Ohio University will host the second annual B.E.A.T.S. (Building Education through the Arts and Transforming Society) Hiphop Expo from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Grover Center W115.
The expo will celebrate the positive contributions women have made to hip-hop culture and will be made up of interactive, hands-on sessions that are designed to provoke thought on the hip-hop genre The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested by April 15 at www.ohio.edu/aas/hiphop.
"The expo aims to complicate the way people think about hip-hop," said Akil Houston, professor of African American studies and one of the event's co-founders. "Just when you think you understand hip-hop ... add another layer."
Michaela Angela Davis will deliver the expo's keynote speech at noon. As a world-renowned culture critic and writer, she explores the power of urban style, race, gender and hip-hop.
Davis uses these interests to develop an idea known as "Urbanista," a multimedia platform she created to address the lack of resources, publications and media outlets dedicated to urban-influenced women. Davis is best known for her work with the "Take Back the Music" campaign, which she created to fight sexist views and degrading portrayals of women in hip-hop.
"Davis' 'Take Back the Music' campaign holds artists and producers accountable while critically engaging people in hip-hop culture," Houston said. "Women have always been at the forefront of hip-hop. Women use hip-hop as a creative catalyst for change."
Poet Ursula Rucker will perform at 4:15 p.m. She has shared her songwriting and vocal talents with an array of recording artists and producers, most notably The Roots. Her performance style is known to be soft-spoken, eloquent and honest, and she has been compared with poets such as Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni.
Participants also will take part in "The Speak Out," a forum hosted by Ohio University student group Hip Hop Congress. The discussion will focus on women in hip-hop.
Hip Hop Congress has taken an active role in promoting this year's expo, including flyers, handbills and a Facebook group, according to sophomore music production major Christopher Summers.
The expo will be webcast at www.ohio.edu/aas/hiphop and a live Twitter feed will be available so that people watching the webcast can participate in the dialog.
Participants will receive lunch and a gift bag that includes a T-shirt and other items. There also will be a communal art project for guests to work on during the expo. For a complete itinerary, visit www.ohio.edu/aas/hiphop.
The expo is sponsored by the Department of African American Studies, the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, Arts for Ohio, the College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Fine Arts, Upward Bound, National Council for Black Studies, Hip Hop Congress, Student Activities Commission and Student Senate.