In 1992, hip hop duo EPMD released the single "Crossover". The song became an anthem for true hip hop enthusiasts who lauded the song for criticizing rappers who were proverbial "sellouts" for crossing over to the more commercial genres of R&B or pop. The sole purpose that such sellout rappers crossed over, EPMD argued, was purely for financial gain. In doing so, the duo feared that hip hop would be irreversibly damaged having been stripped of its true culture. What does this have to do with our closing keynote? Read on.
Similarly, Dr. Chris Emdin points out that stripping students of their cultural heritage and denying their right to unadulterated expression in the classroom is tantamount to academic death. In his talk, "Keep the Crossover", Dr. Emdin will underscore the importance of creating an inclusive, culturally-integrated classroom that fosters individuality while adding to their collective academic success. He will provide examples of how practitioners can learn from students' authentic environments and harness what they've learned to approve academic outcomes. We can integrate or infuse the best of hip hop and other cultural treasures to bring out the very best in our students.
Christopher Emdin is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. The creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement and Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S., author of the award-winning book Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation and the New York Times Best Seller, For White Folks Who Teach In The Hood and the Rest of Ya’ll Too. Emdin was named the 2015 Multicultural Educator of the Year by the National Association of Multicultural Educators and has been honored as a STEM Access Champion of Change by the White House under President Obama. In addition to teaching, he served as a Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the US Department of Energy.