Project HIP-HOP (Highways Into the Past-History, Organizing & Power) is a youth-led organization. Hip hop culture and the history of resistance to injustice are our primary tools for engaging and developing young people as artists and organizers. We provide opportunities for young people to work together to gain skills and experiences neccessary to educate and organize for social justice in their schools, communities and in the broader society.
Project HIP-HOP (PHH) believes that, much like has been the case in many historical movements; young people can be a catalyst for moving our society to address the urgency of social justice issues and create a better world. To help PHH youth play this role, the organization has the following goals:
Develop low income youth of color as 21st Century leaders and critical thinkers;
- With nearly 25% of entering freshman not graduating from the Boston Public Schools, and many more unable to complete secondary schooling, PHH believes it is essential for young people to develop the analytical thinking skills that are necessary for them not just to pass the MCAS but be prepared for college work. In line with a large body of educational research, PHH believes that the arts and community organizing are powerful tools to help young people develop the kind of higher-order thinking skills that are necessary to thrive in the 21st Century economy.
Teach young people to produce art and media products that are creative and engaging and which educate the larger community about social justice issues;
- Hip hop culture is fresh and engaging to young people. Through artistic expression Project HIP-HOP is able to give young people and outlet to express themselves. While a small number of youth may choose to pursue their art as a career path, for most youth it will be a tool to help them learn technology skills, develop an orientation towards hard work and excellence, and cultivate in them a lifelong interest in the arts and social change.
Inspire and provide opportunities for the larger community of color to take action on local issues, rather than depending on others to solve the problems for them;
- Project HIP-HOP has seen first hand how so many community members are clear about the problems in their community but lack the hope to or the clarity about how to make change. PHH teaches young people to use arts as a tool to educate and inspire people, and to use community organizing as a strategy to unite people and give them concrete pathways to action.
VALUES AND GUIDING PRINCIPALS
Community. PHH is a place where young people can come together in a ?free and open? environment. We are open and inclusive of diverse opinions and perspectives ? racial, cultural, class and educational background.
Leadership Development. We view every individual, particularly youth, as agents of social change and the ?seeds of a new society.? We link the needs, interests and campaigns of the hip hop generation to social movements of the past. We provide innovative approaches to learning including the use of different mediums ? grassroots media, popular education, arts & culture.
Growth and Learning. We are committed to self-reflection, education and growth. We welcome and encourage disagreement and critical feedback. We embrace intergenerational learning by bringing youth, young adults and veteran activists together to exchange perspectives and knowledge.
Collective Work. PHH staff, youth members and alumni of different ages can collaborate, make decisions and solve problems together. We are committed to collective work in which everyone?s background and experiences are equally valued and built upon.
Dynamic Culture. PHH is a place filled with activity and people with energy. We operate as a fluid, mobile organization capable of responding to environmental, social and political changes.
Social Change. We strive to create a society free of injustice, inequality and all forms of oppression. We believe providing youth and young adults with an understanding of institutional racism can strengthen one?s capacity to counter unjust economic, social and political conditions.
By the People. We believe young people directly affected by the issues PHH takes on should be the primary leadership and decision-makers within PHH. We affirm what people already know and support them to fight their own battle and solve community problems.