Tuesday, October 22, 2013
In 2007, approximately one-fourth of all Oakland youth lived below the federal poverty line and 61 percent lived in low-income households. In 2008, Oakland ranked fourth in the nation for its homicide rate, which is currently the leading cause of death for young people in the city. Research also shows a troubling rate of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst Oakland youth, causing many to wonder what can be done to support youth in healing and living healthy lives.
“By using hip hop as a catalyst for transformation, Beats Rhymes and Life is helping youth of color heal from emotional trauma and develop self-confidence in order to lead healthy and successful lives. 'A Lovely Day' tells the personal stories of several of our youth who provide powerful examples of creativity, resilience, and hope,” says Tomás Alvarez III, M.S.W., Founder and Executive Director of Beats Rhymes and Life.
Oakland-based organization, Beats Rhymes and Life has teamed up with Bay Area filmmaker, Kerri Gawryn to produce, "A Lovely Day"--a moving film that speaks to the harsh realities and perseverance demonstrated in a group of Oakland teens on their journey to self-discovery and empowerment.
The film depicts how Beats Rhymes and Life uses hip hop as a tool for healing and youth development in a city afflicted by violence and poverty.
KQED's TRULY CA: OUR STATE, OUR STORIES is an exciting showcase for the best documentary films about California made by independent filmmakers.
ABOUT BEATS RHYMES AND LIFE, INC.
Beats Rhymes and Life, Inc. (BRL) is a 501(c)(3) organization comprised of social workers, teaching artists, activists, therapists, community members and youth – all dedicated to improving mental health and social outcomes among urban youth. Founded in 2004, by social worker Tomás Alvarez III and community artists/educator Rob Jackson, BRL pioneered one of the country’s first Rap Therapy programs that used hip hop music to offer therapy to at-risks teens.
Today, BRL operates therapeutic programs in Oakland, San Francisco and the South Bronx, New York. BRL believes in building upon the strengths and resilience of youth in order to help them heal and become agents of change in their community and beyond. BRL believes by partnering with youth and their community a sustainable movement towards wellness can be achieved that eliminates health disparities among youth of color and other marginalized groups. Beats, Rhymes & Life is on Facebook, and you can follow @hiphoptherapy on Twitter.