Hip Hop Congress reacts to violent incident at Olympia concert

[NW Region Hip Hop Congress statement]

On the night of February 14th, 2008 at The Evergreen State College, the Olympia chapter of The Hip Hop Congress, with the support of over 40 student and community organizations, put on the most successful student-organized hip hop event in the history of Student Activities at The Evergreen State College. The event, which took place in the largest capacity space on campus, was the premier event for the Hip Hop Congress since the Evergreen chapter was formed in the spring of 2007. Following the event, violence broke out between various responding police agencies and event participants. One police vehicle was overturned and destroyed. The investigation is still being conducted by the Thurston County Sheriff's Department, and the issue of what incited the uprising is still unclear. The Hip Hop Congress is in the process of preparing to release the results of its own independent investigation in the next week, and will issue a statement concerning the incident at that time.

With lack of a conclusive investigation, Student Activity funds will likely have to cover the costs of property damage, a number which is likely to exceed $30,000. Student Activities provides Evergreen students with funding, resources, training in policy and procedure, and insurance for all approved student events, and the hole left from this expense will be felt by the entire campus. "This hurts all of us as students. The money we use to organize, to make this campus what it is has been robbed from us by forces beyond our control," says one student organizer, Buster Ross, "at this point, what matters the most is that this situation is utilized as the massive opportunity for community growth that it is." While Hip Hop Congress is not being held responsible for the uprising, the nonprofit organization recognizes the impact the incident has had on the Evergreen State College, as well as all of the 80 campus and community chapters represented by their network across the country. The National President and Executive Director, Shamako Noble, will be speaking at an event aimed at the Evergreen student community next Friday, February 29th, at 3:00pm, location TBA. Further details about the event will be available on the Hip Hop Congress website, http://www.hiphopcongress.com.

In addition to the dialogue, HHC national and 206 Zulu, in partnership with student organizers at the Evergreen State College, have decided to start the first large-scale fundraising project to launch the process of restorative justice and proactive restitution in the campus community. "Not only as artists and advocates of Hip Hop, but also as educators, community organizers, and human rights activists, 206 Zulu fully supports the Evergreen's Hip Hop Congress chapter and broader student body in utilizing the culture as a vehicle to spread awareness, and a platform for positive, productive social change," says Julie C, NW Regional Coordinator for HHC and 206 Zulu assistant chapter-head. The Hip Hop Congress is working to release a project featuring all original Northwest Hip Hop, donated from a broad base of 206 Zulu artists, including Alpha-P, Sista Hailstorm, DJ B-Girl and more. Proposals have gone out to multiple record manufacturers and decisions will be announced on Monday. In the meantime, outreach will continue for donations to help fund the project. All proceeds will be donated in their entirety to Student Activities at the Evergreen State College. More information on the release will follow on Monday.

To reach Evergreen State College's Hip Hop Congress, contact founder Noah Theeman-Lindberg by emailing teschhc@gmail.com or by phone at (303) 618-6703.

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