WASHINGTON, July 26, 2023 – The American Bar Association today announced plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip hop and its intersection with social justice with a two-year collaboration with the Hip Hop Caucus, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization formed in 2004 to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process.
The 50th anniversary of hip hop is Aug. 11.
“Engaging young people today in our democratic process is invaluable,” said ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross. “The ABA’s collaboration with the Hip Hop Caucus will hopefully spark a greater interest in and understanding of the justice system and everyone’s role in making it stronger and more inclusive.”
Hip Hop Caucus leaders and the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice will discuss shared areas of concern. YouTube programming and a four-part webinar series will focus on the impact of hip hop on the broader culture.
The two organizations will also discuss where the legal community is aligned and misaligned with Black, Indigenous and people of color communities and potential strategies for addressing challenges.
“The ABA and Hip Hop Caucus are joining on this journey during this anniversary year and beyond to elevate, inform and engage our legal community on the racial, environmental and economic justice issues within marginalized communities,” said Juan R. Thomas, chair of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice.
The Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Hip Hop Caucus president and CEO, recently appeared on CRSJ’s Chair Chat series to discuss the history of the caucus and the critical role lawyers play in social justice areas that intersect with the hip hop genre, such as voting rights, civil and human rights and environmental and economic justice. (The series runs every Wednesday at 2 p.m. EDT on the section’s YouTube channel.)
“It is an honor to partner with the American Bar Association, one of the nation’s leading legal organizations,” said Yearwood. “This is an incredibly significant partnership that has the potential to convene the hip hop, legal and social justice communities for programming and discussions that address existing and emerging civil rights issues.”
The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice provides leadership within the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties and social justice. Representing over 10,000 members with a wide range of professional interests, the section keeps its members abreast of complex civil rights and civil liberties issues and ensures that the protection of civil rights remain a focus of legal and policy discussion within the ABA and beyond.
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