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Todd Griffin

Speaker, Entrepreneur, Music Producer, Actor, Author

Topics: Hip Hop Culture Awareness, PD Training

Grade Levels: 6-12

TJ Griffin’s presentation communicated vital information on dangerous behaviors in a manner that students connected with. He spoke to them from his heart, and they really listened, some with tears in their eyes.
— Superintendent Dr. Lorise Goeke

HipHop Culture Awareness

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HipHop culture is America’s most influential youth popular culture of today. This is the reason why youth care workers, educators and counselors, who work with youth, and more importantly troubled and disenfranchised youth, must be clear about acknowledging it and even embracing it. HipHop is a cultural phenomenon that started in our inner cities of America, spread to the suburbs, and now occupies America’s mainstream. America’s youth represent a distinct group with their own unique popular culture a culture within which HipHop currently resides. Despite our attitudes and perceptions (positive and negative) about HipHop, we know we must have a working knowledge of this culture that engulfs and contextualizes our young people’s lives if we are to effectively relate and communicate with them.


It is important to understand the information that they process and the rules/code they live by. The rules of social marketing suggest that effective communication begins with knowing your target audience. Many youth care workers and educators, regardless of their subject or clinical area, still fail to consider HipHop culture when determining their teaching and treatment methods and exploring the best ways to communicate with and to their students and clients. Consequently, there is an evident lack of cultural responsiveness, relevance, and significance in the classroom and treatment environment, and too many clients remain uninterested and lack the motivation required to process important treatment information.


Understanding HipHop and using it to open new dialog and conversation can result in a more attentive and motivated client. At risk youth are participating in gang related activities while embracing and living by the street code of no snitching, objectification of women and never backing down. They are experiencing peer pressure to use and sell drugs and to have multiple sexual relationships; they are having direct access to images of pornography, violence, and drug use live and via broadcast, the web, social media; and much more.

Given these realities, and in order to stimulate critical thinking, influence attitudes and behaviors, gain trust and maintain the attention, curiosity, and interest of today's at risk youth, we to need embrace HipHop. Showing interest and understanding in HipHop instead of shunning it can begin to open the “doors of change” for some individuals that would otherwise remain resistant to change. HipHop’s Powerful Influence & Awareness training is a vehicle that, when coupled with stable therapeutic relationships, will serve as a catalyst to breaking down barriers that our youth, entrusted into our care, present when faced with the idea of change.  


Todd Griffin has had extensive training and certifications in juvenile justice and youth care such as Motivational Interviewing, substance abuse and recovery, mandatory reporting, de-escalating and re-direction, Relationship building, A.R,T., P.I./Physical Intervention, and culture awareness to name a few. Mr. Griffin  is also a youth care and support staff PCB trainer specializing in proper interaction and relationship building by using Hip-Hop Culture to breakdown barriers with youth. 


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