Hip Hop in the Heartland:
8th Annual Educator and Community Leader Training Institute
July 22-26, 2012
Union South, UW-Madison
Download Brochure HERE!
Download worksheet to learn how to apply on-line and register for UW-Madison Credit for Hip Hop in the Heartland Institute HERE.
Each summer, UW-Madison’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) teams up with Urban Word, NYC to offer educators and ccommunity leaders a weeklong program to learn the best practices in hip hop and spoken word pedagogy. The Institute brings together the leading educators, professors, emcees and activists utilizing the media of spoken word ad hip hop as relevant, dynamic and necessary educational tools to engage students across multi-disciplinary curricula.
Hip Hop in the Heartland draws from educational theories such as socio-cultural theory, culturally relevant pedagogy, critical race theory, and hip hop and social justice pedagogies, to help educators and community leaders connect hip hop as both an art form and an instructional tool to improve the academic success of students who remain marginalized in our schools.
Participants learn proven, hands-on techniques to devleop lesson plans and strengthen their course study, as well as create a platform from which they will understand the scope of hip hop history, culture and politics. Evening programming consists of an all-star cast who will synthesize the day trainings with effective strategies and cutting-edge multicultural educational approaches.
Hip Hop in the Heartland is specifically designed for:
Classroom teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, school personnel, community educators, college educators, community leaders, education students, hip hop and spoken word educators and practitioners, and anyone committed to social justice and urban education.
Gain a better understanding of the scope of hip hop history, culture, and politics. Deepen your practice as a spoken word and hip hop educator, and engage in best practice approaches to student-centered learning.
- Discover the best practices in hip hop and spoken word pedagogy
- Learn skills to better reach and mentor your students
- Improve academic achievement, reduce behavior issues and energize your classroom
- Get practical strategies for increasing participation and building community
- Earn university credit, CEUs or fulfill your professional development plan goals
- Meet new colleagues and enjoy UW-Madison’s beautiful campus!
Daily sessions follow themes to strengthen participants’ knowledge and provide the tools to engage the 21st-century classroom. Each day wraps up with Write, Reflect and Build sessions where participants interact with the lesson planning process, and build their own curricula that engage literacy, critical thinking and creative writing.
Monday: Building the Cypher: Reimagining Community & Pedagogy
8 – 9 am: Registration (on-site)
9 – 10:30 am: Hip Hop, Hip Hope: Reinventing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy with Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings & Welcome with Michael Cirelli & OMAI Staff
11 am – 4 pm: (RE)Imagining The “Peaceable Classroom” with Dr. Maisha T. Winn, and Building Community by Building the Cypher with Baba Israel
4 – 6 pm: Write, Reflect and Build: Crossing The Bridge: Applying Institute Learning to Everyday Practice with Anna West & Dr. Sue Weinstein
7:30 pm: Opening Night Performance: Enter the Cypher with Baba Israel & YAKO 440
Tuesday: Critical Literacy & Leadership In The 21st Hip Hop Classroom
10 am – 3 pm: Young Leaders with Baba Israel, and Critical Counter Stories with Jamila Lyiscott
3:30 – 5:30 pm: Write, Reflect and Build: Crossing The Bridge: Applying Institute Learning to Everyday Practice with Anna West & Dr. Sue Weinstein
7 pm: Institute Social Mixer
Wednesday: Healing & Connecting In The Digital Classroom
10 am – 1 pm: LineBREAK The Cycle with Mark Gonzales
2 – 4 pm: Using Computer Games To Teach Critical Literacy with Dr. David Kirkland, or Hip Hop Music Technology For Classroom Use with Kiriakos “YAKO 440” Prodis, or Can We Get A Witness?: Utilizing Youth Participatory Action Research to Tell Our Stories with Jamila Lyiscott
4:30 – 6 pm: Write, Reflect and Build: Crossing The Bridge: Applying Institute Learning to Everyday Practice with Anna West & Dr. Sue Weinstein
Thursday: Hip Hop and Beyond: Reimagining Language, Literacy, and Social Justice
9 – 11 am: Gang Star: A Social Experiment with Dr. David Kirkland
11:30 am – 1 pm: Using Computer Games To Teach Critical Literacy with Dr. David Kirkland, or ILLegal Art & The Systems with Kiriakos “YAKO 440” Prodis, or Can We Get A Witness?: Utilizing Youth Participatory Action Research To Tell Our Stories with Jamila Lyiscott
1:30 – 3 pm: Lunchtime Keynote with Dr. Christopher Emdin, Quiet Storm: The Crisis of Urban Education
3:30-5:30 pm: Write, Reflect and Build: Crossing The Bridge: Applying Institute Learning to Everyday Practice with Anna West & Dr. Sue Weinstein
7 pm: Institute Open Mic, Featuring Mark Gonzales
Friday: Unearthing the Narratives and W/Rap Up!
10 – 11:30 am: The Common Core, Our Common Core, and Reality Pedagogy with Dr. Christopher Emdin
12 – 1 pm: Institute W/Rap Up & Closing Cypher
Workshop Descriptions (order as listed in daily agenda / schedule):
(Re)imagining the “peaceable classroom”: In this workshop, participants will experience the ways in which Restorative Justice peacekeeping/making circles can serve as a teaching tool for literature and writing classes. Building on O’Reilley’s concept of the “peaceable classroom” and her efforts to teach English in a way that “people stop killing each other,” this workshop takes participants on a journey through a Restorative English Education—that is the intersection of Restorative Justice and English through a circle process and hands-on as well as theoretical frameworks for teaching in a way that promotes justice for all youth.
Building Community by Building the Cypher: In a landscape of bullying, school violence, and disengagement how do we create community in our classroom and programs? How can the idea of the cypher inform how we design our lessons and structure the culture of our classroom. We will explore cypher techniques and connect them to the contexts of the participants. Hip Hop is a culture of active participation where each individual has a responsibility to both learn and express their skills and story with respect.
Write, Reflect & Build : During the Write, Reflect & Build sessions, institute participants will work to engage their own pedagogy with the goal of creating and developing their own curricula and presentations. The week culminates with participant presentations and resource sharing that we can all take into our classrooms and learning spaces. Facilitators represent a range of diverse expertise and disciplines and will create learning environments that are both hands-on and theoretical, in order to give you not only the tools to take to your classrooms, but also the framework to be accountable and sustainable in your practice.
Crossing the Bridge: Applying Institute Learning to Everyday Practice: Often, the biggest challenge of professional development is figuring out how to apply it within the particular contexts of one’s everyday work. These afternoon sessions create space for participants to foreground the challenges and opportunities in their own teaching environments. The three 90-minute sessions will give participants the chance to learn with and from one another, to reflect on and synthesize learning from the day’s workshops, and to create plans for their specific settings.
In these sessions, we will regularly move back and forth between the overarching frameworks of hip-hop and spoken word pedagogies, and the particular settings in which teaching and learning take place. The overall goal of our meetings will be to develop a critical perspective on and concrete plans for how participants will implement this week’s learning into their own classroom practices.
On Day 1, participants will identify goals for themselves and discuss opportunities for and challenges to implementation. On Day 2, participants will work individually and in small groups to research and begin developing projects. On Day 3, participants will engage in critical reflection about the week’s experiences, offer feedback on one another’s projects, and revisit the first day’s conversation about implementation. In addition to each day’s workshops, the facilitators will lead brief presentations on hip-hop and spoken word pedagogies in practice.
Opening Performance: Entering the Cypher: An opening concert that will combine Hip Hop, Spoken Word, and Theatre to kick off the institute with energy and celebrate creativity as a tool for education and social change.
Baba Israel and Yako 440 are long time artists and arts educators who have performed and taught across the world. Whether leading organizations or workshops, creating murals or high energy sets, Baba Israel and Yako 440 bring a commitment to young people as leaders, creative diversity, and improvisation.
Young Leaders: This workshop will focus on how to create programs and contexts where young people are empowered as leaders and decision makers. We will explore how supporting young people to take active responsibility for projects, classrooms, and their own progression creates sustainable change. We will also look at leadership within Hip Hop culture and how the skills of Hip Hop can develop leadership ability. Pulling on my experience as AD/CEO of Contact, a leading young person’s organization, we will both look at tangible examples and create models as a group.
Critical Counterstories: This workshop will explore how the tenets of Critical Race Theory and Critical Pedagogy can inform our daily praxis. Using multiple genres of expression, participants will use a CRT lens to critically analyze the dominant narratives that evidence themselves in our respective classrooms and then collaboratively produce narratives that powerfully counter them. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on and unpack their personal experiences with race and racism as the starting-point of their contributions.
lineBREAK the Cycle: This workshop is a 180 minute narrative development forum to name pain, speak life, and engage the seemingly implausible idea that healing is a possibility. By exploring these possibilities workshop participants will develop skills to engage: emotional intelligence, cultural biographical writing, and narrative competence.
Using Computer Games to Teach Critical Literacy: This workgroup seeks to demonstrate the multiple and sometimes unseen/ignored ways that video/computer gaming can be used to help people make meaning in an ongoing process of negotiating struggles for freedom. In this light, computer games can be part of the larger project of reading the word/world, helping individuals transform their experiences and the situations that we inhabit. As such, the workgroup will speak to a range of issues from nostalgia and escape to collective responsibility and latent hegemonic narratives of inequity hidden in computer games. The goal of the exercise will be to extend the capacity to reach their students and help them read the world critically. In this way, the workshop seeks to forge a new direction for critical pedagogy and urban arts, one that broadens the scope of curricula and pedagogies with familiar tales of oppression and possibility but tied to gaming. When narratives familiar unfold in public settings where teachers are transformative intellectuals, the world, even the world of gaming, becomes an exciting and extraordinary place where we live out what we play, and in playing we hold the opportunity to invent new and better ways to live.
Hip Hop Music Technology for Classroom Use – How PA speakers, mics, loop pedals, and a laptop can change your experience as an educator: YAKO 440 was presented with a challenge for the 2012-13 school year- 2 music production classes at 2 different middle schools in Brooklyn and Queens, NYC with 25+ students per class and no computer labs, samplers, or instruments. His acceptance of this challenge led YAKO to new tactics for engaging large groups using simple, portable technology. Educators in this session will get an interactive intro to “on-mic” hosting/teaching/performing, beat making, and human beatboxing- while simultaneously creating a supportive audience, class, & community.
Can We Get a Witness?: Utilizing Youth Participatory Action Research to Tell our Stories: Your work matters. It is rooted in justice, centers our youth, and it changes lives…But how can your pedagogy live beyond the classroom? How can you tell powerful, compelling, and authentic stories with your youth that are rooted in rigorous, humanizing research? Stories that will influence, people, power, and policy. In this workshop participants will develop pilot study models for conducting Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) in their classrooms and consider how their work can move to next level of impact in the form of pedagogical instruction, advocacy, or larger educational justice initiatives.
Gang Star: A Social Experiment: This interactive workshop is based on a thought experiment aimed at engaging participants in the complexities of urban youth social life and the myriad forces affecting their learning. The goal of the workshop is to raise awareness to the effects of injustice in the lives of urban youth. What are the forces at play (e.g., gangs, peer pressure, poverty) competing for youth attention? How might cycles of inequity influence how, why, and what youth learn? How might critical educators disrupt the cycles of inequity so that youth might become empowered transform their communities and their lives? To answer these questions, the workshop is organized around three core experiences. The first experience is a 30-min simulation activity meant to characterize real world events, while becoming the basis for reflective dialogue. Hence, following the simulation experience, participants will be invited to reflect upon and dialogue about feelings and observations, comparing the simulated experience to the actual world and its various learning contexts. The session will conclude with a small presentation meant to summarize and extend ideas introduced in the workshop. The presentation will also attempt to draw connections from parts 1 and 2 of the workshop to community arts activism and social justice pedagogy.
ILLegal Art & The Systems – Graff writers presence in the education, legal, socio-political, and capitalist systems: Workshop will cover history and present day worldwide Aerosol Art Movements in both illegal and legal forms. Our students should have access to the full story of the art form in order to navigate these systems. As educators we need to arm ourselves with an understanding of strategic language and classroom approaches to get this very relevant art form and skill set to youth. Session will also include hands on lesson in lettering styles.
Quiet Storm: The Crisis of Urban Education: Using two songs from different eras as the medium, Dr. Christopher Emdin lays out the current and ever-evolving sociopolitical and “in the trenches” landscape of urban education, the reasons for our current national challenges, and offers research-based but often under-explored solutions. This speech explores the public/private battle in urban education, challenges of teacher training and recruitment, national policy, the newly developed common core learning standards, and new possibilities.
The Common Core, our Common Core, & Reality Pedagogy:
With the increased effort to incorporate the Common Core State Standards into classrooms, teachers struggle to meet their content goals/expectations and still enact progressive pedagogical practices that move beyond “career readiness” and into life preparedness. This session describes an approach to instruction rooted in hip-hop culture that moves educators beyond the Common Core, and towards our common core – the attributes that connect teachers and students, urban youth and their indigenous ancestors, and bring true revolution to education. More specifically, I present the 5 C’s of Reality Pedagogy – Cogenerative Dialogues, Coteaching, Cosmopolitanism, Context, and Content as an approach to teaching and learning as a means to re-confirming our common core.
Hip Hop in the Heartland Faculty (in alphabetical order):
Michael Cirelli is the Executive Director of Urban Word NYC a grassroots not-for-profit organization that provides free, safe, uncensored and ongoing writing, performance and college prep opportunities for NYC teens. He is also the director of the Annual Spoken Word & Hip-Hop Teacher & Community Leader Training Institute at the University of Wisconsin (Hip Hop in the Heartland), and the annual Preemptive Education conference at NYU. He is the author of the award-winning teaching guide, Hip-Hop Poetry & the Classics (Milk Mug, 2004), and most recently, The Poetry Jam (Recorded Books, 2010). His debut poetry collection, Lobster with Ol’ Dirty Bastard (Hanging Loose, 2008) was a NY Times Book Review independent press best seller, and his second collection, Vacations on the Black Star Line (Hanging Loose, 2010) was a Paterson Poetry Prize finalist and was named in About.com’s “Poetry Picks – Best Books of 2010.” He teaches courses on hip-hop poetics and English Education at New York University and Bank Street College of Education. He was featured on season 5 of HBO’s Def Poetry, and both seasons of HBO’s Brave New Voices.
Christopher Emdin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Director of Secondary School Initiatives at the Urban Science Education Center. He is author of the book, Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation, and also a columnist for the Huffington Post, where he writes the “Emdin 5″ series. Dr. Emdin holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science and Technology, Masters degrees in both Natural Sciences, and Education Administration, and Bachelors degrees in Physical Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry. Dr. Emdin has coauthored proposals to start New York City Public Schools, taught middle school mathematics and general science, and high school physics, and chemistry. He has also been a researcher on many NSF funded research projects in mathematics and science education.
Dr. Emdin was recently awarded the “Best paper for Innovation in Teaching” by the The Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) and was named ”Groundbreaking Educator” by Arrive Magazine. He was also awarded the Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) Outstanding Dissertation and Emerging Leader Awards. His research focuses on issues of race, class, and diversity in urban science classrooms, the use of new theoretical frameworks to transform education, and urban school reform. Dr. Emdin researches, consults, and delivers speeches on various issues in schools such as science technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, urban education, school and classroom climate, fostering dialogue in schools, and student engagement. He is a noted public speaker on issues such as the Obama Effect on Urban Education, Hip-hop culture and education, improving STEM education, and various educational and socio-political issues related to urban youth of color.
Mark Gonzales is a thought leader in using storytelling as a global health strategy. His ability to curate the emotional experience of wounds & dreams into creative text has awarded him invitations to over fifteen countries, with previous clients including: TED(x) talks, Stanford University, refugee camps, the United Nations, & HBO Def Poetry. He is often found integrating narrative and medicine via twitter: @WageBeauty.
Baba Israel was raised in New York by parents who were core members of the Living Theatre. He developed as a young artist exploring spoken word, Hip Hop, and experimental performance. He lived and worked in Australia working on major community theatre projects and festivals. He has toured as an emcee, beatboxer, and theatre artist across the US, Europe, South America, Australia and Asia, performing with artists such as Outkast, The Roots, Rahzel, Lester Bowie, Afrika Bambaataa, Vernon Reid, and Bill Cosby. Previous directorial work includes the Project 2050 (New World Theatre), Countryboy Struggle (Maxwell Golden) and Sharpening SAWDS. He has worked on sound design for theatre and dance projects with Renita Martin’s It is the Seeing and Rha Goddess. He was co-founder and Artistic Director of Playback NYC Theatre Company which brought theatre to prisons, hospitals, shelters, and arts venues. As an educator he has worked internationally developing projects with a young people centered focus. He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary arts from Goddard in the United States. He became Artistic Director/CEO of Contact in 2009, after several years of performing and leading workshops at the venue as a visiting artist. He has returned to New York to develop projects in theatre, music, and education.
David E. Kirkland, Ph.D. is associate professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, English, and African and African American Studies. His award-winning scholarship focuses on urban youth and popular cultures, Black language and literacy, and urban teacher education.
Gloria Ladson-Billings is the Hip Hop in the Heartland faculty of record. She is the Kellner Family Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the 2005-2006 president of the American Educational Research Association. Her research examines the pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with African American students. Her work has won numerous scholarly awards, including the H.I. Romnes faculty fellowship, the Spencer Post-doctoral Fellowship, and the Palmer O. Johnson Outstanding research award. In 2002, Ladson-Billings was awarded an honorary doctorate from Umea University in Umea, Sweden and in 2003-2004 was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She is also the 2004 recipient of the George and Louise Spindler Award for ongoing contributions in educational anthropology, given by the Council on Anthropology & Education of the American Anthropological Association.
Jamila Lyiscott is a Doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. Situated in literature, critical literacy studies and critical pedagogy for racial justice, her praxis combines academic activism, spoken word, and empowering youth leadership to center and champion the cultural wealth of African Diasporic communities. Jamila has worked closely with the youth of Kings Church of Christ, Brotherhood Sister Sol and Urban Word Communities. Coupled with her practice in the community, she has lectured widely, presenting both spoken word and academic papers at many conferences including the Critical Race Studies in Education Association Conference, the Preemptive Education Conference and the Urban Litieracies Institute for Transformative Teaching. In her grassroots organizing, Jamila has directed national and international social justice education projects that engage issues of multiple literacies, media, and humanizing pedagogy for African-American and Latino youth.
YAKO 440 is a musician, producer, graffiti writer, and designer- a true multi-media Hip Hop artist. His skills include human beatbox, turntables, bass, guitar, keys + drums. In 6 continents this sonic arsenal has been put into use performing with MC/beatboxer/theater artist Baba Israel + improvisational Hip Hop theater troupe Playback NYC; Yako has shared the stage with Afrika Bambaataa, Doug E. Fresh, KRS-1, and many more. He is also a scholar with his Master of Fine Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College (USA). Mr. 440 has also led music and visual art workshops with all age groups since 2000 throughout NYC and cities all over the world.
Sue Weinstein is an associate professor of English at Louisiana State University, where she specializes in English education and literacy studies. Sue’s research focuses on teenagers’ writing practices, and she has been conducting research across the country and in England on youth spoken word poetry for the last six years. She was recently awarded LSU’s Brij Mohan Distinguished Faculty Award for work related to social justice because of her ongoing work with Baton Rouge’s WordPlay Teen Writing Project; in addition, WordPlay awarded her its first annual Excellence in Service award in 2010. Sue’s book, Feel These Words: Writing in the Lives of Urban Youth, was published in 2009 by State University of New York Press. She has also published in the journals Harvard Educational Review, Written Communication, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and English Education, among others. Prior to doing her PhD, Sue taught high school English in Chicago, IL and Cochabamba, Bolivia. Before that, she worked in public radio. She is originally from Philadelphia, PA.
Anna West is a youth program organizer and educator who has created and led youth programs, with a focus on youth spoken word, for over fifteen years. She is the founding director of WordPlay Teen Writing Project in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the former director of Young Chicago Authors, winner of the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. She is the co-founder of Louder Than a Bomb, the acclaimed Chicago teen poetry slam festival and subject of an award-winning documentary film of the same name. In 2011, Anna brought together poets and educators in Massachusetts to form Mass LEAP, a literary education and performance collective. Anna holds a B.A. in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Education in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she was the recipient of the 2011 Arts in Education Faculty Recognition-Intellectual Contribution Award. She began doctoral studies in English at Louisiana State University in 2011 where she her work focuses on critical youth studies with an emphasis in poetry and performance. She has published in Harvard Educational Review and has presented her work at various conferences and speakers series including, “Getting Real” at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Dangerous Women” at the Jane Addams Hull House, and on Chicago and Boston Public Radio programs, among others.
Maisha T. Winn (formerly Maisha T. Fisher) is a former public elementary school and high school teacher and has worked extensively with youth in urban schools and in out-of-school contexts throughout the United States. She earned her Masters in Arts in Language, Literacy, and Culture at Stanford University and her doctorate in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of California, Berkeley. During her postdoctoral research fellowship at Teachers College, Columbia University, Maisha conducted an ethnographic study of student poets in New York City. Her ethnography, Writing in Rhythm: Spoken Word Poetry in Urban Classrooms (Teachers College Press), follows the lives of student poets and their teachers from the Power Writers collective in the Bronx. Winn serves as an advisor to the documentary, “To Be Heard,” about the Power Writers. She is also the author of an ethno-history of African American readers, writers, and speakers of the Black Arts Movement entitled Black Literate Lives: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge). Most recently, Maisha’s continued work examining youth performing literacy and more specifically the intersection of arts in the lives of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated girls has been published in Girl Time: Literacy, justice, and the school-to-prison pipeline (Teachers College Press). Using a “humanizing research lens” to think about the ways in which young people and their teachers can contribute to theories and knowledge sharing in the educational research community, Maisha and her colleague, Django Paris, edited a forthcoming volume about the need to decolonize research methods with youth and communities entitled Humanizing Research: Decolonizing research with youth and communities (Sage, January 2013). Maisha’s work in urban public schools in the southeast is documented in a co-authored book Writing instruction in the culturally relevant classroom (co-authored with Latrise Johnson, 2011) was published in the National Council of Teachers of English Principles in Practice Series Additionally, her research has been published in numerous journals including Harvard Educational Review; Review of Research in Education, Race, Ethnicity, and Education; Anthropology and Education Quarterly; Research in the Teaching of English, Journal of African American History, Written Communication, and English Education. She currently serves as the Susan J. Cellmer Endowed Chair of English Education in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.