WPU Hosts Academic Hip Hop Symposium, April 4-5; Keynote Speaker Dr. Marc Lamont Hill

Mar 6, 2019

Song Courtesy: p.a.t. junior

William Peace University has rescheduled its inaugural Hip Hop and Higher Education Symposium (#HipHopEdWPU) for April 4-5 following Hurricane Florence. The event will focus on public and academic conversations surrounding hip hop’s relationship to social justice and other issues, and will precede J. Cole’s inaugural Dreamville Festival in Dix Park on April 6. A keynote will be delivered on Friday by Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, former BET and HuffPost LIVE contributor and Professor of Media Studies and Urban Education at Temple University.

“The fact that WPU is taking so much initiative to get involved with relevant events within the city, such as Dreamville Fest, is something I’m confident will leave a long-lasting impact on its students and community.”

Ogden Payne, Forbes’ Media & Entertainment Columnist, Panelist at #HipHopEdWPU

The Hip Hop and Higher Education Symposium will feature more than 12 panels, sessions and other events led by local and national scholars, students, and community members discussing hip hop in terms of art, politics, gender, sexual identity, race, economics, violence, criminal justice, policing, social responsibility and activism, and our collective role in addressing each. The symposium especially aims to ask questions about how students and institutions of higher education play a part in these contexts.

“I wish my university put something like this hip hop symposium on while I was a student,” Payne said. “I’m incredibly honored to share a lineup with so many diverse and distinguished speakers.”

WPU is an official education partner of Dreamville Festival, happening April 6th in Dix Park in downtown Raleigh, NC

In addition to Payne serving as a panelist and Dr. Hill as Keynote Speaker, other panelists and speakers include Sascha Stone Guttfreund of ScoreMore Shows, Donovan Livingston of Wake Forest University (Harvard graduate, Ph.D. candidate, poet, educator, and speaker), Cocoa Michelle Williams of Florida State University (award-winning poet and Ph.D. candidate), Dasan Ahanu (recipient of the Nasir Jones Harvard University Hip Hop Fellowship), and more.

In addition, WQOK (K97.5), the Triangle’s top station for hip hop and R&B will be DJing from the two-day symposium. Sodexo, WPU’s dining services partner and in industry leader in food and hospitality services, will serve as an official sponsor.

Registration for #HipHopEdWPU is open to the public and varies in price, ranging from $5-$10. Priority Registration is available now for WPU students, faculty, staff, and alumni through March 13. Registration for the general public will open on March 14. Early Bird pricing ends on March 22. Group rates are also available. The event is hosted by the William Peace University Office of Diversity and Inclusion in partnership with the Office of Academic Affairs.

“The strategic plan, Believe in Peace, is a bold plan focused on Immersive Learning, Innovative Partnerships, Strategic Growth and Distinctive Identity. The Hip Hop and Higher Education Symposium embodies this: it’s an immersive experience that includes innovative partnerships that will also highlight our distinctiveness as a diverse institution,” said Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D., President of William Peace University.

Additionally, WPU will serve as an education partner and sponsor of Dreamville Festival, which is expected to include national and local hip hop acts, including Big Sean, Nelly, Rich the Kid, SZA, and more.

For more information on the symposium, including registration details and information on panelists/speakers, please visit www.hiphopedwpu.com. Press inquiries should be directed to: hiphoped@peace.edu.


Give Courageously to Peace

Thanks to the generosity of William Peace University supporters, current and future WPU students have access to the resources needed to learn through immersive experiences, build upon their courage and develop the confidence needed to turn passion into purpose.
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
a student uses a laptop on a green bench at William Peace University

Give Now

Support future Pacer success. 


Become a Corporate Partner

Find out how your organization can collaborate with Peace.


Whether you’re hoping to attend WPU or hosting an event, you’re welcome to visit WPU! 

Wedding at WPU
Phantom in downtown Raleigh

Conferences and Events

Host your conference, event, or wedding at WPU.

Location and Directions

Get directions, our address, a campus map, and hotel discount information.


Learn about WPU and all it has to offer so you can guide your students to the best fit for their next step. 

Admissions Info

Meet and connect with our Admissions team.

Schedule a Visit

Learn about our processes and schedule a visit.


Our success as an institution has always been rooted in the strength of our community. As an integral part of that community, we invite alumni to stay informed and connected. 

Alumni outside at WPU
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
Building at WPU

Get Involved

Stay connected to Peace.


Contribute to the success of future Pacers.

General Info

Read about alumni benefits.


Families are an integral part of a student’s path to WPU. Find answers to your questions here. 

Two WPU students work together on a project during class

Student Success: Why Choose WPU?

Learn about the value of an education at WPU.

Billing and Due Dates

Questions about your student’s enrollment or billing? Start here.

Current Students

Already a Pacer? Here’s your quick path to information, links, and other useful stuff.

Group of students talking
Students high-fiving each other

Current Students

Missing something? Can’t find a link? Start here.

Current Parents and Families

Is your student a Pacer? Here’s where to get information and contacts.

Future Students

Welcome to William Peace University! We offer programs for both traditional undergraduate students and online/hybrid classes through our School of Professional Studies. Find your path to WPU here.

Three WPU students walk through a brick archway on campus.
Three students discuss their work during class.
Older gentleman at a computer

First Time in College

Your WPU education will help you build practical skills for your future.

Transfer Students

Transfer up to 90 credit hours from any institution. 

Working Professionals

Enhance your existing career.

A WPU student works on a video game in the new esports and gaming lab on campus.
Woman in army green typing at computer
Two female international students


If you previously attended WPU and are ready to return, start here. 


Learn more about how to apply the GI bill.

International Students

Find out how to attend WPU.


WPU has a long history as one of the city’s oldest universities. Find out more about our institution in the heart of downtown Raleigh. 

2023 Student Showcase
Staff Pumpkin Painting


Through 160 years, William Peace University has evolved to meet the changing needs of the students we serve.


William Peace University is a small, private institution located in downtown Raleigh, NC.

Work at WPU

Join our team and see why William Peace University was voted one of the Triangle’s Best Places to Work!

DEI Staff
Design Rendering of WPU

Contact Us

Contact the University

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Learn about DEI at WPU.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Learn about WPU core tenets. 

Student Life

Whether you want to know more about on-campus events or see our residence halls, get a sense of what life is like as a student at WPU.

WPU Student on bouncy slide
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
WPU Safety Officer

Clubs, Activities and Events

Discover what’s fun at WPU.

Housing & Dining

When people say that WPU “feels like home,” we think that’s the ultimate compliment.

Safety & Security

The Office of Public Safety is committed to providing a community-friendly approach to enhancing campus safety for students, faculty and staff.

Dining room at Peace
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
Health and wellness at WPU


Cheer on your Pacers at their next home game.

Student Support Services

Find out how the WPU team supports the whole you.

Health and Wellness

Learn about physical and mental health services available to students.


WPU offers a mix of more than 30 degree programs and additional minors. Our courses are four credit hours each, and every course features immersive learning experiences.

A student in WPU's online School of Professional Studies works on her homework.
2023 Internship Showcase

Immersive Learning

Find out about WPU’s unique approach to learning.

Center for Student Success

Peer tutoring, a first-year success program, and an internship program are just part of why Pacers succeed. 


Start here to find out how to apply, visit, and learn more about WPU.

Before you apply:

Admissions team
students walking on campus
A student reviews scholarship and payment information in the financial aid office.

Connect with an Admission Couneslor

They’ll be your guide through the process.

Visit Campus

Get a feel for campus life.

Understand Costs

Find out about Financial aid and other options to pay for college.