Martha Diaz is a community organizer, social entrepreneur, media producer, archivist, curator, and educator. For twenty-five years Diaz has traversed between the hip-hop entertainment industry, public arts sector and academia as a creative social change agent. Diaz founded the Hip-Hop Odyssey International Film Festival, the first and largest event of its kind, spawning an international movement. In 2010, Diaz formed the Hip-Hop Education Center to cultivate and formalize the field of hip-hop-based education. She has published research papers on hip-hop education and is co-editor of the Hip-Hop Education Guidebook, Vol. I and Rebel Music: Resistance Through Hip-Hop and Punk. Diaz recently completed an appointment as a Hip-Hop Archive Research Institute and Nasir Jones Fellow at Harvard University, and is currently a Research Fellow at Harvard’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. She is presently working with director Steve McQueen as the Archive Producer of the Untitled, Tupac Shakur documentary.
Regan Sommer McCoy is a music industry veteran, information technology professional, and active organizer of projects that bring artists, DJs, techies, and scholars together to preserve hip-hop history and promote hip-hop education. She founded the The Mixtape Museum (MXM): an archive project dedicated to advancing public understanding and appreciation of the art, history, and technique of the mixtape. MXM explores how mixtapes changed the landscape of music, encourages protection of DJ-produced mixtapes in danger of deterioration, and seeks to achieve systematic preservation in the DJ community. In April 2016, Sommer organized the first Hip-Hop Hacks, a hackathon for students to explore technology’s role in hip-hop and how the most popular genre in the world inspires technological innovation. She will begin her tenure as a Columbia University Community Scholar in September 2016.
Peter Noel is a journalist with 30 years experience in investigative reporting for The Village Voice, The Amsterdam News and others. Born in Trinidad, Mr. Noel immigrated to New York City in 1978 where he began reporting on instances of police violence against unarmed African American men in Harlem as well the rise of controversial figures like Al Sharpton. In the 1990’s, he also covered the Los Angeles riots that followed the Rodney King verdict and post-apartheid election violence in South Africa. He is the author of one previous book, "Why Blacks Fear America’s Mayor: Reporting Police Brutality and Black Activist Politics Under Rudy Giuliani" and was the co-host of The Week in Review on WRKS-FM radio.
Free and open to the public, general admission.
Martha Diaz, community organizer, social entrepreneur, media producer, archivist, curator, and educator; Regan Sommer McCoy, music industry veteran; Peter Noel, journalist with 30 years experience in investigative reporting for The Village Voice, The Amsterdam News, and others.