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Hiphop and Student Empowerment: A Faculty and Staff Workshop

Dr. Tasha Iglesias, “Dr. Freeze”, and Clemente “Kid Freeze” Moreno, led over forty ASA faculty and staff members during two workshops at ASA’s Manhattan Campus on Friday, December 13th. Workshop participants were introduced to Dr. Tara Yosso’s Cultural Wealth model, a framework which states that students possess a wealth of assets – aspirational, linguistic, familial, social, navigational, and resistance. Faculty and staff witnessed, in the story of Clemente “Kid Freeze”, how these assets are inherent in hiphop culture and the lives of our students. Kid Freeze shared his story as a hiphop pioneer, the break dancer who invented the continuous head spin and various other power moves. Dr. Iglesias then asked ASA faculty and staff to consider how they might develop different aspects of our students’ cultural capital.

After the workshop, faculty member Christopher Lobo commented that he appreciated the opportunity to work in a group with members of the staff, which allowed for the sharing of perspectives. Professor Lobo took particular interest in the concept of “Resistance capital”, which describes the strength that marginalized communities possess as a result of having secured more equal rights and freedoms. “Not that I hadn’t valued Resistance capital in my students before, but it’s nice to have a framework that argues for this perspective,” said Professor Lobo.

This workshop was the beginning of a yearlong collaboration between ASA College and Dr. Iglesias’s organization HHAAE. She will be available throughout the year to mentor faculty and evaluate curriculum. Additionally, there will be joint Hiphop and Student Empowerment Symposium held at the beginning of June, and a Global Hiphop Education Conference held during winter break 2021. These efforts will be coordinated with ASA faculty Christian Perticone and Derek Baylor, who serves with Dr. Iglesias as a member of the committee for Hip Hop Education, Research, and Professional Advancement at the Journal of Hip Hop Studies.

ASA College President Jose Valencia, and Provost Shanthi Konkoth are very enthusiastic about this partnership. As President Valencia said with respect to students and their ability to persist towards their degree, “We don’t want to lose any of them. Whatever we can do to help our students to succeed, we must do.”

 

 

 

 

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