New WSU Vancouver series features hip-hop artists and social activists

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Washington State University Vancouver will launch a Cultural Arts and Equity Hip-Hop Series Sept. 4 with an appearance by Nikkita Oliver, a social activist renowned for her 2017 mayoral run in Seattle, where she came in third in a field of 21 candidates. Introduced this year, the series is designed to broaden the community’s understanding of how cultural arts through hip-hop can cultivate an inclusive campus community that centers the success of historically underserved students.

The eight-part series continues through the academic year, featuring workshops, talks and performances with local and global activists, scholars and artists. Events are free and open to the public.

Nikkita Oliver

4 – 6 p.m. Sept. 4

Dengerink Administration Building, Room 110

Oliver, an attorney, teacher, poet and social activist, grew up in a biracial household in Indianapolis. Seeing her father go in and out of jail for failure to pay child support helped motivate her to build awareness of the injustice in the legal system. Oliver moved to Seattle in 2004 to attend Seattle Pacific University, where she created a week called Catalyst dedicated to a racial justice campaign. She participated in Black Lives Matter and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Washington.

The series will go on to feature:

Olmeca, bilingual hip-hop artist, producer, activist and scholar

4 – 6 p.m. Sept. 25

Turiya Autry, artist, author and educator

4 – 6 p.m. Oct. 9

Michael Tun`cap, founder of the Pacific Islander Student Commission at the University of Washington and co-founder of the Pacific Islander Studies Institute of Washington

4 – 6 p.m. Nov. 14

Aisha Fukushima, singer, speaker, educator and rap activist and founder of RAPtivism

4 – 6 p.m. Jan. 22

Jasiri X, the first independent hip-hop artist to be awarded an honorary doctorate

4 – 6 p.m. Feb. 20

DJ Kuttin Kandi, Pinay (Filipina) poet, feminist and activist

4 – 6 p.m. March 25

Las Cafetereas, whose band members are former students of the Eastside Café, a community space in Los Angeles, influenced by music from Veracruz, Mexico

4 – 6 p.m. April 24

About WSU Vancouver

WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave. in Vancouver, east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205, or via C-Tran bus service. Parking is available at meters and in the Blue Daily Pay lot for $4 per day, $2 after 5 p.m.

As one of six campuses of the Washington State University system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations.

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Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601,

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