About the Conference

The Hip Hop Youth Research and Activism (HHYRA) Conference is a space that celebrates youth who are connected to Hip Hop, committed to social change, and unapologetically expressive in their art forms. We aim to decrease the use of stereotyping and unconscious biases, increase unity by building community, and show how Hip Hop has  influenced people to speak out and create change. 

The HHYRA Conference brings together youth from diverse communities for a day of workshops and interactions that revolve around the ideas of Hip Hop and social justice. The conference will take place on June 6, 2019 at Rutgers University- New Brunswick and will feature workshops and presentations led by high school and college students whose proposals are reviewed and accepted by the HHYRA Youth Leadership Council. 

Register Here for June 6th HHYRA Conference

Youth Leadership Council

Members of the HHYRA Youth Leadership Council design the theme and format of the annual conference, release the  Call for Proposals, and review proposals for the conference. The council will also invite performers and keynote speakers to be featured at the conference. 

2018-2020 Youth Council Members

Safa Bilal, Long Island, NY

Alondra Contreas, New York, NY

Sydney Grant, Long Island, NY

Darius Rush, Jersey City, NJ

Ally Smith, Memphis, TN


The theme of this year’s conference is “Art and Activism.” We seek workshops, discussions, and presentations that explore the use of art, media, technology, and imagery in fostering social change.  

Applications for the 2019 HHYRA Conference propose a session (45-minute workshop or discussion, a 15-minute performance or presentation, or a research or project-based poster)  that will be led by individuals or groups who are primarily between the ages of 14 and 24. Proposals should align with the goals and theme of the conference and should detail what will happen during the session and what participants might expect to learn.

Students whose proposals are accepted will be invited to the Youth Leadership Training Institute at Columbia University on March 30, 2019. (Those who are unable to travel to the Institute will receive a link to participate virtually.)


  • December 21st: Applications Due for Membership on Youth Leadership Council 

  • February 24th: Student proposals due for 2019 HHYRA Conference

  • March 30th 2019: Youth Leadership Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City

  • June 6th 2019: Hip Hop Youth Research and Activism Conference at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. 

For More Information


Email hhyraconference@gmail.com