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Fri, Oct 11, 2013 -- 10:00 AM

Hip Hop as Therapy


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A decade ago, when social worker Tomás Alvarez III was working as a school counselor at Berkeley High, he assumed that as a man of color he would have more success than the other counselors -- mostly white and female -- in reaching African-American male students struggling with truancy and other problems. But, he found, they weren't any more interested in talking to him than the others. A search to find ways to get young black males to discuss the trauma in their lives led him to found the Oakland-based nonprofit Beats, Rhymes and Life, which uses rap and hip-hop as a form of therapy. We'll talk to the programs' co-founders and two participants about the positive effects of telling their stories through their lyrics and music.

Host: Judy Campbell

Guests:

  • Damonte Wilson, intern for Beats, Rhymes and Life and former student in the class at Oakland High School in 2009
  • Haniyah Muhammad, intern for Beats, Rhymes and Life and former student in the class at Oakland High School in 2009
  • Rob Jackson, co-founder and chief of staff of Beats, Rhymes and Life
  • Tomás Alvarez, founder and CEO of Beats, Rhymes and Life

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