"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” -Einstein
James talks about the importance of Hip Hop in Education and Transformational Leadership
When I moved to Seattle, from Brooklyn, NY, I knew that I would face some significant differences, but I thought I was ready for it. I was hired as the Executive Director of a beloved arts education organization, serving mostly low income, BIPOC youth in south Seattle and on the southern border of Seattle.
This monthly podcast explores the complex topics at the intersection of arts, education, and organizational leadership. Through humor and real-life experiences, we will break down the most important big ideas – you know, those radical, creative, and disruptive ones that no one wants to talk about – and connect them to the classroom, the boardroom, or the office.
We are failing young people in this country. The USA public education system is not preparing our youth for colleges, nor careers, especially those in the 21st century. We are still using the industrialized model of the 19th century where we are preparing youth to work on assembly lines, that no longer exist in 2020. We have seen this decline despite the efforts of No Child Left Behind, ESSA, Charter Schools, Busing strategies found here in Seattle, and this recent focus on STEM. With all of these new strategies to boost grades, there has been a removal of arts from schools, as well as play. Hip Hop is a global culture that is also the culture of young people. More than music, hip hop culture is the styles, sounds, visuals, and technology that is pervasive in our society. When Snoop Dogg is selling Pepsi. Missy Elliot is selling Doritos. Kendrick Lamar is Pulitzer Prize winner. We need to flip education on its head, by responding to, and acknowledging the culture, in educators work: youth culture. Students who may have trouble reading are hyperliterate when it comes to Kendrick Lamar lyrics. Students that have trouble with math can tell you how much money Kendall Jenner is worth and her breakdown of investments. We, educators, aren’t asking the right questions. James transformational leadership strategies will introduce successful strategies for engaging youth in school and helping them succeed through a hip hop paradigm, and feature performances by educators and artists working nationally in hip hop education.
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