Russell Simmons and his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network held a successful event yesterday (March 10) in Syracuse New York for 2,700 students at five area high schools, countering reports that it was cancelled.
The event featured Rev Run, Fabolous, Dougie Fresh, who all talked to students about social responsibility and positive actions at the Carrier Dome.
"If you don't start somewhere, you don't go nowhwere. It's about creating awareness. Hip-hop has tremendous power and we can use it to make positive change," said beat box Doug E. Fresh to Newsday. The HSAN intends to register two million voters by the 2004 election.
Most of the students were in favor of the event and felt enriched by the messages offered to them.
"Everything the artists had to say was phenomenal," said Natasha Alford, a senior at Nottingham High School.
She continued, "Today showed that we can come together, we can be positive. We can learn something from these artists, that they have something to offer other than what's in their videos or on their records.
Although there were mild complaints, Syracuse Superintendent Stephen C. Jones went with the event as an alternate way to reach a segment of the student body considered at risk.
About 40-percent of the student were excused from the event in favor of a half-day at school.
Initial wire reports stated that the event failed to generate the necessary funds, but the reports were false.