The International Institute of Peace at Rutgers University in Newark is hoping to use a new international language to bring young people together: hip-hop music and dance. The Institute is sponsoring a one-day “Hip-Hop for Urban Peace” festival on the campus on Oct. 12 – “Dia de la Raza (Day of Race)” -- aimed at “starting a conversation with youth communities in Newark and New Jersey and to implement strategies for youth violence prevention,” according to Aldo Civico, founder and director of the Institute.
The hip-hop event is designed to bring together young people from diverse backgrounds for a productive program of workshops, dance and film, including the painting of murals, a break-dancing class, poetry readings, and hip hop concerts. The event is free and open to the public; outdoor activities will take place on the Norman Samuels Plaza (rain location: Essex Room, Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.)
“Throughout Latin America as well as in the United States among the Hispanic community, Oct. 12 is celebrated as the Day of Race, in memory of the first encounters of Europeans with Native Americans. It is an important day in which Hispanic activists rally to promote social justice and inclusion,” explains Civico. The Institute will mark the day with programs that will “bring together young people of different ethnicities to express their imagination and commitment to build a peaceful society, where diversity lives in harmony and where conflicts are resolved through nonviolent means,” states Civico.
From 10 a.m. – noon, participants will paint murals, listen to poetry readings in Spanish, and learn to break-dance. From noon to 3 p.m., a series of bands will play hip-hop music, beginning with Reyes del Bajo Mundo, a Salvadorian hip hop group. They will be followed by Mafu Crew, a Puerto Rican reggaeton group. The concerts will end with a performance by Rebel Diaz, a group which combines classic boom bap tradition with hip-hop’s global impact. All of these events will be on the Samuels Plaza.
The days’ program concludes with a two-part event in the Essex Room, Paul Robeson Campus Center, that begins at 4 p.m. with the screening of the film El Regreso de Lencho, followed at 5:45 p.m. by a conversation with the film’s director, Mario Rosales of Guatemala.
El Regreso de Lencho is the first full-length film by four-time Emmy Award-winning director Mario Rosales. El Regreso de Lencho portrays one man's journey to self-knowledge and action. Fused with contemporary rap music, modern dance, graffiti art, murals and poetry, the film holds wide appeal for youth in the United States as well as throughout Latin America. The film premiered at the Havana New York Film Festival in March 2011.
The program is sponsored by the International Institute for Peace and the Rutgers Office of Academic and Public Partnerships in the Arts and Humanities, New Brunswick.
ABOUT THE IIP NEWARK
The mission of the Rutgers IIP, founded in May 2011 and based at Rutgers in Newark, is to foster a culture of peace through education, research and practice by strengthening the human potential for dialogue and negotiation. IIP Director Aldo Civico has been engaged in peace-building work in hot spots of the world, ranging from Palermo, Italy, where he worked in the anti-Mafia social movement, to Colombia, where he has been engaged in peace talks between the government of Colombia and the guerrillas. Civico is an assistant professor in anthropology. For more information on the IIP, please go to http://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/iip.
Media Contact: Carla Capizzi