Hip-Hop is a springboard, a sounding board, and an inspiration for some of America’s most innovative, creative grassroots initiatives. The 14 year old organization dedicated to educating and empowering the artists and entrepreneurs that shape hip-hop culture A3C knows the importance of supporting creative non-profits working hard to make an impact in their communities.
Last year, A3C launched the Action Summit for social justice to create a place to discuss social justice challenges, learn from community leaders and develop actionable initiatives. This year’s Action Summit features Killer Mike, Talib Kweli and Trae The Truth.
“Hip-Hop and justice have often gone hand in hand, and A3C wants to underline that,” says Mike Walbert of A3C. “Our Action events are our way of paying tribute to this powerful current in the music we love and to help support the music makers and lovers who use this power to do real good in their communities.”
Over the past three years, the A3C Action programs have given more than $30,000 to 17 non-profits chosen from more than 500 applications. In 2018, the A3C Action Accelerator will invite another group of activists seeking to create real change for an intensive bootcamp in Atlanta. Co-developed and led by the Center for Civic Innovation, the training embraces all aspects of growing and running a non-profit: management, sustainability, scalability, messaging and marketing. The one-on-one work with A3C Action participants culminates in a Pitch Night (October 5, 2018) at the Action Summit, where one organization is selected by a panel of judges to receive $10,000 in funding.
“The A3C Accelerator shines light on some of the most incredible grassroots ideas from around the country,” says Rohit Malhotra, Director of the Center for Civic Innovation. “Every year, we are inspired and humbled by the stories of people who, against many odds, are building programs for people in their community. It’s amazing to just be a part of their journey, and in a time like right now, their work is necessary to showcase.”
These grants are often the first, deciding influx of financial support these nascent change-makers see. As Malika Whatley of 2016 winner Chop Art enthused, “A3C Action was the financial first bet that was ever taken on ChopArt from an institution. It helped other funders begin to look at us and make investments as well, and media outlets interested in telling our story.”
This year’s A3C Action Accelerator cohort includes:
Hip Hop Mentoring Cypher Sessions: A creative wellness program that uses hip hop to engage teens on issues of critical thinking, emotional wellbeing, and social justice
Words Liive: a technology-powered, music-based literacy program that automates the connection of literary concepts to popular music by producing lesson plans for educators
Cool Moms Dance Too: Fun, multigenerational fitness and dance classes designed to improve the mental and physical health and connectedness of families
Supreme MCs Rule Hip Hop Expression Program: A music education program that uses hip hop as a gateway to self-discovery and positive coping skills
FlexIn FlexOut: Workshops get youth dancing inside detention and foster care facilities, coupled with programming to continue the mentorship once kids get outside
The public can engage with a passionate community, learn about creative ideas and discover new ways to create change at the Action Summit on October 4-5, 2018 at the Auburn Ave Research Library for African American Studies. Speakers include Talib Kweli, Killer Mike, Shanti Das, Trae the Truth, Dr. David Wall Rice, Representative Bruce Franks, Jr. and other prominent artists, activists, and academics to be announced.
“I think the Action Summit is what makes A3C stand out from the rest of music festivals and conferences,” notes Stic of Dead Prez, “and this aspect represents its investment and involvement in elevating the community consciousness in a real way.”