Monday, February 18, 2008

Draft Proposal for 2009 Hip Hop Congress/UZN Conference/Partnership

* Note: This was a draft proposal for Universal Zulu Nation to partner with the 2009 Hip Hop Congress National Conference in Seattle, with questions and notes. It was emailed by me to King Khazm, Shamako Noble, and Mark Luv. It was never finished, finalized, or sent out to anyone else, at least not by me. I wrote this document myself, and most of the people proposed as "organizing committee members" in the bottom section did not know they were included in this draft due to the fact that it was never finished and/or sent to them. I want to state that explicitly in case posting this draws controversy....I backdated this blog entry to the day the email was originally sent, but this was really not posted until August 24th, 2012.


July 29th to August 1st, 206 Zulu will be hosting the 2009 Hip Hop Congress National Conference in Seattle, Washington in collaboration with Umojafest, Seattle’s oldest African American Festival and Parade, and Dope Emporium, Seattle’s only Hip Hop festival. In addition, the UZN World Supreme Council has accepted the proposal to hold a National Universal Zulu Nation Summit in conjunction with the conference. This summer, not only will we be galvanizing and strengthening current energies within with the Seattle Hip Hop movement, we will be making history by bringing together Hip Hop’s founding family, the Universal Zulu Nation established in 1974, with Hip Hop’s first international 501(c3), Hip Hop Congress, founded in 1997, incorporated in 2000. This move will be monumental to the scene and to Hip Hop organizing nationally.

Brief Overview:

This conference will have no panel discussions. Thursday and Friday of the conference will be split between action oriented planning and training and youth-centered workshops. UZN, HHC, UPC, Dope Emporium and partners will organize and coordinate the workshops as determined by committees. 

Expected outcomes for planning and training sessions include:
1) network building 
2) media coalition development 
3) artist and industry training (digital distribution, effective promotions online and in the streets, etc) 
4) Hip Hop education coalition development 
5) Revenue Generation and Fundraising strategies for organizations, artists and collectives 
6) “OurStory” local Hip Hop History Documentation Initiative
7) collective analysis on the current appropriation of the Hip Hop movement through Hip Hop organizing and development of strategies to counteract. 

At least two breakout sessions on each of those days will be allotted to youth workshops. The primary objective of all youth-oriented sessions is to keep young people engaged after the glitz and excitement of the conference. Strategies to do this include:
--providing transportation for young people to get to and from the sessions from different community center pick up points.
-developing dope blackbooks to give to youth attendees with key conference, community, media, and organization information, plus areas they can fill in, contacts lists, workshop notes, surveys, rhymes, art,  etc.  
-developing workshop themes around contests/competitions/projects that require follow up

Saturday we will celebrate art, culture, and community in collaboration with Umoja Festival and parade. 

Sunday will potentially include a semi retreat for women in Hip Hop/malikas (Kitty?). 

In addition:
-media specials
-shows/afterparties and mixers
-over the course of the conference, we are dedicated to engaging in some mode of direct action on the issue of youth violence impacting Seattle and many other communities across the country. 

Local Partner Profile:

Dope Emporium was founded by Seattle Hip Hop pioneer Jace Ecaj as a community owned and operated “storefront” into the thoughts, creativity, and vision of the Northwest Hip Hop scene. In its launch in 2006 at the Capital Hill Arts Center, it drew a potent all ages crowd of artists, educators, activist, and independent media from across the region. It has since grown into a staple feature of Georgetown’s Artopia Festival for two years in a row, drawing hundreds of spectators and participants, and spotlighting the multifaceted talent and ingenuity of local Hip Hop culture through two stages and eight hours of live entertainment. As a collaborative production from Seattle’s diverse Hip Hop scene and a catalyst for community building, Dope Emporium is a key partner for the 2009 Hip Hop Congress National Conference. More information available at  HYPERLINK ""

The spirit of the Umoja Fest African Heritage Festival & Parade is one that spans more than five decades, making it Seattle’s oldest Black community festival. A tradition since the 1940s, Seattle has hosted the annual African American community festival and parade as a celebration of the city’s ethnic diversity. 206 Zulu has been proud to debut our Hip Hop Float and Parade Troup in the Umojafest for two years in a row. This year, Umojafest Peace Center was established in the Central District in direct response to the youth violence in the city, and is rapidly becoming a centralizing point for activists and organizers in the Hip Hop and youth service grassroots. In 2009, we are proud to partner with Umoja Fest as a staple of our Seattle community, and look forward to inviting attendees of the Hip Hop Congress National Conference to march together with us and share the spirit of the UPC’s “Museum Without Walls.” More information available at  HYPERLINK "" and  HYPERLINK ""

Brief National Perspective:

The Universal Zulu Nation is the founding family of Hip Hop. It began as a grassroots, community-based collective organized by Afrika Bambaataa in the Bronx borough of New York in 1973. He is acknowledged internationally as the Godfather of Hip Hop Culture. It was his vision to empower communities by uniting the artistic elements of Hip Hop. UZN stands for: Knowledge, Wisdom, Understanding, Freedom, Justice, Equality, Peace, Unity, Love, Respect, Work, Fun, Overcoming the Negative with Positive, Economics, Mathematics, Science, Life, Truth, Facts, and Faith. Its membership spans across the globe, and UZN’s World Supreme Council acts as its steering committee. King Khazm is UZN’s Westcoast Regional Director.

Hip Hop Congress emerged in California as an arts and culture collective in 1997, and incorporated as a non-Profit in 2000. It evolved into a cultural organizing model that currently includes campus organizing through students and faculty, cultural organizing and networking through artists, activists, and journalists, and the development of a national and international service infrastructure.  With over 50 chapters across the country-both community and campus- at various stages of development, Hip Hop Congress aims to balance supporting the growth and collectively of these chapters, while emphasizing the importance of community engagement on critical human rights issues. HHC is lead by its Board of Directors and National Office of regional coordinators. Julie C is HHC’s Northwest Regional Coordinator. 

HHC and UZN share at least eight key cities of joint operations. These include Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, Portland, Chicago, Sacramento, San Diego, and Seattle. Since the turn of the century, UZN members have collaborated with HHC chapters, artists and organizers fairly consistently in these regions. While there have been occasional chapter beefs and fallouts at various times in this history, HHC and UZN have generally been able to resolve the majority of conflicts that do occur internally, thus creating a powerful foundation for building on the relationship. 

In Seattle, HHC serves as a fiscal sponsor for 206 Zulu. This model of structuralizing the relationship between the two organizations has provided valuable opportunities for funding, resource sharing, networking, and coalition building that has served both organizations well. While this model may not be the answer for every region, it does provide a powerful platform for community-based solution-oriented action amongst HHC and UZN chapters, members, and the broader Hip Hop community. 

Organizing Structure/1st Steps

To ensure that all individual and organizational participants are well represented in the organizing of this conference and afterparties, I propose a three-tiered committee structure. Julie C, Shamako, and Khing Khazm will serve as communication liaisons between these committees that are to be solidified in the next two weeks. Committees will communicate through email and occasional conference calls (HHC has access to conference call numbers for all to use if necessary), and meetings when possible. 

Note here for Mark: I’m asking you and  Danny to look at this and recommend people so we can have a list of names rather than suggestions. Thanks!
Zulu National Organizing Committee: UZN Supreme World Council member Mark Luv (Los Angeles) has agreed to chair the UZN national organizing committee. Suggestions for the UZN National committee include key leaders who are members of both organizations including Asad Jafari (Chicago), Wally Sparxx (Los Angeles), and Julie C or Khing Khazm (Seattle), as well as Zulu leadership in Portland, Sacramento, San Jose, and San Diego. In addition I’d like to specifically nominate Malika Angel (San Francisco), Queen Maleeza (New Jersey), and Akhi Open Hands (New Jersey/formally Seattle), due to their familiarity with Seattle community.

Hip Hop Congress’s National Conference Committee is chaired by Shamako Noble (San Jose/Seattle HHC President, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign education director and Rondavoux Records), and consists of Ron Gubitz (St. Louis, HHC executive director and Teach for American recruitment director), Aaron Berkowitz (Austin, HHC chief operations officer and F5 Records, Cornerstone Marketing, Thumbprint), Rahman Jamaal (Bay Area/LA, HHC Westcoast Regional Coordinator, star of “The Beat,” Academy of Hip Hop), Rachel Street (San Luis Obisbo, HHC marketing and development associate, journalist and promoter), Khalilah Collins (Louisville, ED of Women in Transition and PPERC coordinating committee member), and Khalid el-Hakim (Detroit, HHC Michigan Regional Coordinator and head of Ironfist Records and curator of African American Mobile Museum), Tina Wright (UC Urvine/Southwest HHC board of directors and coordinator of Urban Teacher’s Network), D-Nick (Chicago UZN, HHC Chicago Regional Coordinator), Quanstar (Atlanta). 

Julie C will serve as chair of local organizing committee, which will include King Khazm (UZN), Gumbeaux (UZN), Wyking (Umojafest), Jace and Blak (Dope Emporium/4BCMusik), Heidi Jackson (UZN), Rahwa (Hidmo), Ghetto Prez (Block Teamster’s Union), Gregory Lewis (BTU/UZN/21st Centruy Matrial Arts), Mariel (Evergreen State College HHC), Scott Macklin (UW/Open Hand Reel), and Mako Fitts (Seattle U HHC). Other suggestions for committee members include Hollis Wear (Canary Sing), Maria Kang and Imani (UPC/MOM), Omari (UPC), B-Girl (BGM), Mariel (Evergreen State College Hip Hop Congress), Suntonio Bandanaz (HHC/UZN) Lulu Carpenter (formally of CARA/Ladies First), Sandra Price (UW social worker/UPC), Korvus(UPC), Beloved1 (B Girl Bench/UZN).

Key Anticipated Attendants: Afrika Bambaataa (okay? Not okay? To put this danny??), M1 of dead prez, Rosa Clemente, OneBeLo, Invincible, Cheri Honkala of The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, JR Fleming of the Coalition to Protect Public Housing, Raj Jaydev, Megabusive, Mextape, AD and other members of the Silicon Valley De-Bug Family, Asheru 

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