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Rev. Lennox Yearwood
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Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., is a minister, community activist, and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life. Firmly grounded in his Caribbean and Louisiana roots, Rev. Yearwood is a fierce advocate for human and civil rights in the 21st century. A powerful and fiery orator, Rev. Yearwood works diligently and tirelessly to encourage the Hip Hop generation to utilize its political and social voice.

He currently serves as President of the Hip Hop Caucus in Washington, D.C. The Hip Hop Caucus is a national, nonprofit, nonpartisan, organization that inspires and motivates those born after the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Rev. Yearwood was a co-creator of the 2004 campaign "Vote or Die" with Sean "P Diddy" Combs. He was also the Political and Grassroots Director for Russell Simmons' Hip Hop Summit Action Network, and a Senior Consultant to Jay Z's Voice Your Choice.

Rev. Yearwood was the National Director of the Letelier-Moffitt Human rights Award winning, Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign in which he organized a coalition of national organizations and grassroots organizations to advocate for the rights of Hurricane Katrina survivors. Rev. Yearwood has become an important figure in the peace movement as an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq and the Bush Administration. He was an Officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and led the "Make Hip Hop Not War" national bus tour to engage more young people in the movement for peace.

In 2008 he worked with Grammy Award Winning artist T.I. and Platinum Selling artist Keisha Cole on Respect My Vote! which is a non-partisan voter registration, education, and mobilization campaign of the Hip Hop Caucus. This groundbreaking initiative focuses on the 18-29 year old demographic that did not attend college.

Rev. Yearwood, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He earned his undergraduate degree from University of the District of Columbia in 1998 and was awarded a Master of Divinity from Howard University in 2002. Rev. Yearwood has been seen on CNN, BET Tonight, XXL magazine, Newsweek, The Nation, MTV, AllHipHop.com, Al Jazeera, Streetz Magazine, BBC, C-Span, and Hardball with Chris Mathews and featured in the Washington Post, The New York Times and VIBE magazine.

Blog Entries by Rev. Lennox Yearwood

The Music of Our Struggle: Celebrating the Hip-hop of 2012

(1) Comments | Posted January 8, 2013 | 9:00 PM

As we celebrate the changing of years this is a good time to look back on the momentous year we endured. And to rejoice in the hip-hop music of 2012 that provided the soundtrack on our journey to hard-fought victories, and helped us cope with tragedy.

It was a banner...

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"People Power" --  A New Song for the Climate Justice Movement

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2011 | 11:07 AM

Every movement needs music. Every revolution has a song.

"Music is a great blessing. It has the power to elevate us and liberate us," said Nelson Mandela. "It sets people free to dream, it can unite us to sing with one voice. Such is the value of music."

Mandela would...

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Love thy Enemy

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2011 | 3:16 PM

The debate over the debt ceiling is only the beginning. The next year will quite possibly be one of the most controversial and heated political climates in modern American history.
The reelection campaign of our nation's first African-American president will coincide with a period of high economic stress and...

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An End to an All Too Common Controversy

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2011 | 11:08 AM

Speaking out on a matter of seemingly little significance, such as the presence of a rapper at a White House poetry event, brings me no joy. Especially in the present, when there is so much at stake in America and abroad.

From Tunisia to Egypt, Libya to Syria, and Bahrain...

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Peace, Prosperity, and Purification: Ignored at our Peril

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2010 | 5:05 PM

The following is a speech I delivered at the Environmental Grantmakers Association Fall Retreat in Pacific Grove, CA, on October 6, 2010. The theme of the meeting was Connectivity - Innovation - Collaboration, and the topic of my panel was "Ignored at our Peril", which explored the influences of finance,...

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Hip Hop, National Wildlife, and Five Years after Katrina

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2010 | 2:33 PM

Sunday marks the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the levee breach that left the great American city of New Orleans clinging to life preservers.

As a result of Hurricane Katrina, and the government's failed response in 2005, an estimated 2,000 people died, and hundreds of thousands were displaced....

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Restore Honor to America: August 29, 2010

(25) Comments | Posted July 27, 2010 | 12:47 PM

On August 28, 1955, Emmitt Till was killed in Mississippi, and the shocking photos published in JET Magazine of his open casket funeral catalyzed the civil rights movement. On August 28, 1963, at the March for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, DC, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I...

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Hip Hop Artist Drake Going Green

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2010 | 2:21 PM

Hip-hop artist Drake is "going green" and bringing his fans with him.

"Everywhere you turn, you can see how pollution and poverty are hurting our neighborhoods," says Drake. "But we can change that. Going green is the solution."

Partnering with Green the Block, Drake traveled to 17 campuses...

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Black Voters Want Green Candidates

(8) Comments | Posted March 9, 2010 | 2:54 PM

When African American voters and particularly young voters of color turned out in record numbers in 2008, their vision for change was historic. Heading into the 2010 mid-terms, there is plenty of speculation about who is not going to turn out to the polls this year, presumably because the economy...

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Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham...Earth

(61) Comments | Posted February 4, 2010 | 8:47 AM

Our country, and the world, faces the duel crisis of a failed American economy and climate change that threatens life on this planet as we know it.

Poor people and people of color are feeling the adverse impacts of climate change first and worst, from rising energy prices, to increases...

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4:53pm EST: One. Week. Later.

(1) Comments | Posted January 19, 2010 | 4:25 PM

In less than an hour from now it will be exactly one week since the 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti.

On Friday, the Hip Hop Caucus launched www.HipHopHelpHaiti.org, as a network and resource for the Hip Hop community to organize for Haiti. Tonight, we are holding a National...

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There is Nothing to Fear but Staying Silent

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2009 | 5:00 PM

May 15th marks the seventh anniversary of the first Civil Rights law enacted in the 21st Century, the Notification of Federal Employees Anti discrimination and Retaliation (NoFEAR) Act.

Seven years ago, both houses of Congress unanimously passed legislation that sought to insure that institutional crimes are punished, and equally...

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A Cause Worth Saving

(5) Comments | Posted May 6, 2009 | 5:34 PM

When an award confirms the virtue of a cause at the same time that cause is dying the slow death of underfunding, there is obviously a problem.

Last week Attorney General Eric Holder honored Kenneth Barnes Sr. with the National Crime Victim Service Award, for outstanding service on behalf...

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Tears from Heaven: Dr. King Would Want Climate Justice

(17) Comments | Posted April 4, 2009 | 7:16 PM

Forty-one years ago today, on a balcony in Memphis, TN, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was taken from us. His dream, however, did not die on the balcony.

One year ago, on the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination, I was in Memphis at a very special and important gathering,...

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Give Me Liberty, and Give Me Death?

(51) Comments | Posted March 27, 2009 | 5:28 PM

As you may know the D.C. Voting Rights Act has been postponed in the Congress, and will likely not be brought up in the House until late April.

The bill provides full congressional representation to the District of Columbia and an additional House seat to Utah, with wide support on...

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War during Lifetime

(1) Comments | Posted March 20, 2009 | 1:47 PM

Yesterday was the last day of the 6th year of War in Iraq. It was not the last day of the war.

Today, another year of the war began. Though pundits and commentators don't talk about it on television anymore, it still rages on.

The damage to America's...

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Ask What You Can Do for Your Hood

(8) Comments | Posted March 18, 2009 | 3:48 PM

Rarely in history have young people been blessed with the opportunity, or the responsibility, to serve as the solution to the crisis at hand.

In this economic decline there perhaps is no other option than to turn the reins over to the next generation. This recession is a mess...

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Hip-GOP

(67) Comments | Posted March 14, 2009 | 2:43 PM

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele received considerable flack for his recent comments about giving the party of Lincoln a "hip hop makeover."

Never mind the mental images of a gold tooth flashing John Boehner. That statement actually has merit, so to the surprise of some I'm not here to...

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Help Wanted: Progressives Who Will Organize!

(2) Comments | Posted February 25, 2009 | 1:51 PM

While watching the President Obama address Congress last night, I was thinking about what progressive groups need to do better to support our President. Then, watching the Republican response from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, (I too was born in Louisiana and to immigrant parents), I was struck by how disingenuous...

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