Seth Markle (Trinity College)

Seth Markle is Assistant Professor of History and International Studies at Trinity College. He is currently working on two book projects, one that examines the impact of Tanzanian independence on the Black Power Movement in the United States during the 1960s/1970s, and the other on the history of Tanzanian hip-hop. A sample of his work is in his remembrance of the Geronimo Ji-Jaga, Godfather of Tupac Shakur, He is active in the production of hip hop culture in Hartford, through art and the radio.

Anička Oravcová (Czech Republic)

Anna “Anička“ Oravcová is a doctoral student at the Department of Sociology at Charles University in Prague. She got her degree in Gender Studies (Faculty of Humanities; Charles University in Prague) where she wrote her thesis on “Female Rappers and Their Position within Czech Hip Hop Subculture”. In her current research, she is focusing on the construction of authenticity, gender and race in Czech rap music. In addition to these scholarly publications; she has also collaborated with the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic on a grant research on current music subcultures in Czech Republic; her chapter is called “Czech Hip Hop Underground”.

Anička is also a radio personality, she is co-hosting a national radio show on Radio Spin 96,2 called “Street Cypher” with Jaro Cossiga, a Czech beatbox legend. Together with BeatBurgerBand they give workshops for high school students where Anička essentially covers some of the key moments in the history of hip hop culture followed by a beatbox tutorial by Cossiga and BBB. As part of the promotion team “Sestry v triku” Anička helps organize events for up and coming hip hop artists including “Hip Hop Subway Series” a jam in Prague’s subway and “Freestyle Mondays Prague” the first open mic with a live band in the Czech Republic and one of few in Europe.

Anička plays an important role in empowering women in hip hop and educating the masses about the true roots of hip hop culture. Her hope is that in the coming years more female rappers will make their way to the limelight and create greater diversity in the hip hop community.

Minister Server (HIPHOP Ministries)

David “Minister Server” Tavares – The Hip Hop Life Coach – has been called, “a dynamic Hip Hop Leader with the spiritual conviction of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the motivational skills of Les Brown and the coaching style of Phil Jackson!” A true Hiphoppa, he has spent over 25 years dedicated to the development, growth and preservation of Hiphop culture.

Since 1992 Minister Server has worked with Nation Time Syndicate, Inc.; a faith-based Hip Hop collective in Atlanta, GA, where he has utilized his skills as a writer, activist, organizer, promoter, speaker, historian, photographer, consultant and Executive Director. He is also the former producer and co-host of two radio shows on WRFG 89.3FM in Atlanta, GA; “The Conscious Zone”, which specialized in progressive Hip Hop music with uplifting messages and “Tu Wa Moja”, a Hiphop spiritual talk show where people had the opportunity to call in for his on-air opinion, advice and guidance on various spiritual, cultural, educational and political topics.

After being ordained as a Reverend in 2003 through the Barbara King School of Ministry in Atlanta, Georgia, the Teacha-KRS-ONE, named Minister Server as one of his spiritual advisors and appointed him as Minister and National Organizer with the Temple of Hiphop. During that time, Minister Server toured throughout the country several times with KRS-One and the Temple of Hiphop lecturing, Emceein, Deejayin, organizing and counseling diverse audiences from the clubs to the colleges inspiring people from Coast to Coast to fulfill their divine purpose!

In 2004, Minister Server displayed his spiritual, poetic and lyrical skills to the world when he rocked on five songs on the “classic” KRS-ONE “Keep Right” CD. Known for giving positive, inspirational and practical spiritual advice for a variety of Hip Hop artists, individuals and organizations, Minister Server is truly earning the respect of the international Hip Hop Nation as the “Minister of Hip Hop culture”! KRS-One states, “I searched for 10 years trying to find someone that could assist me in continuing the work of the spiritual development of the Hip Hop Nation; Minister Server is like our Melchiezedek!”

In 2005, Minister SERVER returned to Atlanta, GA to continue his mission and was inspired to become the Founder and Spiritual Director of HIPHOP Ministries, Inc., a multi-faith, multi-cultural, multi-racial ministry that teaches the ancient metaphysical Truth principles of Jesus the Christ, the Holy Bible and other ancient wisdom as a methods to enlighten, inspire and empower people to live their divine purpose through Hip Hop culture! The Hip Hop community is anticipating the release of his first published book “Food For The Spirit: Life, Lessons & Suggestions”, which details practical metaphysical lessons, personal testimonies and suggestions for Hip Hop self-empowerment.

Born and raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Minister Server is the living embodiment of his personal life philosophy; “Time + Effort = Success”, which has allowed him to follow his destiny, overcome obstacles and achieve “victory over the streets”! Minister Server currently resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife and children.

Carol O'Connor (Rhyme-N-Reason Foundation)

Carol O’Connor is the president of the Rhyme-N-Reason Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists talented youth from Jackson, Mississippi, to Cape Town, Ghana, focusing on education via hip hop. Ms. O’Connor has spent most of her life in education, teaching both high school and college level English courses. Her PhD work at the Jackson State University focused on hip hop and education. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a M. Ed from the University of Guam. She has lived all around the United States and abroad in Ghana and Dubai. She currently works in Hawassa, Ethiopia teaching English using hip hop.

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