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Panel II: Solutions to Real Life Problems Through Cultural Understanding


H.I.P. H.O.P. – Healing Inter Personally, Healing Our Planet

Our planet is facing a multitude of environmental crises due to a societal disconnect from our natural world. This disconnect perpetuates the justification of gender, ethnic, racial, and economic oppression in the name of progress and capitalism. Hip Hop Culture was born from a resistance against systemic racism and classism that negatively impacts low income and mostly non-white communities in the United States. It has since captured the world’s attention, becoming a multi-billion dollar industry and global influence that includes participation of a multi-generational, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial audience. Hip Hop is a unique and intriguing vehicle for encouraging change towards environmental sustainability because it simultaneously teaches self-preservation and the principles of sharing, educating, honoring the past, and innovation. Hip Hop is also anchored in the tradition of community building and rising to one’s potential, both of which are impossible to achieve without a healthy and viable ecosystem. The stewardship of and connection to our natural environment is an over-arching solution to the systemic poverty, racism, and sexism that are often represented and debated about within Hip Hop Culture today. Therefore, environmental advocacy should be incorporated into Hip Hop Culture as an additional element, being taught and dialogued about as an integral part of the culture itself.

Link to full thesis

Shifting our collective wisdom towards equality and sustainable living opens up opportunity for everyone’s potential to be reached. And, when everyone’s potential is able to be fully activated, then the true goal of Hip Hop will be realized.

Shelby Lafrinere

Environmental Leadership and Intercultural Communication

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