Before A3C began this week, we introduced you to five non-profit organizations that are making a social impact on the youth in their communities, using the art of Hip-Hop. A3C brought to Atlanta Media Rhythm Institute, Make Music Count, Real Life Poets, Breaking the Chains and Girls Cut Film Too for the ultimate pitch competition and the chance to take home $10,000 for their organization.
Hosted and moderated by Atlanta’s Center for Civic Innovation founder, Rohit Malhotra, it was an evening to celebrate these organizations for the civic commitment they’ve made to their communities and to the youth that they serve. Each organization had about 5 minutes to pitch their passion to a panel of judges that included Rapper No Malice formerly of The Clipse, Rapper and Producer Dallas Austin, CEO of Hip Hop Caucus Liz Havstad, Culture Fix’s Nora Rahimian, Activist Yonasda Lonewolf, and the Center for Civic Innovation’s Melanie Tharpe.
Media Rhythm Institute co-founders Jimmie Thomas and Deverick "Dev Rock" Murray presented their pitch last, following Breaking The Chains out of New York City, Atlanta’s own, Girls Cut Film Too and Make Music Count, and Birmingham’s Real Life Poets. These five organizations were chosen over hundreds because of their mission, strategies and implication to solve real life problems instead of just acknowledging them and moving on. “ What makes these folks different is they said this is the problem and this is what we’re going to do about it,” said Malhotra.
The evening was filled with treats including a testimony from Real Life Poets student alum, a live demonstration of how Make Music Count works for children and even a tear jerking moment when Thomas spoke on why they do the work they do. “Once again, this is the work that needs to be done and we’re going to stay connected and continue to work, no matter what,” he explained.
Ultimately it was Atlanta’s own,Marcus Blackwell, Jr. of Make Music Count who walked away with the grand prize of $10,000. But through the kinship and bond the organizations built over the days days prior to the competition, Make Music Count decided that everyone should be a winner. They only yook home $5000 of the grand prize and the remaining $5,000 was split between the other organizations.
Congratualtions to all of the 2017 A3C Action Pitch Competition finalists and the winner, Make Music Count. Through the exposure and mentorship provided by this competition, these five organizations will continue to use music and hip hop culture to positively contribute to their communitites.