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Community Engagement

Christopher Emdin on Community Engagement

Did you hear what Chris Emdin said, or does it need to be said again for the people in the back?

"You don't need community engagement if you are already part of the community." #HipHopEd - @chrisemdin

On Tuesday, Sept. 5th, I joined in on my FIRST TWITTER CHAT! The #HipHopEd Twitter chat takes place every Tuesday from 9-10pm EST. I am so "green" when it comes to twitter, but since I noticed Emdin and #hiphoped were more active there, I decided to take the plunge. There were some amazing educators in attendance, dropping gems about how to engage with the community. Everyone, including myself, needed one of these shirts from (100% NOT sponsored and probably should be promoting my own shirts...but I really do want this tee!)

Dropping Gems Tee Karleen Roy

Of course being in that (twitter) space, was nothing short of inspiring! I have noticed the question often arises about what you should/can do to get parents involved in the school and their child's learning. I am a major advocate for parent involvement and accountability. I believe education begins in the home/community and what is taught in schools MUST BE reinforced at home. But, how do you reach them? Well...I gathered a few gems that stood out and organized them into 2 categories: Educators & (Specific) Ideas. *Some quotes are paraphrased but all credit is given.


*Consider traumatizing experiences parents may have had with schools (@mnemognose)

*STOP judging parents! Folks can tell when you been talking behind their back. (@meralishood)

*Consider who the students have a good relationship with. It's not always the parents. (@norarahimian)

*Are you afraid of the community you serve? (@chrisemdin)

*The community will not come to you first. (@chrisemdin)

*Power Share: step back, listen, support the leadership of others (@norarahimian)

*Hire folks from the community. Don't ask for volunteers. Hire them. (@chrisemdin)

*Bring in experts/artists from the community (@mbdando)

*Bring in OG's and elders from the community. (@emdin)

*Universities that hire Hip Hop artists need to get in the communities they serve by being PRESENT. (@knight3k)

*Focus on the community needs and reflect them in the curriculum (@emdin)

*Expose students to positive hip hop too (@pattasean)

*Encourage students to stay in their communities and give back (@justjules_18)

*Set dates early & communicate with neighbors and corporate groups (@meralishood)

*Follow through. True engagement results in shared decisions followed by action, not mere acknowledgment of good ideas. (@rigo_palacios)

*Community building doesn't just happen at "events". It's a 24/7 thing, built up in every interaction and via every relationship. (@norarahimian)

*Locate where the community gathers and go there (churches, YMCA, coffee house, etc.) (@justjules_18)

*Sharing physical space doesn't automatically mean you are a member. Get invested & involved. Listen, learn, & play. (@mbdando)

*Give teachers a voice. (@myteachermagic)

*Be authentic (@knight3k)

*Don't quit when it gets hard. Re-examine your plan and try again. (@norarahimian)

*Community engagement must be accompanied by community empowerment. (@hiphopsaveslves)

(Specific) Ideas:

*Hip Hop Freestyle Battle (@will_fain_roby)

*Service learning projects (@myteachermagic)

*BBQ (@myteachermagic)

*Block Party (@dj_view)

*Partner with radio station/artist on objectives (@myteachermagic)

*Send positive notes home (@juntosoul)

*Communal award ceremony to recognize families/parents (@dj_view)

*Dedicated art space in classrooms and community create a familial love and bond (@juntosoul)

*Field Trip: rent a bus and take the kids around the community to discuss street art, landmarks, etc. (@myteachermagic)

Before heading out, I want to share two more educators that have mastered student and community engagement.

Ron Clark Academy:

Ron Clark Academy First Day of School

*Click image to view the video. Don't forget to like our Facebook page!*

Valencia D. Clay

Valencia D. Clay Build Community wit the Community

*Click image to read about the simple act a principal, teacher, and police officer are doing to build community.*

As always, thank you for reading, sharing, and commenting. Most importantly, I pray you take this information back to your schools, have open discussions, and create a plan of action. If you are in the Atlanta area, I am more than willing to come help in any way that I can. Reminder: Set an alarm for Tuesday at 9pm, so you don't miss out on the next #HipHopEd chat. I would love to know what your school is doing to engage the community. Leave a comment below.

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