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Second annual IU Northwest Hip-Hop Summit scheduled for April 4

Local physician and national radio personality Dr. Rachael Ross to deliver keynote address

Encompassing so much more than simply music, the American hip-hop scene has grown to become a social, cultural and economic force that continues to influence young and not-so-young people from all walks of life. At Indiana University Northwest on April 4, local rappers, dancers, poets, and hip-hop free-stylists will come together to examine and celebrate hip-hop art and culture in the University’s second annual Hip-Hop Summit. This free event begins at 6 p.m. in the Savannah Center, located on the IU Northwest campus at 3400 Broadway in Gary, Ind.

Hip-hop is a culture that has its roots in pride, truth, courage and self-determination. Originating in New York City in the early 1970s, the term “hip-hop” is used loosely to refer to commercialized rap music; however, other hip-hop elements include graffiti, break-dancing, various spoken-word forms, and even fashion. At the second annual IU Northwest Hip-Hop Summit, the heart and soul of this rapidly evolving form of social and artistic expression will be displayed by local hip-hop artists and enthusiasts.

As part of this upbeat and energetic program, board-certified family medical physician and clinical sexologist Dr. Rachael Ross, M.D., Ph.D., will deliver the keynote presentation “Sex and Hip-Hop.” Dr. Rachael, as she is popularly known, practices family medicine in Gary, Ind. and is herself a DJ who often spins hip-hop in the Chicago nightclub scene. Ross, who appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2003, also has her own nationally syndicated radio show, and she is featured every Thursday morning on B96 FM in Chicago.

A Gary native, Ross has spent much of her professional life working to promote healthy sexual attitudes among young people. She designs programs intended to demonstrate to her young audiences how education, delayed gratification and self-esteem can be used to form a healthy sexual lifestyle. In the late 1990s, Ross served as one of 12 advisors to the U.S. Surgeon General’s steering committee for the nation’s Healthy Reproduction 2000 address. She worked closely with former Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D. to develop innovative techniques to advance the cause of safe sex among young people.

Ross studied anthropology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. before attending medical school at Meharry Medical College, also in Nashville. She was drawn into the medical field by her interest in understanding the spread of HIV/AIDS. Her experiences in bringing health information and sex education to urban audiences have helped Ross arrive at her belief that reducing the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases through education requires that sexual health information be disguised as genre-specific entertainment. Ross, who can recall by heart lyrics of songs by such hip-hop pioneers as Run DMC and L.L. Cool J., as well as more modern rap icons like Tupac Shakur and Jay-Z, has said that music helps her to maintain a connection with the audiences that most need to hear her message on how to develop a healthy, self-affirming approach to sex and sexuality.

IU Northwest is pleased to welcome Dr. Rachael Ross and all the participating hip-hop artists to campus for this exciting and enlightening event. The campus community and all of Northwest Indiana are invited to attend the second annual Hip-Hop Summit on Wednesday, April 4 to learn more about this rich and dynamic element of American culture. The event will also feature a panel discussion on issues related to hip-hop. Food and refreshments will be provided following the program.

The second annual Hip-Hop Summit is sponsored by: Assistant Prof. E. Scooter Pégram; the IU Northwest Black Student Union; the Department of Minority Studies; the Diversity Programming Group; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority; Gamma Sigma Omega Fraternity; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; ALMA; Pi Delta Phi Honor Society; and the Foreign Languages Club.

For more information on the Hip-Hop Summit, contact Pégram at (219) 980-6532, or e-mail him at For more information on Dr. Rachael Ross, visit her Web site at .



Media Contact:

Christopher Sheid
Specialist, OMC

Michelle Searer
Director, OMC
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