The Work


Formed in 2010, the Hip-Hop Education Center is a social enterprise model that serves as a catalyst for social equity and change through a centralized learning and archival management system that re-imagines education & community engagement through Hip-Hop culture.


Our objective is to promote and formalize hip-hop-based education as a way to increase the number of high school graduates, reduce incarceration rates and youth recidivism, and develop employment and business opportunities. HHEC is led by women, and we are particularly interested in highlighting and empowering women in hip-hop to instill a more just and equal playing field.


The HHEC has been at the forefront of generating academic research and evaluation reports to support initiatives around the use of hip-hop as an effective pedagogical tool. The HHEC has published field reports, presented successful hip-hop-based education models at a variety of teaching and learning conferences, and convened season practitioners to determine best practices, develop standards, and figure out the needs of the field.


The Hip-Hop Education Think Tank is critical to development of the movement, as it brings together Hip-Hop scholars, pioneers, business and community leaders, administrators, social workers, and seasoned k-12 teachers to exchange information, assess research data and curricular models, coalition-build, and collective engage in a political and economical strategy to formalize the field.


To ensure our work is preserved and disseminated to future generations, the HHEC has an archiving initiative that serves as a community repository to store and promote archives and collections of hip-hop artists, organizations, schools, and independent collectors for the use of hip-hop-based education.


The HHEC is spearheading social change through the development of the first online — Communiversity — whereby the community and university come together to develop an centralized hub and international alliance. Utilizing hip-hop culture as a social engineering tool, HHEC Communiversity is a one of kind platform where educators, teaching artists, scholars, social workers, and students can share research and resources; publish and distribute educational material; and, archive and preserve hip-hop and their own history.


Through our professional development services and sponsored events we access resources and provide tools for educators and teaching artists to implement hip-hop education in their classrooms and communities.


In order for the Hip-Hop Education field to grow and be sustainable, hip-hop  must be official acknowledge by the United States government and established as national cultural treasure worthy of study and practice in K-16 public schools. The HHEC has been working closely with politicians, grassroots organization and collectives, parents, educators, and students internationally to integrate hip-hop culture as an interdisciplinary, culturally relevant and responsive teaching subject and tool.


The Extra Credit Awards (ECA) recognizes exceptional leaders and organizations using hip-hop, technology, and social entrepreneurship to advance the education field. The ECA also honors pioneers and champions of the hip-hop and education field. The Award was designed by Carlos Mare139 Rodriguez, an internationally acclaimed sculptor/ painter/ Hip-Hop Scholar/ US Cultural Ambassador and creator of the annual BET/Black Entertainment Award.


We are social entrepreneurs and creative change agents. Since the launch of the HHEC, we have been cultivating like-minded problem solvers, education innovators and social entrepreneurs to develop the next generation of leaders and hip-hop education ideas. Through our Fellows and Scholars Program we have supported dozens of projects.