Hip Hop Symposium at Willamette University

"The State of the Hip Hop Nation," a Hip Hop culture and politics symposium, will be held Friday, Oct. 8, from 3 to 6:30 p.m. in Paulus Hall, College of Law, Willamette University. The event is free and open to the public. Guests will be asked to register.

At 8 p.m. in Hudson Hall, Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center, the University's Black Student Organization will present a "Celebration of Hip Hop Culture in Action." Featuring music, rappers and breakdancing, the event is also free and open to the public.

The symposium speakers and their topics include:

Hashim Shomari, chief of staff for New Jersey Senator Sharpe James and the author of "From the Underground," will discuss How to be a Political Playa: The Political Empowerment of the Hip Hop Generation;

Bakari Kitwana, former editor of The Source Magazine and author of "The Hip Hop Generation," "The Rap On Gangsta Rap" and "Why White Kids Love Hip Hop," will discuss Coalition Building Across Race: Organizing A Hip Hop Voting Block;

Renee Mitchell, columnist for The Oregonian, will perform Spoken Word Poetry;

Tony Bolden, author of "Afro-Blue-Improvisations in African American Poetry and Culture," will discuss Historicizing African American Expressive Culture: Spirituals to Down Home Blues, Jazz, and Hip Hop;

and Dawn Elissa, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. student in anthropology and education at the University of Florida who has worked with the Harvard Hip Hop Archives, will discuss KobushiAgero! (Pump Ya Fist!): Race and Politics in Japanese Hip-Hop.

The event is sponsored by a Presidential Hewlett Grant and the Willamette University Office of Multicultural Affairs, Tokyo International University of America, Black Student Organization and the Black Lawyers Student Association.