On Friday March 21st Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, will headline a community townhall style gathering in Rochester New York focused on solutions to Black youth profiling and criminalization in the US. The discussion is one in a series of events that Rap Sessions is conducting around the nation in 2014 under the theme, “America’s Most Wanted: Hip-Hop, The Media and the Prison Industrial Complex.”
The event, hosted by the University of Rochester, hopes to engage area youth in a candid, consciousness-raising discussion about the ways entrenched economic and criminal justice public policy continue to contribute to the school to prison pipeline for too many Black and Brown youth— a trend highlight by the President Obama’s recently announced My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.
“Black youth criminalization is one of the most important human rights issues of our time,” says Bakari Kitwana, director or Rap Sessions. “For this generation of young Americans, Trayvon Martin has become a symbol of their collective fight for human dignity and self respect. We are honored to have Sybrina Fulton participate in the Rochester discussion.”
Moderated by hip-hop artist and activist Jasiri X, the Rap Sessions discussion will feature a panel of scholars, activists and artists including Director of Stop the Killing Inc. Arthur Silky Slim Reed, Michael Skolnik and NAACP Criminal Justice Director Niaz Kasravi who will lead the discussion. Beyond Rochester, institutions hosting forums around the country this year include Lehigh University, the University of Colorado, and the University of Chicago, among others.
Founded in 2005, by hip-hop activist and author Bakari Kitwana (The Hip-Hop Generation), Rap Sessions in 2014 continues its tradition of engaging youth in difficult dialogues facing the Hip-Hop Generation.
For more information go to www.RapSessions.org.