The Great Debate
Is Hip Hop corrupted when used as tool for education in schools?
Witness an historic debate about Hip Hop and education featuring renowned Hip Hop scholars, educators, youth, artists, activists and public intellectuals.
Saturday, March 28th, 1-2:30pm
Chair: Karen Murray
Karen Murray is currently the Program Co-ordinator in the Toronto District School Board. In this capacity, Karen designs and supports the professional learning of new teachers within the first four years of their teaching experience. She also creates professional learning opportunities for mentor teachers and experienced teachers focusing on curriculum design, teacher leadership, an issues of equity and social justice. Karen was previously a Student Achievement Officer with the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ministry of Education and was also the first William Waters Teacher in Residence at the University of Toronto.
George Elliot Clarke
George Elliott Clarke pioneered the study of African-Canadian literature. He is alsoan award-winning poet and novelist, as well as a playwright, essayist, screenwriter, journalist, and opera librettist. His books have been translated into Chinese, Italian, and Romanian. He is the E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto, the Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15), and a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia.
Braxton "HiPPYxHop" WignallBraxton is an emcee, student, and mentor. As a student in Lost Lyrics, Braxton found his love for Hip Hop and writing, and now facilitates workshops for youth throughout the city of Toronto.
The Tough Times and writes a sports column, from a radical’s perspective, for the progressive bimonthly Canadian Dimension. His writing has appeared in The Independent, the International Socialist Review, Relay, New Labor Forum, on rabble.ca, and in Canada’s hip hop magazine POUND. He also contributes op-eds on social issues to The Toronto Star, Canada’s most-read daily newspaper. Black’s work has been republished on websites from the UK and Latin America to Australia and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Tina Khan has her Masters in Education from OISE/UT and has been teaching at the Toronto District School Board for 17 years. She created the Each1 Teach1 program to create space for Black students who were vulnerable to educational disengagement. The Each1 Teach1 program uses hip-hop pedagogy to teach youth about identity, social justice and art by partnering with hip-hop practitioners and progressive community members. Currently the program is running a credit course in the school, a weekly workshop series and an afterschool arts program.
Audrey Hudson is an Artist Educator and Doctoral candidate, where her study looks at Hip-Hop as a means of solidarity between Black and Indigenous communities. She believes in the power of Hip-Hop and the work it can do in decolonizing education.
A B-Boy, teacher and mentor, J Rebel is a member of the world-renowned breakdancing crew, Supernaturalz, J-Rebel has taught classes and worked in school boards as a community educator and youth worker. His program, called Don’t Believe the Hype, engages youth who are typically labeled “disengaged” or “at risk” in critical thinking by addressing complex social issues through the art and culture of Hip Hop.
Chris "Wasun" Harris
Chris “Wasun” Harris holds a PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. As a lead Youth Organizer at the Black Action Defense Committee, and founding Program Director at For Youth Initiative, Chris organized African-Canadian youth gangs and disengaged high school students in Toronto’s West-end for 10 years. Chris is the founder of the social justice hip hop education centre, Freedom Justice Academy and author of academic articles on African-Canadian History, Anti-Racist Youth Organizing, and Hip Hop Education.