Hip Hop Congress – Open Letter: The Five Year Plan (2013)

*Note: This post is a letter from Dj Maclin of the Hip Hop Congress of Rockford, Illinois. 

Open Letter: The Five Year Plan (2013)

To whom this may concern,

I, DJ Maclin, would like to release my vision for the mission and future of The Hip Hop Congress of Rockford, IL (RHHC).

I believe the mission of RHHC is to educate people about Hip Hop culture, to create a positive environment for networking and discussion, and to organize and host events where practitioners can showcase their talents. We strive to accomplish our organization’s mission through interacting with the community, hosting events, and studying and practicing the elements of Hip Hop. Our short term goals are based on these daily activities.

For the future, I have a vision for a five year plan which includes two very important long term goals: the promotion of women’s participation in Hip Hop culture and the development of a public space owned by RHHC.

Women’s participation in hip hop has historically been low when compared to the participation of men, but women have just as much to gain in this culture as men do. We need to be more proactive in promoting the participation of women in Hip Hop culture by working with local women’s groups and organizations to put on events and discussions geared specifically towards women. If we are to grow as a culture, we can no longer have the “the woman’s perspective”, missing from our local hip hop community.

The All Elements 2012 Hip Hop Festival, which took place in late summer 2012, made me realize even more that RHHC needs to be financially secure in order to do the great things we want to do. A lot of money went into The All Elements 2012 Hip Hop Festival, but very little money was raised to support future local hip hop events. Most of the money spent on the festival went to organizations and businesses with no stake in the local Hip Hop community. Thanks to the help of Robert King and Aprel Prunty of Booker Washington Center and Laurie Anderson of the Rockford Park District we were able to stay afloat financially. We greatly appreciate the support from these individuals and organizations, but as promoters and advocates for the local Hip Hop community, we feel one of our responsibilities is to create a self-sufficient and self-sustainable Hip Hop scene. To do this effectively, we feel we need to consider acquiring our own public space. This space will give us the advantage to financially fund our organization from our own events and on our own terms. We would have the opportunity to host classes, shows, battles, artwork, clothing lines, and more… the possibilities are endless! We could show the community what Hip Hop has to offer in the way of artistic and cultural contributions. A public place that we can call home year-round is an integral part of our five year plan. The five year plan will involve looking into the viability of a public space, with the possibility of a fundraising strategy and acquiring of space if found to be viable. Our status as a non-profit group will benefit us as we look for grants, loans, and community support. I do believe this would be a very strong move for the local hip hop community, as it will be unprecedented in the history of this city and will take great responsibility to cultivate and maintain.

In conclusion, if RHHC is going to continue to promote the growth of the local Hip Hop community, we need to support the participation of women in Hip Hop culture by putting on more events geared towards women and we need to acquire a public space for use by the local community. I’ve spent most of last year thinking about these very goals and have my mind set on achieving these things for the benefit of RHHC and the local Hip Hop community. We ask for the assistance of our supporters and the community as we try to break new ground for Hip Hop culture in Rockford. Our organization lives and breathes hip hop, and we plan to continue to show this by committing to our mission and working towards our goals to showcase the culture that we love.

Thanks for reading

Dj Maclin
Hip Hop Congress of Rockford,IL

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