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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
for information on the upcoming Hip-Hop Summit follow-up
meetings in Los Angeles and Miami.