As the educational system continues to fail American students (particularly students of color and low-income), alternative curriculum and solutions are needed. From this emphasis, the Urban Teachers Network (UTN) is working to organize and support educators and youth mentors through outreach programs for the youth they teach and reach.
UTN is a nonprofit [501(c)3] charitable trust that promotes:
• Culturally Relevant Curriculum and Hip Hop Pedagogy
• Urban Artistic Expressions (Elements)
• Community Activism and Artivism
• Media Literacy
Urban Teacher Network (UTN) where educators and youth mentors can form networks to share ideas, curriculum, and build after-school extracurricular and mentor programs for the youth they teach and reach. The UTN is also designed to be a space where teachers facing the daily challenges of their field can find comfort in the company and support of colleagues with similar experiences. UTN members will create regional support groups and meet regularly in order to build alliances and power in like-minded educators wanting to connect and build a movement to enrich the lives of urban youth inside and outside of the classroom.
1. Creating an ongoing database of educators and mentors working directly with the youth in our communities.
2. Promoting urban arts education and hip hop pedagogy.
3. Sharing effective ideas: curriculum, extracurricular activities etc.
4. Creating digital classroom resources online where ideas can be shared with UTN members across the country.
5. Creating regional support groups where UTN members can meet on a regular basis.
6. Organizing UTN events outside of the classroom for
students’ enrichment and ongoing mentoring.
1. Hip Hop History. Classes and workshops on Hip Hop history as well as the social and political importance of hip hop to youth of color and urban communities.
2. Media Studies. Classes and workshops on critical media analyses, examining the images of people of color and women in media, specifically the hip hop industry. In analyzing media carefully, educators teach youth to be more critical consumers of media.
3. Performances and Interactive Workshops – Hip Hop Elements. HHC artists perform shows for youth as well as offer instructive workshops in various hip hop elements (emceeing/rapping, poetry, deejaying, graffiti art, and break-dancing). Through artistic expressions, youth will learn to express themselves creatively and constructively through positive outlets.
4. Community Activism. HHC members serve as mentors to youth promoting community activism and involvement in social and political issues affecting their lives. As well, existing HHC chapters will serve as advisors to youth wanting to start HHC community chapters.
5. Urban Teacher Network. Educators and mentors of youth in urban communities can form networks to share ideas, curriculum, build after-school extracurricular and mentor programs for the youth they reach.
We look forward to working with all dedicated to youth in need of mentoring and an education relevant to their lives. We are sure the youth will not only be enriched by these programs, but will be inspired by the teachers and mentors organizing on their behalves.
We will need regional organizers to set up profile pages to start UTN support groups in their communities.
If you are interested in being a regional UTN organizer, please see the discussions page for directions and contact me for assistance at UTN.Trust@gmail.com