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First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Learning Community is a groundbreaking and diverse collective of spoken word poets, emcees, dancers, singers, actors, and hip hop artist-scholars and activists attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Founded in 2007 by UW’s Office of Multicultural Arts and Initiatives (OMAI), First Wave features a touring ensemble that draws upon the artistry, resources, and perspectives of the hip hop generation to produce dramatic theater and choreography on pressing, provocative, and often silenced social justice issues.
The ensemble has performed in England, Mexico, Panama, Africa, Australia, and Jamaica, as well as across the continental United States, including annual featured performances in New York City.
In collaboration with co-sponsors (including the Ford School), the School of Education will host First Wave’s first performance at the University of Michigan. The performance will reveal the tensions, dilemmas, and opportunities that emerge on a college campus that aspires to be demographically diverse and fully inclusive. The “talk back” that follows the performance will spark energy and community conversation around important topics of social justice and equity as they relate to the University of Michigan’s ongoing mission to promote diversity and advance equity and inclusion on and beyond campus.
Co-sponsors: College of Engineering, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, Department of Psychology, Department of Sociology, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Medical School, Office of Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion and Academic Affairs, Rackham Graduate School, School of Dentistry, School of Information, School of Kinesiology, School of Natural Resources and Environment, School of Nursing, School of Public Health, School of Social Work, U-M LIbrary