National Hip Hop Political Convention (NHHPC) Chicago Event Inspires a New Generation to be Involved as the Civil Rights Generation
CHICAGO, IL - From July 20th to the 23rd the Hip Hop community and generation gathered at Northeastern Illinois University to mobilize the largest youth and young adult-led civic demonstration project in the history of the United States. The 2006 NHHPC had hundreds of young people come from all over the country to attend workshops and panels on non-violent strategies, running for electoral office, and human rights issues to cite a few. The four-day event culminated with an assembly for delegates to propose action steps for issues or concerns for the Hip Hop national agenda.
"Like the NAACP we were born into an organization that developed out of a gathering of activists from around the world, who came together to discuss the current status of a particular group of people. The NAACP was addressing the status of Black folks in America, while the NHHPC came together to discuss the current situation of folks who make up the Hip Hop Generation." – Troy Nkrumah, National Internal Chair, NHHPC
The 2006 NHHPC was sponsored by the Black United Fund of Illinois, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention, The Ave Magazine, the Hip Hop Association, SEIU, the League of Young Voters Education Fund, Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS (BASUAH), the Hip Hop Congress & the Bean Soup Times and Dorothy Brown – the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Member of Congress, 2nd District of Illinois commented in a letter of support for the 2006 NHHPC: "We really don't have a choice to be involved or not-- we're inevitably involved. The question is whether we are consciously engaged. Your program and platform will surely add to that political consciousness, and for that you and your fellow delegates are to be commended."
NHHPC organizationally continued to participate and engage in civic, political, or both activities beyond the initial success from the 2004 national convention in Newark, NJ, where over 6,000 people, including 600 delegates from 20 states attended. That historic inaugural event created the only national agenda and prioritized education, criminal justice, healthcare, economic justice and human rights as the 5-points impacting the hip hop community. The National Black United Fund was very instrumental in the development of a new generation's shaping of their own agenda and symbolically "passing the baton" of leadership and knowledge.
The national agenda is the foundation for NHHPC members organizing state-based initiatives-–some local organizing committees in Nevada, California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Georgia are actively engaging in their communities. In Las Vegas, the committee has been successful in challenging both UNLV and the Sheriff who attempted to ban Hip Hop events. The political pressure from the Hip Hop community discouraged the Sheriff from running for re-election and caused the University Regents to reject the Hip Hop Ban. In New York City and Atlanta, the committees have been involved with the plights of Hurricane Katrina survivors including supporting housing, job placement & access to healthcare needs from the Bloomberg administration and FEMA. In New Jersey, one week after the convention, an outdoor youth event featured M1 from the critically acclaimed Hip Hop duo-Dead Prez, and the NJ committee participated in the festival to encourage issue-based community education and held a voter registration drive.
To learn more about the organization, please visit:
Orlando Green, NHHPC Steering Committee Member
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