Hip Hop 4 Peace Event is A Celebration of Culture, Community, and Change

Nataly Blumberg
5 min readJun 13, 2024

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On June 2, 2024, the serene shores of Santa Monica were transformed into a vibrant hub of music, conversation, and hope. In honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Hip Hop 4 Peace, in collaboration with the UNESCO Center For Peace, hosted an event that was as powerful as it was uplifting: “Rap 4 Peace: A Hip-Hop Gun Violence Awareness Conference.”

Dr. Stephon Alexander, Chuck D, Dr. Angelina Ruffin, Chauncy Glover, Tina Marie Tyler, Jon Tilli

Uniting Through Hip-Hop

Hip Hop 4 Peace is an organization with a mission that’s as profound as it is simple: to reduce gun violence and promote peace through the universal language of hip-hop. Founder Tina Marie Tyler encapsulated the spirit of the day, saying, “Peace is the foundation of hip-hop. This event brought together the culture and key changemakers as peacebuilders to ensure positive peace for this and future generations.”

Hosted by the charismatic Christine Devine of Fox 11, the event at Shutters On The Beach was a perfect blend of education, inspiration, and entertainment. Attendees were treated to a lineup of distinguished speakers and panelists who shared their insights and experiences, all united by a common goal: ending gun violence.

Bertony Faustin, Tina Marie Tyler, Eldridge Broussard III

Voices of Change

The conference featured a stellar lineup of speakers, including California Attorney General Rob Bonta, hip-hop journalist Soren Baker, and Lil Eazy E of Ruthless Records. Each brought their unique perspective to the table, emphasizing the multifaceted nature of the fight against gun violence. Whether it was through personal anecdotes, professional insights, or artistic expression, each speaker highlighted the importance of community, resilience, and proactive change.

Katannia Plummer-Mitchell, President of Latin American and the Caribbean, UNESCO, and Gabin Ahogbedji Allognon, President of the African Federation, UNESCO, lent their voices to the cause, underlining the global importance of peace and security. The presence of Her Excellency Muferihat Kamil Ahmed, Minister of Peace from Ethiopia, added an international dimension to the discussions, reminding everyone of the universal need for peace.

Christine Devine, Tina Marie Tyler

Dynamic Discussions and Panels

The event wasn’t just about speeches; it was about dialogue and interaction. Panels moderated by influential figures like DJ O.G. One, the official DJ of the Portland Trailblazers, and music executive Saint Harraway, allowed for deep dives into topics ranging from the cultural impact of hip-hop to practical strategies for reducing gun violence.

Juana Sperling of J.J. Fad, Dr. Angelina Ruffin from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Gun Violence Research & Education, and other experts provided invaluable insights, making the discussions both informative and engaging. The specially curated entertainment industry panel on gun violence, featuring music and television executive Marcus King and music producer Duane “Da Rock” Ramos, was a highlight, showcasing the role of the entertainment industry in advocating for social change.

Chuck D

Celebrating Volunteers and Heroes

Following the conference, the day’s momentum continued with the President’s Volunteer Service Award Gala at Casa Del Mar. Hosted by Emmy Award-Winning KCAL News Anchor Chauncy Glover, the gala honored individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to volunteerism and peacebuilding.

The gala was a sold-out affair, and for good reason. Among the honorees were hip-hop legend Chuck D, whose acceptance speech was a poignant reminder of the power of culture and technology in promoting peace. “When you write the songs and culture, and have it threaded through the industry and technology, you have something mightier than all the governments, especially when they’re not being accountable or responsible,” he said, capturing the essence of the event.

Chuck D, Duane DaRock Ramos

Other honorees included Jon Tilli of Deutsche Bank, Dr. Stephon Alexander, former President of the National Society of Black Physicists and Professor at Brown University, and Dr. Angelina Ruffin, Managing Director at Kaiser Permanente Center for Gun Violence Research & Education. Their contributions, spanning various fields, underscored the diverse ways in which individuals can make a positive impact.

An Evening of Music and Inspiration

The gala wasn’t just about awards. It was a celebration of culture and community, capped off by a mesmerizing performance from R&B artist GoGo Morrow. Her soulful tunes added a beautiful backdrop to an evening filled with heartfelt speeches and joyous celebration.

Chuck D, Sonya Pruneda

Community and Industry Support

The success of the Rap 4 Peace event was made possible by the generous support of sponsors like Deutsche Bank and the Kaiser Permanente Center for Gun Research and Education. Community and industry partners such as the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, United Mental Health Promoters, and major music labels like Sony Music and Universal Music Group played crucial roles in making the event a reality.

Tina Marie Tyler, Guy Djoken, Katannia Plummer

Looking Ahead

As the event drew to a close, the message was clear: peace is possible when communities come together. Through the power of hip-hop, a genre born from resilience and creativity, Hip Hop 4 Peace is paving the way for a future without gun violence. Events like these remind us that while the challenges are significant, the collective effort of individuals, communities, and organizations can make a profound difference.

For those inspired by the stories and actions shared at Rap 4 Peace, there’s much to look forward to. Hip Hop 4 Peace continues to champion peace through various initiatives, and the momentum from this event is sure to fuel future efforts.

Together, we can create a world where peace and positivity prevail.

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Nataly Blumberg

Born from a long line of entrepreneurs with a passion to keep learning from and loving them.