Women's Empowerment Through Hip Hop
I work for an organization called Nomadic Wax, which is dedicated to using media - namely music and film - as a tool for social change, activism, education, and empowerment around the world. Nomadic Wax works with powerful artists/activists from Argentina to Haiti to Senegal to Iraq - to use hip hop to empower and educate youth around the world. We organize workshops, conferences, discussions, film screenings and festivals focused on these topics. Nomadic Wax creative director Magee McIlvaine traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti with members of Montreal-based hip hop group Nomadic Massive to conduct one such workshop with youth in the slums of Port-au-Prince: http://vimeo.com/16767351.
We are not the only organization doing this. There are other grassroots organizations with the same passion organizing similar events to engage, educate, and empower through art, specifically hip hop. Recently, I came across this documentary short of a workshop in Goree Island, Senegal organized for young African women. They're reactions to the workshop are powerful, and demonstrate the great potential for such projects to empower youth, build connections and develop a community across borders: http://www.youtube.com/bragaliliane#p/u/16/ps7DgQLhB8U.
Presently, I'm helping to organize a cultural exchange between African-American and Senegalese artists/activists, in commemoration of Black History Month. They will meet in Dakar, conduct workshops with local youth, record collaborations, and hold a concert. Listening to participants of similar projects exclaim how much the experience meant to them inspires me to work to organize more.