William Peace University Hosting Hip Hop Higher Ed Symposium

March 16, 2023

Public event features performances, and conversations on March 30 and 31

Aspire2Higher Personal & Professional Development, Inc (A2H) developed the symposium to provide the community with an environment to amplify hip-hop culture and scholarship, centering the intellect in the culture. The event, March 30 and 31, includes breakout sessions led by local and national scholars, artists and emcees, and Triangle community members. 

Event organizer Stephanie Reed said the goal is to “explore the intersections of our lived experiences with hip-hop in terms of art, entrepreneurship, gender and sexuality, race, economics, social responsibility and activism, and our collective role as a community.” 

The event will be hosted by Mir.I.Am of K97.5/CEO of Carolina Waves, and performers include Dasan Ahanu, Akilah Nehanda, and CypherUnivercity. In addition, Rah Digga, one of rap’s most prominent women, will participate in community dialogue.

Day one of Hip Hop is Higher Ed at WPU will include a welcome from Reed, performances, a DJ set including hip-hop trivia, karaoke, giveaways, and a keynote address from Kyesha Jennings, followed by a networking reception. Day two, featuring live performances, will be held nearby at Transfer Co Food Hall. 

“This symposium encourages public and academic discourse about hip hop as a vehicle for education and its relationship to racial justice and other social conditions of the BIPOC community,” Reed said. “It’s important to have this event and these conversations because hip hop has proximity to power. It also has a strong influence in the lives of youth and should be used to facilitate learning and empowerment.” 

WPU hosted the event previously but was suspended last year due to COVID. Reed said she is thrilled to partner with the University again to promote conversations around these topics. 

“We are excited to partner with A2H and host a portion of the symposium,” said WPU President Brian C. Ralph. “I am confident that our students and all attendees will grow and learn through this creative and innovative program.”

The symposium is open to the public and free to WPU students, though tickets are required.