I am a former secondary teacher and community volunteer who has 15 years of experience working with youth from urban areas throughout the United States, and now Sydney. I am in the last year of an doctoral program focusing on Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Policy, at Michigan State University’s College Of Education. My dissertation is examining how to prepare youth in urban areas throughout the world to be digitally literate global citizens. The United States Fulbright office as well as mtvU (MTV’s 24-hour college network) have made it possible for me to travel to Sydney so that I can volunteer at community centers in Western Sydney, deliver a technology class based around global hip-hop, and write about my experience.
Over the past four years, I have used my background in educational technology to develop a technology class with students from urban areas in the midwest United States. In class, students examine globally produced, socially conscious hip-hop, in an effort to learn more about social justice issues around the world, and critically examine as well as make connections to conditions that may parallel or contradict their experience in their local and national communities. Through this program, the youth also improve their digital literacy skills as they create websites, blogs, podcasts, and/or other types of digital products which discuss the information they have researched about international hip-hop artist and the social justice issues the artist address through song. Students in this class also begin to examine concepts of global citizenship education and cultural diplomacy