Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Hip Hop in The City" April 15.

The Tennessee State University Cooperative Extension Program will provide a platform for youth to discuss issues such as peer pressure, decision-making, abstinence and HIV/AIDS at its youth summit on April 15th. The summit, titled "Hip Hop in the City," will target middle school students between the ages of 11 and 14.

"We are really trying to highlight the power of choice" said Dr. Javiette Samuel, Extension Assistant Professor of 4-H and Youth Development with the TSU Cooperative Extension Program. "Youth are faced with so many different images on T.V. and in music. So much of what they see and hear is laced with sexual content whether it be overt or the undertone of songs and videos."

Activities scheduled for this year's summit will include a play about relationships and abstinence directed by Roderick "The Motivator" Glover called "The Power of Choices." In addition, "Crazy,Sexy,Cool" a workshop about the effects of hip hop music on adolescents, will be conducted by Promising Futures, a youth empowerment and health education program that provides educational programs for adolescents and young adults.

"We are targeting young people in and around North Nashville and marketing this summit to youth agencies such as Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs and after school programs as well as churches and schools since it’s a Metro In-service day and kids do not report." Samuel added, "Even though it is open to the entire county, we want to pay particular attention to the communities that surround Tennessee State University."

Reprinted from this site.
Keith Benion, President of the Board at the Village Cultural Arts Center and a member of the steering committee for Hip Hop in the City, says a summit of this nature is vital to the community. "The summit will allow youth to get a life history of the things that affect them for the rest of their lives and also educate them about the types of distractions that are out there to prevent them from being the best that they can be," he said.

Registration for "Hip Hop in the City" will begin at 9:30 a.m. The activities will last from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The committee is expecting between 150 and 200 participants. Lunch will be provided for the youth, and they will also take a tour of the TSU campus. "Even though the primary goal is to discuss some of the issues that young people face, the secondary goal is to introduce them to the higher education setting," said Samuel. "We want them to see college as an option. We want them to think about what they are seeing and listening to and how that affects their growth and development—their mental and physical health."

Parents, churches, and youth organizations interested in having youth participate in Hip Hop in the City should contact Javiette Samuel for pre-registration information at (615) 963-7885 or by e-mail at The pre-registration deadline is April 1.