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Black Thought, Sa-Roc to Perform at Environmental Justice Virtual Summit

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Black Thought of the Roots performs at BottleRock in Napa, May 28, 2017.
Black Thought of the Roots performs at the BottleRock music festival in Napa, May 28, 2017. (Estefany Gonzalez for KQED)

Bay Area nonprofit Hip Hop for Change is virtually hosting their 5th Annual Environmental Justice Summit this Thursday, May 20. Hosted by local community organizer Khafre Jay and MC UnLearn The World, the summit will focus on amplifying the voices and perspectives of activists and organizers of color in the environmental justice movement.

Despite the fact that environmental issues disproportionately impact communities of color, they are often portrayed as “white issues,” and the majority of prominent environmental activists are white. The HH4C Environmental Justice Summit seeks to center other voices in the conversation and brainstorm solutions for the lack of diversity in the mainstream movement to address climate change.

This year’s summit will feature a keynote address and multiple panel discussions with environmental experts on ways to diversify the environmental justice movement. It will also feature performances by artists including rapper and co-founder of The Roots, Black Thought, as well as Sa-Roc, M1 of dead prez, Eastshore Highway, DJ Shortkut, & B-Boy Ark and DJ D-Sharp.

Founded seven years ago, Hip Hop For Change aims to reclaim hip-hop as a tool for empowerment and education. Their mission is to combat the commodification of the genre and culture by largely white-owned media companies, resulting in misrepresentations of Black and Brown communities as hyper-violent and hyper-sexual. They provide arts programing and educational events in partnership with the City of Oakland and various other educational organizations, as well as with schools across the Bay Area. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, they have pivoted to online programming, socially distanced summer camps and online workshops. 

The Hip Hop For Change Environmental Justice Summit will stream online via Zoom and Facebook Live this Thursday, May 20, from 2-7pm PT. You can register online for free here and learn more about Hip Hop For Change on their website.


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