Rap impresario Russell Simmons will stage a Hip-Hop Summit Aug. 1-3 in Birmingham, Ala., the epicenter of the 1960s civil rights movement. The event will be held in conjunction with the 13th annual Birmingham Heritage Festival.
Among those confirmed to take part in the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HHSAN) event are Baby, Juvenile, Run-DMC’s Reverend Run, Cash Money Millionaires members Lil’ Wayne and T.Q., Floetry, David Banner, Lil’ Jon & the Eastside Boys, Big Tymers and Lil’ Flip.
In a statement, Simmons says he expects the event will be “a powerful statement concerning the importance of empowering young people with the rich legacy of our heritage and to push forward to make even greater progress, utilizing the tremendous gifts, talents and energy of the youth of today.”
Panel discussions and performances will be part of the event, which will take place in the city’s Historic Civil Rights District. Topics of focus will include career opportunities in the recording industry, financial literacy, community economic development and HHSAN’s goal of registering 20 million voters over the next five years.
Organizers expect more than 150,000 people to attend the event. Simmons will use the occasion to unveil two new entrepreneurial enterprises. The first is the Rush Card, described as “a financial services empowerment vehicle for millions of people who are financially disenfranchised.” The second is a new “energy soda,” Def Con 3, produced by the Russell Simmons Beverage Company.
For more information, visit the Web sites of the Heritage Festival and the HHSAN.