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Higher Learning: Hip-Hop Therapy and Psychology

Join Dr. Edgar Tyson, Lauren Gardner, and Debangshu Roychoudhury from Fordham University as they discuss the advances in Hip-Hop Therapy and Psychology derived from their annual conference. Hip Hop Psychology is a school of philosophical inquiry which seeks to use the artistic components of Hip Hop (movement, visual art, music production and emceeing) as a means to provide a culturally sensitive, multi-linguistic way of expressing in a therapeutic or medical context.


Higher Learning is presented as part of the Schomburg’s Hip-Hop 4.0 Initiative to examine the ways educators are using hip-hop culture to engage and teach K-12 students in classrooms and the community. Hip-Hop 4.0 is curated by Martha Diaz, founding director of the Hip-Hop Education Center.

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About the panelists:

Dr. Edgar H. Tyson is an Assistant Professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service in New York, NY.  He has been a researcher and educator for 8 years and a practitioner, specializing in treatment of high-risk and delinquent youth for the past 15 years. Although the primary lens from which I view and understand education and practice is social work and social welfare, my formal training and development has been grounded in a multidisciplinary perspective. Along with a minor in biology, I have taken courses and participated in advanced workshops in disciplines such as statistics, religion, philosophy, economics, law, political science, cultural and intercultural studies,musicology, sociology and psychology at BarryUniversity (MSW Degree) and The University of Tennessee (PhD Degree). The convergence of these diverse and rich disciplinary fields or subject areas has forged my scholarly interests and research program in three main focus-areas: cultural competence in assessment of child mental health and behavioral outcomes; applying contemporary, urban youth culture (e.g., hip hop) in prevention and intervention research; and developing and strengthening hip hop-based delinquency prevention and civic engagement models for youth. My academic training is complemented by nearly 20 years of social work practice experience in community-based, psychiatric, child welfare and juvenile justice settings. The past ten years of my scholarship as primarily focused on hip hop based assessments and interventions for youth.


Debangshu Roychoudhury, MA, PhD student in Psychology, The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. He has opened up for Immortal Technique, GRITS, Kanye West and performed for Reverend Run and with feminist artist Judy Chicago. His work has been featured on NBC, Fox News, The Tennessean, and CNN Newsroom and he has performed nationally and internationally in venues including Madison Square Garden Theatre, Riverside Church, Opryland Hotel, and The Whitney Museum. He is currently a doctoral student in Psychology at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York studying Hip Hop and Human Development, Discourse Analysis, and Africana Studies. He also holds a Masters in Counseling from New York University. Debangshu is co-editing a book with Lauren and Brad Porfilio entitled, See You at The Crossroads: Hip Hop Scholarship at the Intersections by Sense Publishers.



Lauren M. Gardner, MSW, PhD student in Psychology, The GraduateCenter at the CityUniversity of New York. Gardner is a dancer and choreographer who performs nationally and internationally, and has opened for rappers Ludacris and Common. Her choreography and scholarship has been featured on CNN Newsroom, Fox News, NBC, Self Magazine and The Tennessean, and has presented and performed at Gibney Dance Broadway for the New York State Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association. She has her Masters in Social Work from FordhamUniversity and is currently a doctoral student in Psychology at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, studying Hip Hop and Human Development, Dance as Discourse, and Women’s Studies.