BENEFITING: Foundation For Flint
HipHopEd Youth Program is joining forces with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, to provide long-term aid for those exposed and currently suffering from lead poisoning, in relation to the ongoing Flint Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan. There is no magic pill. There is only what we as a people are able to provide, in the way of research, medication, vitamins/nutrients and spreading awareness, along with what the people of Flint are tirelessly working to provide themselves.
We chose to partner with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint because, aside from their many community efforts, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who discovered the dangerous levels of lead in Flint's tap water, works directly with them! Continue reading for information on #FRFW, how to get involved, crisis facts, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and what HipHopEd is all about...
What is "Fresh Rhymes for Fresh Water"?:
Social media plays a substantial role in today's society.
That said, our proposition is this easy 3-stepper:
1. Create a video post that showcases facts or information having to do with the Flint Water Crisis
2. Call out and challenge friends/family/etc., to create their own post and/or donate
3. Tag #HipHopEd and #FRFW, include our Crowdrise fundraiser link, and post away!
You can include your personal feelings on the crisis issues, but must mention facts/science/something educational, and no vulgar language. We urge you against using vulgar language because we more than likely won't be able to share those posts as much, if at all, and the goal is to share as many posts as we can across all of our platforms.
If you are unable to post a video, a photo is absolutely fine. If you are unable to post a photo or a video, we appreciate even a simple status update, including our movement and bringing attention to Flint, using our hashtags (again, #HipHopEd and #FRFW). If you're in support of our project, but do not have social media or the means to donate, we humbly appreciate you just telling people about us. If they are able to post or donate, that would be an added bonus!
If you're having a brain freeze on what to discuss in your post, feel free to use one or more of these topics: the general science of water, why water is healthy vs unhealthy, what all is in Flint's water that makes it toxic, information on lead poisoning, or related environmental issues that may add to the toxicity of Flint's water. You can include rap/singing/dancing/sign language/fine art/beats/text, and the more rhyming, the better (hence, the whole #FreshRhymesForFreshWater thing). Feel free to include text or have someone speak for you, if you are shy or have trouble with public speaking. No judgement here!
Fresh Rhymes for Fresh water brings attention to important current events and allows people to have fun, while learning some things and spreading useful knowledge along the way!
Five Quick Facts:
1. Though many adults are experiencing effects of lead poisoning, the majority effected are between 0 and 6 years old. Let that sink in for a moment.
2. Yes, short-term-wise, we can and do provide water bottles, filters, and so on. Unfortunately, that does not mend the matter(s) at hand. Flint needs aid for continuous research, aid for all families to receive proper nutrients, regardless of socioeconomic status. This is especially important because when you have lead poisoning, the lead is fed first. Before any bones or muscles get to think about absorbing nutrients, the lead has its feast. So, you do what you can to overcompensate, in order for your bodies to receive even a sliver of nutrients from whatever you have ingested. Obviously, the healthier your food, the better the outcome. Luckily, some of the longterm programs you're supporting with your contributions are mobile farmers markets that travel to effected families.
3. Being that there is no direct cure yet, treatment includes avoiding further exposure to lead and lead-based products. In such a crisis, you can imagine the difficulty within those efforts, especially while experiencing lead poisoning symptoms. Symptoms are: developmental delays, abdominal pain, neurologic changes, and irritability. At very high levels, it can be fatal.
4. Every year, bare-minimum, Flint will need many millions to break even, and further, keep up with their water crisis. This is our first attempt to reach $3 million. Every year, we will relaunch #FRFW and do our best to reach as close to that amount as possible.
5. You can find out more on how Flint benefits from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and see exactly where your donations go, at www.FlintKids.org.
Fresh Rhymes for Fresh Water encompasses all that defines community, unity, health and education. It's about helping one another for the greater good, and decreasing mental and physical strains this disaster has caused its city.
Yes, we all have hectic days and face stressful decisions. However, imagine experiencing whatever your "norm" or "daily grind" is-- regardless of severity, in addition to having lead poisoning, constantly discussing with your child/friend/spouse how and why the Flint Water Crisis situation is ongoing, why the news is not talking about Flint as much, why 100% of the exposed/the patients/the families are not receiving proper nutrients or medical attention, and the questions go on. How difficult would it be for you to focus at school? At work? Heavy medical and scientific research don't come cheap, but are vital for Flint... unfortunate truths that we're doing our best to address. We've got to start somewhere.
#FRFW shows our world and our government that we care for ourselves and one another, for Flint and our environment, and are capable of solving problems beyond and regardless of the red tape. In lending a helping hand to something so devastating and putting aside our differences, we are uniting and showing that such a catastrophe of an oversight is unacceptable for anyone to be exposed to. Increasing community involvement, being more health conscious and environmentally-aware are necessary steps toward success.
As a community oriented, youth-focused program, we are going to jump into this thing head first and get to work!
What is HipHopEd?:
2017 is our 5th year, going strong! HipHopEd's founder is Dr. Christopher Emdin (scientist, professor, and a New York Times bestselling author). The HHE idea spawned from a Twitter conversation he was having with a colleague. He wanted to construct a youth program that centered around presenting the classroom as a safe space for students to feel understood and validated, through incorporating their natural abilities and interests, keeping them engaged, while building knowledge and a sense of unity-- regardless of socioeconomic status, what society deems as learning or physical disabilities, or what may be going on at home and in the news.
Schools of all academic levels and standards sign up with our program to use music, the arts and technology in their science, physics, and math classes. Throughout each school year, students write their choice of poems, spoken words, songs, raps, projects including technology, fine art, dancing, music composition, and can include beats or instrumentals from their favorite artists and songs. However, the subject matter of their verbiage can only pertain to their curriculum. Of course, students can metaphorically relate their science/physics/math pieces to their personal lives and interests, but what they are saying has to make sense. The context and lesson within their rhyme must be accurate, not only for themselves to properly remember for their schoolwork, but also to be elligable for the annual competition we created, called Science Genius...
Example 1 (unacceptable):
"Hey, hey, DNA!
DNA rhymes with 'play' and 'today'!"
Example 2 (acceptable):
"Mendeleev-- through the Scientific Method, realized the heart of Chemistry!
He knew undiscovered elements existed,
to fill the gaps like he'd predicted.
Other scientists persisted,
to keep the table unrestricted..."
... No worries, we 100% get that everyone absorbs information differently, so that's where we come in! We work with students and teachers throughout the year. If anyone has questions or concerns along the way and we are not physically in the classroom, we are responsive and available to help. Most of the time, late nights are the norm for us.
Hip-Hop is a culture that is rich in unity, art, math, physics, puzzles and energy, with inspiration from a variety of musical genres. Why not use something today's youth connects with, in a positive manner that furthers their education? This is about teamwork and understanding one another, being more fullfilled, increasing the hunger for knowledge and feeling good about it!
What do the students do with what they've written?
Near the end of the school year, each student chooses their favorite piece of however many they've written throughout each quarter/semester, to use for their school's ultimate finalist choosing. Each individual school picks their finalists, whether that be via their school-wide showcase, or classes get together and choose on their own. Those finalists then compete in our annual Science Genius Final Battle, at the end of the school year in New York, NY, in front of the SG judge panel. The SG judge panel is full of well known and lesser known names from the entertainment industry, music, science and Academia!
Though we are running and growing in a few US states, Canada and Jamaica-- we are based in New York city and fly winners from our other battles to NYC, if they would like to join us for the NYC Science Genius battle. They have the options of being guest performers or to simply participate as audience members, if they prefer.
Science Genius NYC's Final Battle always takes place in an amazing venue, in order for our students to compete while getting to truly have a wonderful overall educational experience, and enjoy themselves! Our venues thus far include the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Jacob Javits Center, and the historic Lowe's Paradise Theatre. We have a ton of special guests and volunteers from around the globe!
A couple of faces you will recognize and frequently see are actor, Derek Luke and his wife, Sophia Luke. They have been involved from day one. At the 2017 Science Genius Final Battle, we announced our official partnership with their production team, Heartist! There are never enough compliments to express about the wonderful people involved in HipHopEd, but you'll get to know everyone in due time, as we continue with our movement!
Find us at HipHopEd.com or any of our HHE social media outlets!
IG: @HipHopEd, Facebook: HipHopEd, Twitter: #HipHopEd, (SnapChat coming soon!)
Every Tuesday we have an amazing community/teacher/student/educational discussion, on Twitter from 9pm EST - 10pm EST
(Twitter search: #HipHopEd, click "Latest", and you're in the convo!)
Enough about us! Get to posting about #FRFW!
(For a quick rundown on how Flint's hardhips came about, watch the CNN YouTube video provided in the upper left-hand corner. Click the arrow on the right to see media photos.)