History

Founded in 2004, Hip Hop Caucus is a national, non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the Hip Hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change. The Hip Hop Caucus emerged from four organizations in 2004: Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Summit Action Network, P. Diddy’s Citizen Change (“Vote Or Die!”), Jay Z’s “Voice Your Choice”, and AFL-CIO’s “Hip Hop Voices.” Over the past decade Hip Hop Caucus has become a sustainable organization with grassroots infrastructure in twenty major U.S. cities. We strategically partner with entertainment industry leaders and national and local advocacy organizations, and we have a respected presence in the halls of the U.S. Congress, the White House, many federal agencies, and the United Nations.

Goals

Establish the culture and practice of voting as part of a desired civic lifestyle through integration of non- partisan election work, issue work, and culture work in a continuous cycle.
Empower and train leaders and volunteers from our communities to be strategic leaders, messengers, and spokespeople for issues critical to equality, justice, and opportunity.
Shape public opinion on critical issues for the Hip Hop Caucus constituency and communities in order to leverage our collective power for policy victories.

Programs

★Strengthening Democracy: Participation and Access: We register, educate, and mobilize voters through our non-partisan “Respect My Vote!” campaign, and we fight against attacks on voting rights and for election system reforms that make voting easier for Americans.
★Climate Change and Environmental Justice: We advocate for action on climate change that will stop and reverse the impacts of climate change that are happening now, particularly from the perspective of communities of color for which pollution and extreme weather are life and death issues.
★Civil and Human Rights: From police violence and criminal justice reform, to quality public education, to health care, to immigration, to women’s rights, to LGBT rights, we lead and act as allies on the biggest civil and human rights issues of this new century. To achieve racial justice, we organize and advocate to preserve and extend constitutionally guaranteed rights to people who have historically been denied their rights on the basis of race.
★Economic Empowerment: We advocate for job creation and training across the country, access to capital for small businesses in our communities, financial literacy training for youth, and divest-invest strategies away from harmful industries to economically empowering solutions.

What we do

★Community Organizing: We organize 14 – 40 year-olds, who identify with Hip Hop Culture, and share values of justice, equality, and opportunity.
★Grassroots Leadership Development: We provide leadership training and real-world civic leadership opportunities for cultural influencers at the grassroots level.
★Communicate to Large Audiences: Through partnerships with artists, celebrities, and media we drive narratives about important issues through cultural channels reaching millions of people.
★Cultivate and Promote Thought Leadership: We source solutions for local to global challenges from our communities and advocate for them to decision makers and influencers.

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People’s Climate Music is a project of Hip Hop Caucus