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A3C Hosts Discussion at Center for Civil and Human Rights

Johnell Gipson
Posted by Johnell Gipson on Jun 27

IMG_5421.jpgPhoto credit: Lauren Martinez

On Thursday, June 23rd, A3C and the Center for Civil and Human Rights Musuem hosted the second anniversary party for Get Centered, an outreach event that gathers community members to promotes healthy discussion and activism for civil rights.

The panel kicked off at 8:00 PM to a full house feauturing, Toni Blackman, Stic.man of Dead Prez, Killer Mike of Run the Jewels, and psychologist David Wall Rice and and moderated by the Center for Civic Innovation’s Rohit Malhotra.

IMG_5435.jpgPhoto credit: Lauren Martinez

After introductions, Malhotra delved into a number of talking points, the first being entrepreneurship in underprivileged communities and how it can be used as a tool to change circumstance.

“Many people fail to realize how much entrepreneurship plays a role in urban communities every day,” Malhotra said. “You can fight your way out of poverty with true entrepreneurship.”

Malhotra also asked the panelists where their inspiration for political and social activity came from, with every individual noting key moments in their life that changed their perspective.

“I started writing poetry when I was seven years old because I was seeking answers to questions that adults couldn't provide me,” Blackman said. “Poetry and rap were my only ways to express myself because I was programmed by my family to keep quiet”

Photo credit: Lauren Martinez

The discussion covered an array of issues that plague urban communities, such as drug abuse, lack of economic opportunity and the deficiencies in the inner city education systems. Stic.man felt that the best way for things to improve in communities is for individuals in them to change their mentality about problem solving.

“We as people aren’t really looking at why policies need to be changed in the first place,” Stic.man said. “We have a habit of putting band aids over real issues instead of attacking them directly. We have to evolve our levels of consciousness about things before real change occurs. The first human right is the right to awaken.”

Malhotra also provided a short Q&A period, where individuals in the audience were allowed to ask the panelists their opinions on certain topics. Killer Mike was very outspoken when asked about how a real change can be made when interacting with government officials for change.

“We need to burn that motherfu*ker down!” Mike said. “These politicians can whip and Nae-Nae all they want to on camera, but until we stop trusting officials so easily and confronting them face to face about issues and forcing them to follow their promises, nothing will change. Burn. That. Mother. Fu*ker down!”

IMG_5479.jpg                                                         Photo credit: Lauren Martinez

After the panel concluded, the popular rap and spoken word collective, Soul Food Cypher, entertained guests with an improvised freestyle session and a closing set by DJ Jelly.

The Center for Civil and Human Rights is open to guests Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM, and on Sunday from 12 PM to 5 PM. You can also catch the Soul Food Cypher every fourth Sunday. Locations for meetings can be found on their website.

Johnell Gipson

Written by Johnell Gipson

Topics: hiphop events

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