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Founded in March 2002, the Hip-Hop Association [H2A] was formed to facilitate, foster, and preserve Hip-Hop culture. Our mission is to utilize the culture as a tool to encourage critical thinking, social change and unity, while empowering communities through media, education, community building and preservation, and leadership initiatives. Hip-Hop is born of community-based movements, but because of the energy it exudes and the marketable nature of its art forms, it has been co-opted by the commercial industry, and exploited to perpetuate negative stereotypes. Because of the frequency with which well-financed negative imagery is displayed to the public, commercial hip hop often rocks a degrading portrait of life, women and ourselves. Products of irresponsible commercial companies have become the dominant representation of Hip-Hop culture. In response to this misrepresentation of Hip-Hop culture, The Hip-Hop Association (H2A) was formed in March 2002 with the goal of facilitating, fostering and preserving Hip-Hop's original vision.
The Hip Hop Association operates several initiatives: H2O [Hip-Hop Odyssey] is the media initiative of the Hip-Hop Association. With programming like the H2O [Hip-Hop Odyssey] International Film Festival, the Freshest Youth Program, the ODYSSEY Awards, the Director's Cut and the Defuse Media Lab, our mission is to create cultural sustainability & industry longevity by supporting the use of Hip-Hop culture as a tool for social awareness & youth empowerment H2Ed [Hip-Hop Education] is the education initiative of the Hip-Hop Association. With programming like the Summer Teacher Institute, the H2Ed [Hip-Hop Education] Summit, the national Education Committee, and developing projects like the Pre-Regent Exam and H2Ed Guidebook, we promote community and self empowerment through education. The Community Building & Preservation initiative collects, archives, and shares knowledge about the history and power of Hip-Hop culture and uses this information to assist and support individuals, grassroots organizations, and community building institutions that share the same goal. The Hip-Hop Association recognizes that a new generation of leaders have emerged from Hip-Hop culture. In order the foster cultural exchange and continue leadership among members of the global Hip-Hop community, the International Hip-Hop Exchange and World Up! helped us to establish the Hip-Hop Community Fellows Program.
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