a student-based, community organizing, grassroots movement started here on Lehman College. It is the collaborative effort of Lehman College students of various disciplines who are committed to utilizing our education in ways that best serve and improve the conditions in our communities. In keeping with our belief that it will take a collaborative effort to improve our communities, we wish to work with not only other student groups/organizations but, also with the various departments and faculty-led organizations of Lehman College. The goal is to afford students and faculty the opportunity to discuss and agree on the issues, research, and develop concrete and realistic solutions to these problems.

We believe that the proposed student activities described below keys to achieving our goal. By adhering to the Theory of Collective Action the activities discussed demonstrate our commitment to our communities and our belief that Lehman College must lead in showing how all CUNY students can effectively use their education to bring about positive and concrete social change.

Theory #1: Raising Social Consciousness

We who make up ClassAction believe that in order to raise the social consciousness of our communities we must first raise the social consciousness of ourselves and fellow students. Because we are students we firmly believe that education and awareness are the two fundamental elements in raising social consciousness.  

            ClassAction Student Lecture Series:

The Lehman College Student Lecture Series is designed to develop faculty-student community based research. The Student Lecture Series is envisioned as the bridge that links Lehman College students with faculty (who may be of differing disciplines) who may wish to research the same issue(s) but from different perspectives. The hope is students will learn how to think critically and creatively about how to identify and create solutions for many of the problems facing our communities.

Another outcome we anticipate is greater awareness of and participation in other research opportunities being offered here at Lehman College. By participating in other opportunities available on campus, students can develop the creativity that is needed to tackle issues of concern. This will force students to think critically and outside of the box in order to use research to develop concrete and realistic solutions that will produce results.

ClassAction Guest Speaker Series

What are the risks and rewards involved in community organizing? For any movement to be successful, it is our belief that the wisdom and knowledge of those who have walked this road long before us be heard and used as our guide to achieving our goal of developing concrete and realistic solutions for our communities. Right here at Lehman College, we have in abundance, a wealth of wisdom and knowledge within our grasp. We have among us faculty who if their stories were told, would only add fuel to the fire burning within all of us who are truly committed to the goal of this student group. Along with Lehman College faculty, we will also highlight Lehman students, individuals within our communities and others guest speakers who will all stress the importance and relevance of what we now embarking on.

Theory #2: Organizing People with Similar Interests

We who make up ClassAction believe that while collaboration is important in achieving our goal of developing concrete and realistic solutions to issues facing our communities, all members of this group must be committed and passionate about working for our communities as organizers. ClassAction is more than just a line on a student’s academic resume, as the name implies this is a group of ACTION! This is not for the weary or faint of heart… our communities deserve much more than that. 

ClassAction Web-Site and Newsletter

 Lehman College is a commuter college and it does become hard for students to be aware of everything that is happening on campus. Students who take evening classes are sometimes out of the loop when it comes to activities that occur during the day sessions. We also have students who work on campus and their schedules do not allow them to attend many of the events and activities that they would like to. We feel that the ClassAction is something that all Lehman College students should know about and we believe that the creation of a website and newsletter will definitely make sure that every student on campus is aware of this very important student group.

I) Concept behind the ClassAction Web-Site

We believe that this web-site should operate as an interactive-social media site that allows the whole Lehman College community to be up-to-date on group activities and events. The Lehman college community will be allowed the chance to get to know the ClassAction founding members and their individual motivations for coming together to form this group.

II) Concept behind the ClassAction Newsletter

The development of a newsletter addresses the fact that there are students who once they step foot off of this campus, they do not have internet access. Not all students have smart phones, iPods, Kindles etc. So, the main purpose of the newsletter is to be a print version of the website with the same purpose – keeping the Lehman College community involved and up-to-date with the activities of ClassAction.

Theory #3: Mobilizing Resources for Collective Action

We who make up ClassAction. recognize Resource Mobilization as a sociological theory that forms part of the study of social movements. We believe that it stresses the ability of any movement’s members to acquire resources and mobilize people towards our goal of developing concrete and realistic solutions to problems within our communities.

So… how exactly does ClassAction plan on implementing Resource Mobilization?  We understand that a program of this magnitude requires collaboration and that is why this we stress the point that we are all students of various fields of study. We stress the importance of working with the various departments, students groups and organizations that are right here on campus. By everyone coming together we’ll be able to:

  • formulate a resource mobilization strategy (funding and in-kind resources)
  • identify potential sources of funding
  • actively solicit pledges
  • follow up on pledges to obtain funds
  • deposit funds and record transactions and any restrictions on our use of funds

Once this is done we will be able to plan the following events:

  • Hip-Hop Educational Summits
  • Student Featured Talent Showcases
  • Hip-Hop Cultural Festivals

Theory #4: Strategizing a Series of Increasingly Decisive Collective Actions

We who make up ClassAction believe that in order to bring about change in our communities, we must be the change we wish to see. In order to be that change, the members of ClassAction Student Group believe that a consensus among the students of Lehman College is of great importance… As agents for change, we must be able to come to an agreement on exactly what issue(s) must be addressed and in which manner and order.

ClassAction Student Action Forum

The goal of the ClassAction Student Action Forum is to get all students more involved with Class Action as well as Lehman College by offering a student only venue for issues to be discussed. But, as stated earlier, ClassAction is not about just discussing the issues… we take action! We encourage all students to not only vent, but come with solutions and ideas. Once we are all in agreement, then a plan of action can come about.

Theory #5: Take a Decisive Political Action

We who make up ClassAction believe that once a consensus is made, a plan of action can be forged. We believe that all plans of action must be concrete, well developed and planned. Decisive, brave and bold decisions are what our communities need not only in our outreach to them but in our role as leaders and decision makers.

Theory #6: Repeat!!!

We who make up ClassAction believe that once we have come together and formulated a plan of action we don’t stop… we keep going! ClassAction is sincere in its commitment to our communities and will continue to recruit and retain the best, brightest and strongest from Lehman College. We see this student group as not just a club located here on the Lehman College campus, but, one that will eventually prove to be the kind of program that CUNY embraces and sees the value of. The end goal is to become a CUNY wide organization because we understand the importance of all students who have worked hard enough to reach their goal of achieving higher education giving back, raising up, and setting the example for generations of students to follow.  

https://www.facebook.com/ClassActionLehman

https://www.facebook.com/groups/525915397494284/

http://classactioninc.org

The Universal Zulu Nation

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First, we acknowledge and say thank you to Hip-Hop’s first international awareness organization – The Universal Zulu Nation.

Formed and headed by Hip-Hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa, it arose in 1973 in the South Bronx and began to organize cultural events for youths combining local dance and music movements into what would become known as the various elements of Hip- Hop Culture. By the 1980s, Hip-Hop had spread globally, and the Universal Zulu Nation has since established chapters in Japan, France, the UK, Australia, South Korea, Cape Town South Africa and other locations all over the planet so-called Earth.

The 1st Annual Hip-Hop History Month Celebration: Elements of Culture: Hip-Hop Educational Summit also acknowledges the debt owed to The Universal Zulu Nation.

How can there be a Hip-Hop History Month Celebration anywhere that does not acknowledge and reach out to the Universal Zulu Nation. With chapters all over the world, The UZN has made manifest its vision of Planet Rock. Hip-Hop’s global reach and influence is in large part due to the UZN. The bridging of Cultures: Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and White worldwide. The awakening of Higher Consciousness, Self Expression and Creativity that like the Knowledge of our Ancient Ancestors, told us who we were, who we are and who we could be – Knowledge of Self, of our Communities, our People… The Universal Zulu Nation is the Foundation of Hip-Hop. And as we bear witness to Hip-Hop entering institutions of Higher Learning… So must its Foundation. The Universal Zulu Nation and all Pioneers of the Culture we claim identifies who we are.