RUSSELL SIMMONS AND THE HIP-HOP SUMMIT ACTION NETWORK INVITE THE PUBLIC TO ATTEND THE NEW JERSEY HIP-HOP SUMMIT, COMBINING HIP-HOP CULTURE, MUSIC, YOUNG PEOPLE
FIRST HIP-HOP SUMMIT TO FEATURE WEB STREAMING TO 6000 HIGH SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES IN THE NEW JERSEY AREA Summit To Feature Damon Dash, CEO of Roc-A-Fella Enterprises and an HSAN Boardmember, artists Wyclef Jean, Freeway, Layzie Bone, Loon, Remy Martin, Joe Budden and Amanda Diva from MTV and Other NJ Celebrities As Voter Registration Deadline Approaches For November General Election
NEW YORK, NY- September 21, 2004-Hip-Hop mogul and Hip-Hop Summit Action Network Chairman Russell Simmons, Reverend Run of RUN DMC, producer and singer Wyclef Jean and a number of Hip-Hop and other New Jersey celebrities will be joined by NJ Attorney General Peter Harvey, Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer, and high school and college students at New Jersey’s HIP-HOP SUMMIT on Thursday, September 23 at the War Memorial in Trenton. The SUMMIT begins at 11 and ends at 3 p.m. Admission to the SUMMIT is free – all unregistered voters must register in order to enter.
The NEW JERSEY HIP-HOP SUMMIT is open to the general public and, for the first time, will be web cast, making the SUMMIT available for viewing at 6000 high schools and colleges in New Jersey. This is the first HIP-HOP SUMMIT featuring web streaming.
The Office of the Attorney General is working in conjunction with Russell Simmons and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) to host New Jersey’s statewide HIP-HOP SUMMIT, which is the last SUMMIT in the country, prior to the voter registration deadline of October 4 and Election Day, November 2. HSAN’s “Hip-Hop Team Vote” youth voter registration and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) initiative has been registering young voters around the country for the last 17 months.
New Jersey is hosting the only statewide HIP-HOP SUMMIT in anticipation of registering young people to vote. The Attorney General, who has the distinction of serving as the only Attorney General in the country in the dual role as Chief Law Enforcement Official and Chief Election Official said, “Voting is one of the most important acts anyone can perform and communicating the significance of voting to young people must be done in a way that interests many of them – which is why we developed a diverse portfolio of initiatives with young people about voter education and registration.” He continued, “The HIP-HOP SUMMIT, along with the college bus tours, web casting from the Summit and presentations to high school and college students, allows us to build that bridge to today’s youth.”
Russell Simmons, Chairman of HSAN exclaimed, “New Jersey has a significant reservoir of hip-hop talent and genius. We are pleased to partner with New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey in this unique effort to empower the youth of the state.”
The NEW JERSEY HIP-HOP SUMMIT will also include Damon Dash, CEO of Roc-A-Fella Enterprises and an HSAN Boardmember, artists Wyclef Jean, Freeway, Layzie Bone, Loon, Remy Martin, Joe Budden and Amanda Diva from MTV. New Jersey native Joe Piscopo will also participate. The HIP-HOP SUMMIT is an interactive panel discussion about the importance of voting and issues of concern to young voters. According to HSAN, the SUMMITS are designed to foster initiatives aimed at engaging the Hip-Hop generation in community development issues with a special emphasis on voter education. The HIP-HOP SUMMIT includes question and answers from the audience. Questions will also be entertained from the web.
Previous HIP-HOP SUMMITS have been held in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Washington, D.C., Houston, Philadelphia, Syracuse, Seattle, New Orleans, St. Louis, Birmingham, Raleigh, Kansas City, Baltimore and Dallas.
Other election events sponsored by the Office of the Attorney General include college bus tours, public service announcements, registration events at sporting events and an informational web site.
All of the initiatives were developed through the HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT (HAVA) and the Division of Elections. HAVA is the federal law that provides for federal monies to assist states in upgrading voting equipment and election procedures to protect the right to vote of all citizens. New Jersey has been recognized as a national leader in the HAVA effort. The New Jersey HAVA State Plan is administered under the Office of the Attorney General. According to Attorney General Harvey, there are three primary requirements with the HAVA program: 1) to replace outdated voting machines: 2) to create a statewide data base: 3) voter education and awareness.
The “BE POWERFUL, BE HEARD” campaign is a comprehensive approach to voter education and voting. The Attorney General said, “By creating partnerships, like those with Rutgers University and HSAN, we are raising awareness and advancing the cause to register voters in New Jersey. There is an enormous challenge and opportunity ahead of us to raise awareness and educate New Jersey residents, particularly young people, about the power of their vote.”
For questions, call 1-877-658-6837 or 1-877-NJ-VOTER or visit on line at www.njelections.com.
For more information about HSAN, go to www.hsan.org.