Rappers Jim Jones, Rich Boy and Lil Mama will hit the stage for a purpose, when they join various entertainment and sports celebrities for the Entertainers 4 Education Alliances (E4EA) 2007 Stay in School concert tonight (October 17).
The second annual event, hosted by the E4EA, New York radio station Hot 97 and leading online, at-home tutoring provider Catapult Online, will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Manhattan Center in New York.
Performances from hip-hop and R&B artists will be featured, as well as a fashion show from Stay in School concert co-sponsor Lot 29.
For E4EA co-founder Tonya Lewis, the Stay in School concerts serves as a way "to show our children through entertainment that education is important."
"We've brought together some of the coolest music, sports, hip-hop and R&B artists who support education and we're especially excited that Hot 97 and Catapult Online have chosen to partner with us along with our many sponsors including fashion company, Lot 29, who are all encouraging our children to stay in school," Lewis said.
Founded by Lewis and J. P Taylor, the Entertainers 4 Education Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth by utilizing resources from the music and entertainment community to promote education and positive decision making to young people while providing support and encouraging messages.
The E4EAs creation came amid reaction to a USA Today report which revealed that among the nation's 50 largest districts, New York City, Baltimore and Detroit graduated fewer than 40 percent of their students.
The study further stated that out of the approximately 7,000 students who will drop out of school per school day nationwide, 500 of them will come from New York City high schools.
As a result, Lewis and Taylor sought out celebrities to help encourage kids to stay in school.
"We are always looking for innovative ways to engage students and get them excited about school," Taylor added. "This is another way to utilize those celebrities our students admire to inspire our children."
Other celebrities scheduled to appear at the event include Joseph "Rev. Run" Simmons, Bronx Borough president Adolpho Clarion Jr., Juelz Santana, New York Knicks Legend John Starks, Warner Music Group Executive Vice President Kevin Liles, Nina Sky, Papoose, Red Café, DJ Envy and Jason Fox.
Lot 29 celebrity spokesmodel and Americas Next Top Model winner Jaslene Gonzalez will also be on hand to lead the apparel brands fashion showcase, which will feature 16 looks from the Lot 29 Fall/Winter '07 Collection.
Stay in School concert sponsors include AllHipHop.com, Hot 97, Music Choice, Right On Magazine, Black Beat Magazine, and Vibe Magazine. Tickets for the event are available now at www.ticketweb.com.