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Russell Simmons Forms Hip-Hop Summit Action Network

russell-2

Russell

Simmons, organizer of the historic Hip-Hop

Summit that took place in New York recently and served

to galvanize the hip-hop community around the theme

of "Taking Back Responsibility," has taken

another step forward toward accomplishing its goals

and formed the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, dedicating

to realizing the initiatives that came out of the Summit.

The national

headquarters will be located in New York within the

offices of The Source magazine, with field offices in

Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. Executive Director

of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network will be Minister

Benjamin (Chavis) Muhammad, who also acted as executive

producer of the Summit.

In addition,

the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network also announces the

formation of its board, which will include such members

as Russell Simmons, the Reverend Al Sharpton, Sean "Puffy"

Combs, Minister Benjamin Muhammad, Dave Mays, Def Jam

President Kevin Liles, Motown President Kedar Massenburg,

Loud Records CEO Steve Rifkind and Interscope/Geffen/A&M

Executive Vice President Steve Stoute.

"The

Hip-Hop Summit Action Network will be inclusive and

representative of the entire hip-hop community, which

has emerged on the global scene as the most significant

cultural and socio-political force of the 21st century,"

commented Minister Benjamin.

Added The

Source publisher Dave Mays, "Realizing the goals

that came out of the Hip-Hop Summit is something we’re

all very serious about, so we are very happy to extend

the use of our offices as the headquarters for the Hip-Hop

Summit Action Network. We look forward now to working

with Russell, Minister Ben and the other members of

the board to help our community realize the power it

holds to create positive and proactive change and to

also celebrate and inform the world about the good works

this community already has accomplished."

Unprecedented

in its scope and level of cooperation, the Hip-Hop Summit

drew together more than 300 hip-hop artists and executives,

Congressional Representatives, as well as some of the

most influential civil rights leaders and organizations

in the country. Martin Luther King III, the NAACP, the

Urban League, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference,

Million Family Movement, the Nation of Islam, Nkiru

Center for Education & Culture, The Schomberg Center

for Research and Culture and Rock/Rap The Vote all lent

their support. At its conclusion, the Summit served

to "not only bridge generational gaps, but also

to link the financial and political acumen of the social

groups with the rappers’ youth outreach capabilities."

(USA Today, 6/18/2001). Through this potent alliance,

the initiatives that were created at the close of the

Hip-Hop Summit are already being acted upon. The initiatives

included Parental Advisory Labeling for CDs and its

subsequent marketing and advertising; Industry Adoption

of Hip-Hop Mentoring Programs and Political Empowerment

of the Hip Hop Community.

"The

hip-hop community has been incredibly receptive to our

attempt to organize and mobilize their efforts toward

making young people’s concerns a priority in Washington

and in US government, in general," commented Russell

Simmons. "We’re very excited and we are sure their

input will help to shape a better America."

Stay tuned

for information on the upcoming Hip-Hop Summit follow-up

meetings in Los Angeles and Miami.

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