Toni Blackman is the first official US Hip Hop Ambassador, shaping the course of US cultural diplomacy in the 21st century. She is one of the world’s leading Hip Hop educators, who founded the Hip Hop Arts Movement (HHAM) as a Howard University student in 1992.
She also created the #HipHopMediatation series, which was featured on CBS News and Mindful Magazine among many others.
Blackman was the founding director of cypher workshop Freestyle Union, which uses freestyling to promote social responsibility. She also launched Rhyme Like A Girl as an Echoing Green Foundation and Open Society Institute fellow. On March 19, 2023, Blackman traveled to her 50th country, Cameroon, as part of the U.S. Embassy’s Cultural Exchange Program with Rhyme Like a Girl.
Dr. Joan Morgan
Dr. Joan Morgan is an award-winning journalist and author. She coined the term “Hip Hop feminism” in 1999, with the groundbreaking book, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost, a book used in college coursework across the country.
Morgan was one of the original staff writers at Vibe magazine and a contributing editor and columnist for Spin. In January 2000, she was asked to join the Essence staff, where she served as executive editor.
Morgan has made numerous television and radio appearances including ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary One Night in Vegas. Morgan’s recent book She Begat This offers analysis of “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in shaping Hip Hop culture.
Martha Diaz is a community organizer, media producer, archivist, curator, and educator. For 25 years her work has bridged the academy, Hip Hop entertainment, and the public arts and education sectors. She has associate produced and consulted on numerous Hip Hop documentaries including Nas: Time Is Illmatic by One9 (2014).
Diaz formed the Hip-Hop Education Center in 2010 to research, cultivate and formalize the field of Hip Hop-based education. She was a Curator/Scholar at The Schomburg Center and a Nasir Jones Fellow at Harvard University.
Dr. Joycelyn Wilson
An educational anthropologist, Dr. Joycelyn Wilson’s research focuses on Hip Hop Culture, digital humanities, and social justice STEM education. She joined Georgia Tech in 2017 as an Assistant Professor of Hip Hop Studies and Digital Humanities.
In 2011, she was a Hiphop Archive Fellow at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute. She is founder and CEO of the HipHop2020 Archive and Innovation Lab, an educational resources design studio. Wilson and MODA Museum will host a virtual workshop on the digital preservation of Hip Hop inspired artifacts August 3rd.
Dr. Regina Bradley
Dr. Regina Bradley is an Assistant Professor of English and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University.
Bradley authored, Chronicling Stankonia: OutKast and the Rise of the Hip Hop South. Chronicling Stankonia explores OutKast’s influence on the Black American South and stems from her critically acclaimed series “OutKasted Conversations.” Bradley was a 2016 Nasir Jones HipHop Fellow at Harvard University.
Dr. Bettina Love
Dr. Bettina Love is an award-winning author and the William F. Russell Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a renowned speaker on many topics from abolitionist teaching to Hip Hop education.
Love was invited to the White House Research Conference on Girls in 2014. In 2016, she was named the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at Harvard University for her Hip Hop education work. Her next book, Punished for Dreaming, will be released in September 2023.
Aysha Upchurch is a performer, consultant, and educator whose work intersects performing arts, youth advocacy, social justice, and transformative education.
Upchurch is a Harvard Lecturer and Artist-in-Residence, teaching courses on Hip Hop pedagogy and embodied learning. She also directs HipHopEX, an intergenerational lab-classroom that designs programming to explore and experiment with Hop Hop arts in education.
Founder and CEO of The Free People Project, EbonyJanice uses Hip Hop as a sociopolitical and spiritual movement making tool.
EbonyJanice created the Black Girl Mixtape, a platform and safe think space that elevates the intellectual authority of Black women. Black Girl Mixtape is co-creating an Afro-Futuristic theatrical production re-telling the story of the Igbo Landing entitled “The People Could Fly.”
Her dissertation was “The Lopez Effect Remixed: The Significance of Mattering Through a Hip Hop Lens in Education and Beyond.” On March 22nd Hutchinson will moderate The Career Cypher – Women in Hip Hop. This youth event will highlight different ways to navigate the Hip Hop culture industry.