Updated: Dec 6, 2021
2020 Update: Who knew the situation we'd find ourselves in a year later? It's a tough time for so many people around the world, and maybe even more of an important moment to consider the means we might have to help our local and global communities.
As an update, we've added three more Hip Hop organizations below, however we also want to give a special shout-out to all the additional tireless Black-led organizations and activists whose work has had incredibly impact on the fight for racial justice. Not only this year, but every year. As a small way of honoring and centering them in addition to the Black-led Hip Hop orgs listed that also this work, we're including a few extra orgs below and encouraging folks to support and learn more about their amazing work:
The Movement for Black Lives - National coalition of more than 50 orgs.
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation - Founded in 2013, and now in the US, UK, and Canada.
Black Organizing Project - Grassroots org based in Oakland, CA.
Color of Change - National. Online campaigns for racial justice.
It's #GivingTuesday and we wanted to take a moment to honor and show some support to some of the Hip Hop non-profits doing great work out in the world. Click the name of each org below to be taken to their websites or other pages. Please note that we could not find direct donation links to some of these orgs, and took into account that not everyone have the means to support financially, but there are many ways to give! So give them a follow, give them your time and volunteer, or find other ways to support their work. In the end, it's the causes they work with that are at the heart of what they do.
Let us know which Hip Hop org you would like to highlight!
The GR818ERS (pronounced ‘great-one-eighters’) started as youth collective in 2010, focusing on the disenfranchisement of their community in Pacoima, Los Angeles. As their movement grew, they later established the non-profit organization "AWOKE" through which they continue their great work in youth and community development. In 2019, they opened the UNITE Cultural Center (UNITE) in the Canoga Park-neighborhood. Another noteworthy fact is that several of their leaders are world-renowned streetdancers and DJs, and they regularly throw streetdance battles. With many events moving online, so has their annual "Flava of the Year" competition. Check out the flyer below with donation info.
If you're familiar with JasiriX, prepare to see a familiar face when checking out 1Hood Media. The rapper and activist helped co-found what is now an intergenerational and intersectional collective using art and activism to address social justice issues that affect their community and beyond.
If you want to support this Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based organization, consider donating or hiring them for services like consulting or one of their many dope workshops such as "AMERICA’S MOST WANTED: HIP HOP, THE MEDIA, AND MASS INCARCERATION" or "HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIP HOP WITHOUT SELLING YOUR SOUL".
As hinted in the name, this org is widely known for its annual Hip Hop festival that centers women-identified dancers and artists. They aim to provide artistic opportunities for girls and womxn, while educating and cultivating future generations of leaders in Hip Hop.
This year, as many other events, their festival and other programs have gone virtual. Check out some of the clips on their Instagram page @ladiesofhiphop, grab some official LOHHF-gear on their website, or send some cash money to support!
Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU) started in February 2006 out of the belief that hip hop can be used as a tool to engage and empower disadvantaged youth in Kampala and other areas of Uganda. Its mission is to engage young people in elements of the hip hop culture to build leadership skills and promote social responsibility. The Project has attracted people from every walk of life and acts as a catalyst for building mutually beneficial relationships between people of different social status across Uganda and the rest of the world. It serves to teach people breakdancing and how to pass on those skills to others, as well as promoting leadership skills, social responsibility and positive change to members and local communities. BPU was also featured in the 2010 documentary film "Bouncing Cats" (trailer above), narrated by Common.
Although we couldn't find a direct donation link, it's worth it to give a follow on their platforms and found out more about the beautiful work they do in Uganda. You can also reach out to book their dancers for workshops and shows.
Hip Hop For Change uses grassroots activism to raise awareness about socio-economical injustices to historically marginalized communities and advocate solutions through Hip Hop culture. Our education program THE MC; Theory Of Hip Hop Music and Culture is a modular curriculum that explores the history and elements of Hip Hop, tying themes of social-justice, equity, and tolerance.
Hip Hop for Change was our other partner org at BEATS & MINDS, and held the panel on "Hip Hop Education: The Next Frontier". Such an inspirational conversation.
All The Way Live utilizes dance as a means to reach out to underprivileged and at-risk youth in marginalized communities locally & globally, working to fill the gaps left by public institutions with a safe environment to develop and create self-expression through dance. ATWL are currently fundraising for their trip to the mountainous regions of Taiwan to work with indigenous youth, bringing a team of dedicated dancers with them. To get more updates on the Taiwan project, follow their Facebook page.
They were also one of our partner orgs at the BEATS & MINDS Hip Hop conference and facilitated the panel on "The Global Impact of Hip Hop Dance". BIG shout out to them and the work that they do!
The artistry and culture of Hip Hop has significant real world applications, yet its power to engage, unify, heal, and give voice has often been overlooked, particularly in educational settings.
Today's Future Sound (TFS) directly addresses a lack of culturally responsive educational, therapeutic, and social interventions for people of all ages by bringing [their] mobile music production studio to their door.
We had the pleasure to have TFS join us one of the facilitators at BEATS & MINDS for a much appreciated beat making workshop! You can spend some moneys on them here.
Versa-Style Dance Company seeks to empower underserved and marginalized groups worldwide through the movement and culture of Hip Hop dance by creating groundbreaking concert dance works that represent messages of diversity, inclusion, and equity both on stage and within our communities.
They're currently fundraising for the annual Versa-Style Hip Hop Dance Festival, a 4-day event featuring notable dance legends, workshops, battles, and a showcase featuring LA-based dancers. More updates on this fundraiser here.
As a bonus, we were so happy to have Fullout from Versa-Style come out all the way from LA to join us as a workshop facilitator at our conference, creating a powerful dialogue around bringing Hip Hop and streetdance culture to the classroom.
Photo by Karla Flores, taken at our event "In the Mix" a networking event that also honors Hip Hop icons who have passed on. This was part of the altar made in Pam's honor.
The Purple Pam Foundation was founded by the Warren Family after legendary Hip Hop DJ Pam the Funkstress (a.k.a. Purple Pam after her work as Prince's official tour DJ) died post organ transplant December, 2017 at the age of 51. The outpouring of support for the family from friends, DJs and community prompted the family and close friends to establish this foundation in Pam’s name. The Foundation is a way to honor Pam and carry out her wishes to help others.
Their mission is to:
1. Foster the enrichment of children who are passionate about music and music technology.
2. Cultivate female entrepreneurship in the area of djing, business, the arts and humanities.
3. Encourage equal treatment of women in the entertainment industry.
You can support by purchasing Purple Pam swag on their website, or supporting their DJ scholarship for aspiring women DJs.
We got so much love for Pam and her legacy, having produced the first "In the Mix Networking Mixer" partly as a tribute in her honor, and had the pleasure to have the Purple Pam Foundation join us for the evening.
Beats Rhymes and Life (BRL) is a community-based organization that grew in response to a critical need for therapeutic programs designed specifically to serve boys and young men of color who as a group demonstrate some of the greatest health and social disparities.
Today, Beats Rhymes and Life is a leader in the emerging field of Hip Hop Therapy. BRL is committed to eliminating health disparities by partnering with youth and young adults to make mental health services more accessible and useful to diverse populations. BRL is the only non-profit in the country utilizing teams of trained clinicians, teaching artists and peer mentors to deliver Hip Hop Therapy in major urban settings.
The Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx celebrates and preserves the history of local and global hip-hop music and culture to inspire, empower, and promote understanding. Anchored in the birthplace of the culture, the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx will provide a space for audiences, artists, and technology to converge, creating unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences around the hip-hop culture of the past, present, and future
The museum is planning to open in 2023 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop Culture, and you can support that amazing vision by clicking the link and donating.
Growing up within the multitude of environmental challenges facing marginalized communities, many youth experience tremendous amounts of trauma over the course of their upbringing. This trauma can significantly impede their pyscho-social and emotional development, limit their capacity to form and maintain meaningful relationships, and disrupt their ability to self-regulate. These youth are often resistant to and uninspired by conventional methods of talk therapy. Rhythmic Mind applies a custom designed curriculum using the cutting-edge modality of Hip-Hop Therapy to bridge this gap and provide effective trauma informed services for this often underserved population.
We know we're talking about the BEATS & MINDS conference a lot, but it provided an opportunity to both work with orgs we knew from the community, and learn of ones we didn't know of before, a true meeting of the minds! Co-Founders Max Kline and Jonah Scott joined the panel hosted by Hip Hop for Change, and provided so many thoughtful insights into the topic.
Heal the Hood Project was created in 1998 by Emile Jansen of “Black Noise” one of South Africa’s pioneering Rap Groups and officially obtained its NPO status in 2008. The focus of the organisation came about by the realization of the importance of interaction between various communities and "putting back" to their communities. Emile decided to include all the community outreach projects he was initiating in Black Noise as part of Heal the Hood Project and thus expanding the concept of "putting back". Their mission is to create a sustainable network of youth artists nationally and internationally through which jobs and new skills are created, arts products and arts related information can be distributed.
We recently found out about them through a South African connection. Like Breakdance Project Uganda, we couldn't find a donation link, but give them a follow!
No Easy Props was originally founded in 1997, as a movement to inspire greatness in Hip-Hop, where merits were awarded based on authenticity, hard work, and skills!
Now No Easy Props has been reincorporated as a non-profit as of 2010. No Easy Props is committed to preserving Hip-Hop culture by providing quality Hip-Hop cultural dance, art, and music education, and entertainment for young people through engaging workshops, performances, and competitive events throughout the communities of Los Angeles and beyond. The goal is the provide a platform in which to engage the youth, on their own terms, and build self-esteem, leadership and the importance of cultivating their own individuality and appreciation for diversity, all the while having fun!
The mission of The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy is to broaden public perception of hip-hop music and culture, ensuring that varied and continuing contributions to multiple fields and disciplines are fairly and accurately documented and communicated. The Center focuses on highlighting hip-hop’s contributions in areas including, but not limited to, music and the arts, education, activism, politics, community, health, sciences, well-being and philosophy. In simplest terms, [they] exist to help tell hip-hop’s complete story — past, present and future — from an independent perspective, to educate and inspire while protecting and promoting the cultural, artistic and community-based aspects of hip-hop as a whole.
Formed in 2010, The Hip-Hop Education Center is a community-building organization catalyzing social change and equity by influencing the field of education to be more inclusive and culturally responsive to students through research, professional development, and leadership building.
Check out their website for some great educational rescources!
Words Beats & Life began as a conference at the University of Maryland in the fall of 2000; founders worked to create a vehicle to transform individual lives and communities through Hip-Hop. In 2003, WBL was incorporated as a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status in the District of Columbia and began its first program, the Saturday Arts Academy, which is now known as the Words Beats & Life Academy.
Nepal Hip Hop Foundation (NHF) is a registered NGO in Kathmandu/Nepal (established in 2009) which aims to offer youths "learn-earn-fun" alternatives to drug abuse and violence. Nepal Hip Hop Foundation is a youth centered organization that works directly with young people of different backgrounds and ethnics in Nepal. They particularly focus on those who are disadvantaged to give them hope and opportunities.
NHF believes that everyone can learn and everyone can teach, and has the capacity to be a positive role models to others and leaders bringing positive changes in our society through Hip Hop.
Nepal Hip Hop foundation initiated the concept of using Hip Hop and its elements namely Breaking, Emceeing, Djing and Graffiti as a tool to promote social issues by involving youths. NHF also incorporate income generating possibilities through Hip Hop. With its access to 'respectable' institutions, NHF is able to help Hip Hop culture surface from its misunderstood 'underground' image and become a Respected form of sport dance.
We couldn't find a donation link, but we did find opportunities to volunteer with NHF through Giving Way. It's worth noting that All the Way Live did their last international trip to Nepal where they also worked with NHF as a community partner.