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Friday, April 9
Hip-Hop Workshop
$5/free for Friends of The Commonspace, all ages, 7 p.m., brian@thecommonspace.org
Attendance: 15

Educators, hip-hop fans and social justice activists are in for a treat. Daniel Zarazua (AKA DJ Chino) is in town from California to share different ways that he uses hip hop in the classroom as a high school teacher. Here's how he describes his presentation:

While the struggle of teachers to engage students in coursework is nothing new, it can be argued that the stakes for student success, and possibly even survival, have never been higher. Poverty rates are increasing, the prison industrial complex continues to grow, and the gap between the haves and have-nots widens. Among the most vulnerable to these changes are young people. But while education is a key to their empowerment, too often young people do not feel a vested interest in academics or formal learning. Yet many of the same forces that distract them, including popular culture, can also be used to engage them. Countless studies have shown that people of all ages learn better when new material is relevant to their own lives and draws upon knowledge that they already have.

The purpose of this workshop is to share the multi-layered ways in which hip hop can be used as a tool for social justice education and empowerment. Turn on the radio or flip to a music channel on the television and there is no doubt that hip hop has a strong presence with young people. Since its birth in New York nearly 30 years ago, hip-hop culture has evolved to not only influence music, but also business, fashion, politics, and language.

A model that links hip-hop culture and social justice education will be shared, along with guiding principles and learning theories. Included in this workshop is an informative and entertaining presentation about hip hop as it relates to social justice education, providing both the hip-hop enthusiast and novice historical background and social context. Participants will have an opportunity to experience sample learning activities as well as leave with a comprehensive resource list. This session is highly interactive and will utilize video, music samples, and other multi-media illustrations of hip hop. It should particularly benefit those who are looking for new and innovative ways to engage high school and college-aged students about issues of social justice.

Presenter Bio

Daniel D. Zarazua is an educator, DJ, and writer based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. As a high school teacher he's taught in Fremont, CA, Belleville, IL, and Detroit, MI with adolescents diagnosed with special needs. As a DJ he's performed throughout North America and abroad, including Belfast, Sydney, Philadelphia, and Paris with the likes of The Last Poets, Eminem, Royce The Five Nine, Danny Hoch, and I Was Born With Two Tongues. He also maintains a website devoted to urban music culture and education at www.domingoyu.com.