What’s good, BEAT family!
We hope that this special announcement finds you well. It’s been an unprecedented year: a global pandemic, a tumultuous election, a world gone virtual, racial justice protests, and rampant unemployment. It’s been a year in which we’ve all had to reimagine everything—and here at BEAT, it’s been no different.
Since our founding, we’ve observed how Hip Hop is a powerful tool for health and wellbeing, and, beginning in 2017, we started doing clinical research to understand how and why this was the case. More recently, we began exploring the use of Hip Hop in clinical spaces to improve health outcomes.
We thought this might be an interesting sub-plot to BEAT’s narrative, but over the past year, as we watched our students struggle with unprecedented challenges, we also witnessed the power of Hip Hop to inspire, to express, to show care, to speak up, and to accompany our students. In short, we’ve watched Hip Hop be a way to successfully cope with huge levels of stress, isolation, and challenge. And it’s inspired us to be more intentional in the ways that we approach Hip Hop as a tool for mental and physical wellbeing.
Since January, we’ve been hard at work developing a strategic plan that will guide our priorities for the next 5+ years. Through this process, we’ve realized we are not just an arts education nonprofit, we are an organization that champions Hip Hop as a dynamic tool in improving physical and mental wellbeing. We felt the ground shift, but we realized we were still standing in the same place. It’s been a natural progression, but we feel renewed energy—here we stand, a whole new BEAT.
Today, we’re sharing BEAT, the remix, with you! We’ve updated our Mission, Vision, and How We Work language to honor the ways that our initiatives have organically grown. Our new strategic plan is intentional about our commitment to using Hip Hop as a tool for health and wellness. We’re adding two new programs to our already existing arts education programming: clinical research and “training & tools” (which will soon host continuing education courses for clinicians and tools for families and caregivers of kids with speech challenges).
Explore the rest of our redesigned website to learn more about BEAT, the remix!
We hope our redefined approach energizes you in deepening your commitment to our life-changing work, this year and beyond. (If it does, please check out the “donate” button to make use of our quick, secure donation widget!)
Thank you for empowering our young people to use their voices to advocate for a healthier tomorrow through Hip Hop. We can’t wait to share more of this new vision with you!
Stay safe, and let the BEAT drop,
James and the BEAT Team: Brittany, Lulu, Luiggi, and Aileen