Black History Month Event

Week-long series to use hip-hop to teach urban youth survivor skills

The Good Life Youth Foundation is using the power of Hip-Hop culture to address current challenges of violence affecting urban youth.

During school’s Winter Break, Feb. 16 through Feb. 20, from noon to 3 p.m. daily, The Good Life Youth Foundation will present a series of interactive workshops filtered through Hip-Hop and focused on providing life skills that can instantly impact the lives and outcomes of those in attendance.

“What Every Youth Needs to Know to Survive” is the series’ theme. The workshops aim to impart life skills to youth.  The event features rappers, activists, leaders and community members who will give youth vital building blocks for survival.

By bringing the youth, community and youth service stakeholders, parents and all other interested parties together Good Life and its’ partners look to start the work of change. Central to this approach however, is using Hip-Hop to bridge connection to at-risk youth.  To move from opportunity to access while introducing understanding and skill-sets necessary to influence meaningful change in the lives of the youth, and those charged with leading them.

This first installment will focus on rapper J. Cole’s latest album “2014 Forest Hills Drive” and the content and lyrics that convey a real message of action. As a special element, Good Life was fortunate enough to enlist the help and support of international producer, global motivator and founder of Reaching For Higher Ground Consulting Sean McLeod.

McLeod will bring McLeod Technique and its celebrated emotional development and personality development modules to the series, helping guests and participants identify and learn from the life lessons harvested in the sessions.

Other prominent guests speakers will include rapper and activist Wise Intelligent, singer and song-writer Poison Ivory and Hip-Hop journalist and deputy editor of Bossip’s, Alvin “Aqua” Blanco.

“This innovative and unique approach using a popular rap artist’s entire album alongside key figures in the music industry to bring understanding to youth is rare.  Often modern hip-hop can’t be used in such a way because of its graphic content or adult themes” says Executive Director of Good Life Hasan Stephens. “Hip-Hop is the culture many young people breathe and sleep, so naturally we speak the language they need to hear the messages they require to survive.”

Stephens, is also known by the name “DJ Maestro,” and is the official DJ for Syracuse University Basketball and Athletics. He founded Good Life Youth Foundation in 2012 to address the increasing numbers of youth centered violence, the incarceration and recidivism rate, with focus on ushering youth and their families out of poverty.


About the Webinar:

What: “It’s A Cold World: What Every Youth Needs to Know To Survive”

When: Noon to 3 p.m. daily, Monday, Feb. 16 through Friday, Feb. 20

Where: South Side Innovation Center, 2610 S. Salina St.

To RSVP: Call (315) 281-9690



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