Hip-Hop Education: Propelling and Preserving the Movement

HHE Propelling and Preserving the Movement

As Hip-Hop approaches its 45th anniversary, three Columbia University Community Scholars Martha Diaz, Regan Sommer McCoy – founder and co-curator respectively of the Hip-Hop Education Center — and Peter Noel explore the role of Hip-Hop education and its pedagogical and preservation value.  Together they will explore how Hip-Hop education happens and how it is evolving, including the creation of more than thirty institutions focused on the legacy of Hip-Hop.

Hip-Hop Education: Propelling and Preserving the Movement
Wednesday, April 11, 6:30 pm
Columbia University, Faculty House, 116th Street bet. Amsterdam Ave. & Morningside Drive (enter mid-block gates on north side of 116th St.)

Free and open to the public, general admission, reception.


Martha Diaz
is a community organizer, social entrepreneur, media producer, archivist, curator, and educator. For twenty-five years Diaz has traversed between the hip-hop entertainment industry, public arts sector and academia as a creative social change agent. Diaz founded the Hip-Hop Odyssey International Film Festival, the first and largest event of its kind, spawning an international movement. In 2010, Diaz formed the Hip-Hop Education Center to cultivate and formalize the field of hip-hop-based education. She has published research papers on hip-hop education and is co-editor of the Hip-Hop Education Guidebook, Vol. I and Rebel Music: Resistance Through Hip-Hop and Punk. Diaz recently completed an appointment as a Hip-Hop Archive Research Institute and Nasir Jones Fellow at Harvard University, and is currently a Research Fellow at Harvard’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. She is presently working with director Steve McQueen as the Archive Producer of the Untitled, Tupac Shakur documentary.

Regan Sommer McCoy has over 15 years of experience in the music industry, most notably as a liaison to Virginia hip-hop duo Clipse. As a community organizer, Sommer is dedicated to gathering music artists, DJs, techies, and scholars to explore the intersections of hip-hop and tech; celebrate and preserve hip-hop history; and promote hip-hop education. As an advocate, she encourages protection of DJ-produced mixtapes in danger of deterioration, and seeks to achieve systematic preservation in the DJ community. She is founder of the The Mixtape Museum, an archive project dedicated to advancing public understanding and appreciation of the art, history, and technique of the mixtape. In 2016, she launched Hip-Hop Hacks, an initiative for students to explore how hip-hop interacts with and inspires technological innovation. She is Associate Director of The Hip-Hop Education Center and a 2018 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Travel Grantee recipient.

Peter Noel is a journalist with 30 years experience in investigative reporting for The Village Voice, The Amsterdam News and others. Born in Trinidad, Mr. Noel immigrated to New York City in 1978 where he began reporting on instances of police violence against unarmed African American men in Harlem as well the rise of controversial figures like Al Sharpton. In the 1990’s, he also covered the Los Angeles riots that followed the Rodney King verdict and post-apartheid election violence in South Africa. He is the author of one previous book, “Why Blacks Fear America’s Mayor: Reporting Police Brutality and Black Activist Politics Under Rudy Giuliani” and was the co-host of The Week in Review on WRKS-FM radio.

The Columbia Community Scholars Program, administered by the Office of Government and Community Affairs and the School of Professional Studies, enables independent scholars to pursue their lifelong learning aspirations through access to Columbia University courses and resources.


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