By Brandon E. Roos

A charter school in South Los Angeles will be forced to terminate its successful Hip Hop culture curriculum this June due to ever-increasing budget cuts. 

The Global Awareness Through Hip Hop Culture program is one of the only educational Hip Hop courses in the nation offered regularly to middle and high school students.  

The program was founded by Sebastien Elkouby as a solution to connect with students disinterested in  more traditional school subjects. As Elkouby explained, “This class uses the positive elements of Hip Hop culture that aren’t usually promoted in mainstream media as a medium to develop critical thinking skills while teaching [students] language arts, social studies, and life skills.” 

Active since 2006, the program has hosted KRS-One and MC Lyte as guest speakers, sent students on deejay retreats and received press from around the world. In 2008, the National  Society of High School Scholars selected Elkouby as an “Educator of  Distinction.”  

Despite this recent setback, Elkouby remains positive about his program’s future. “It doesn’t  even have to be offered at a school,” he says. “I’m open to bringing the program wherever the need is. I know that there’s money available  to fund creative programs. We just have to find it. Who knows? It may even come from someone in the Hip Hop community.” 

You can find out more about the program at www.globalawarenessthroughhiphopculture.com.