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The Professional Music Department and Ensemble Department are excited to present this important discussion on hip-hop for Women’s History Month. Panelists will speak about how their work highlights the contributions of women in hip-hop and discuss the issues that often result in women’s stories being relegated to the shadows within hip-hop culture.
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About the Panelists
Ana “Rokafella” Garcia is a New York City native who has represented women in hip-hop dance professionally over the past two decades. She is hired internationally to judge break dancing competitions based on her mastery of the classic hip-hop dance style, and she teaches workshops aimed at celebrating its roots and history. Presently an adjunct professor at the New School, Rokafella is also a documentary filmmaker, having directed All the Ladies Say, which highlights the story and contributions of B-girls.
SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is a Black feminist rap artist and producer from Ithaca, New York, with a Ph.D. in science and technology studies from Cornell University. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the music department at Brown University, teaching classes on rap songwriting and feminist sound studies. She is also the director of audio at Glow Up Games, a women-of-color–led game studio, and a proud member of theKEEPERS hip-hop collective.
Kashema Hutchinson is Ph.D. candidate in the urban education program at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She is also the codirector of the Peers Leadership Fellows Program and the associate director of the Universal Hip Hop Museum’s Education Committee. She creates and uses hip-hop infographics to facilitate discussions on the role of women and history, philosophy, behavioral economics, and class and crime in traditional and nontraditional educative spaces. Her research interests include mattering and marginalization, the socialization of Black girls and women, zero-tolerance policies, and hip-hop pedagogy.
A tireless advocate for girls and women, Michele Byrd-McPhee is the founder and executive director of Ladies of Hip-Hop, a nonprofit organization empowering girls and women through hip-hop culture and arts. A street and Black cultural dance form activist, she has been working for decades to recontextualize spaces and conversations about hip-hop culture along gender, sex, cultural, socio-historical, and racial lines.