The Florida State University Department of Sociology will host its second Symposium on Hip Hop and Education, bringing together educators who use innovative and culturally relevant instructional methods to enhance student engagement.

The symposium will feature a panel discussion focused on an approach to education that seeks to empower students by relating course content to their cultural context. The panel will examine how hip hop music and culture can be used to develop teaching methods in a wide range of classes and subjects and the implications of this approach for educational policies, particularly those aimed at closing the achievement gap.

Following the symposium, a performance night at 621 Gallery in Railroad Square will showcase hip hop artists and a cypher, a freestyle rap competition of skills and techniques.

The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23 at Alumni Center ballroom, 1030 W. Tennessee St. The showcase will take place at 9 p.m. at 621 Gallery, 621 Industrial Dr.

Tickets for the showcase are $5.

Panelists for the afternoon symposium include Martha Diaz, a community organizer, producer, educator and founder of the Hip-Hop Education Center; Jeff Broome, associate professor and director of the doctoral program in art education at Florida State University; Andrew Mannheimer, a lecturer in sociology at Clemson University who earned his doctorate at FSU, where he co-taught a course on hip hop and sociology; Matt Reeves, independent hip hop artist, youth mentor and teacher; and Angel Hirai, an award-winning music educator for the Florida State University Schools.

FSU presents symposium on hip hop and education

The evening performance features Matt Reeves, Y., J. See, Cray, DJ Backpack Beatz and C.Y.P.H.E.R. Bboys.