Saturday, July 7, 2007

Draft Washington State Hip Hop Congress Proposal

* This document was an email I sent out in July of 2007 to all parties named. I was brand spanking new to the nonprofit world, and really just in the beginning of my relationship with most of the individuals/groups named. Grand visions. Needless to say, this particular idea never came to fruition. 

Establish a Washington State Chapter of Hip Hop Congress, collectively owned and operated by influential stakeholders in the Seattle Hip Hop Community, with the authority to do business as a foreign not-for-profit corporation in the state of Washington as Hip Hop Congress, Block Union Teamsters, 206 Zulu, Seattle Hip Hop Youth Council, and Dope Emporium.

Through the vehicle of Hip Hop culture, Hip Hop Congress mobilizes, organizes, and empowers our communities through promoting civic engagement, cooperative economic self-determination, social responsibility, and cultural creativity. 

The establishment of a regional and national infrastructure to strengthen and unify existing movements and emerging forces in Hip Hop to support cultural, economic, and social justice advancement.

Theory of Change:
By bridging gaps between academic, activist, and entrepreneurial networks within the cultural base of Hip Hop, we provide the platform to identify, address, and impact critical issues affecting our constituency. 

Interim Objectives of the Organization:

1) Provide a communications and public relations infrastructure within Seattle Hip Hop that strengthens and maximizes impact of our endeavors through presenting a unified front to the broader community. 

2) Develop tax-structure and fundraising strategy to seek public funding, grants, sponsorships, and revenue generation opportunities, consistent with mission of this organization, to fund operational budgets for programs and events directed by Seattle Hip Hop Youth Council, 206 Zulu, Union Block Teamsters, Media Coalition, and Dope Emporium chairs, as well as others designated by the Board. 

3) Develop programs to collectively strengthen and empower locally-accountable urban arts media in the Northwest including but not limited to 1) seeking opportunities to fund production and promotion of independent urban arts media outlets, and 2) seeking opportunities to provide technological and informational resources to support the development of infrastructure within existing independent urban arts media. 

4) Encourage the professional development of our constituency through 1) supporting in part travel expenses to events that provide important education and networking opportunities within our sector, including but not limited to Hip Hop Congress National Conference, The H2ed Hip Hop Education Summits, The National Hip Hop Political Convention, The Universal Zulu Nation Anniversary, music conferences, etc. 2) providing trainings, workshops for skills.

Initial Process

Step 1: Hammering down the legalities of incorporating in Washington State so that directors of existing programs (e.i. Block Union Teamsters, 206 Zulu, Dope Emporium, and Seattle Hip Hop Youth Council) are satisfied with the governance of the chapter, as well as the impact of incorporation on their respective organizations. This will involve a series of meetings and close communications between interim executive members, and with Jordan Bromley, who is the lawyer and member of Hip Hop Congress’s national Board of Directors. At the end of this process, we will have specified the necessary powers and liberties of the Washington State Hip Hop Congress BOD in relationship to HHC National, as well as specified powers, liberties, and responsibilities of the executive committee members and program directors. 

Interim Board of Directors 

Executive Officers:
President and Chairman of the Board: Jamal “Jace Ecaj” Farr
Secretary: Amanda “Beloved1” Cumbow
Interim Treasurer: Jen Johnson, Seattle Debate Foundation
Vice President: Julie Chang Schulman
Vice President: Daniel “Khazm” Kogita
Vice President: Kwame “Wyking” Garrett
Vice President: Ghetto Prez
Other Officers:
Seattle Hip Hop Youth Council Program Director: Kwame “Wyking” Garrett
206 Zulu Program Director: Daniel “Khazm” Kogita
Union Block Teamsters Program Director: Ghetto Prez
Media Coalition Program Director: Julie Chang Schulman 
Dope Emporium Program Director: Jamal “Jace Ecaj” Farr

Step 2: Nominate other vested stakeholders in the broader Seattle Hip Hop Community to serve on the Board of Directors. The target constituency is those responsible for cultural production in the Northwest Hip Hop Community. This cluster includes individual artists and arts collectives, cultural organizations, academia and the campus, education and youth service organizations, the local music and entertainment industry, and the activist organizations that centralize their work around Hip Hop. In addition to providing more opportunities for resource-sharing, collaboration, cross promotions, and networking within the Seattle Hip Hop Community, the collective reach of the organization should also serve as a rapid response mechanism to educate, inform, and mobilize our constituencies around critical issues which impact the region, such as police brutality, nightlife legislation, media policy, housing justice and gentrification, city politics, etc., which should be kept in mind during this process. People must be elected to the founding BOD of the Washington State Chapter by a unanimous vote from the interim executive committee. 

Step 3: Finalization of legal documents, final amendments to organizational structure, etc. 

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