Hip Hop Caucus Announces Tanya Clay House As Executive Vice President of Campaigns and Advocacy

Tanya Clay House,

Veteran public affairs expert and Obama Administration appointee brings decades of experience and inspired strategic visioning

WASHINGTON Hip Hop Caucus announces today Tanya Clay House as the Executive Vice President, Campaigns and Advocacy. Hip Hop Caucus is a national nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that uses the power of hip-hop culture to advance civil and human rights. Hip Hop Caucus has grown exponentially in recent years to extend its leadership across the country.  As the Executive Vice President, Campaigns and Advocacy, Tanya will spearhead the strategic direction of Hip Hop Caucus’ portfolio of award-winning campaigns and new advocacy initiatives.

“Hip Hop Caucus is thrilled and fortunate to have Tanya Clay House join the team,” said Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO. “This moment in our history where we are striving not only for equity and justice, but for existence, calls for bold action, increased collaboration and inspired leadership. Tanya’s breadth of experience and knowledge will elevate our work and strengthen the political power of our communities. It is an incredible privilege to have Tanya’s leadership on the team and I am excited about the path we build ahead.” 

Tanya joins Hip Hop Caucus from State Infrastructure Fund (SIF) where she managed the voting rights portfolio, including all national voting rights litigation funding. Tanya’s work at SIF included management of the Voting Rights Working Group, a collective of twelve of the nation’s premier civil rights organizations engaged in voting rights litigation, and the development and management of the Election Protection Mapping Project, a tool that provides a comprehensive landscape of the state and national voter protection activities across the country. 

As an Obama Administration appointee, Tanya served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for P-12 Education in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development (OPEPD) at the U.S. Department of Education. In her role, she provided policy recommendations to senior Department officials, oversaw the development of policy in the P-12 budget and spending plan, and was responsible for decisions for major grant competitions. Tanya also led high priority policy initiatives across the Department, including work on school diversity, discipline practices, and the racial justice implications of policies throughout the Department.

“This is such an exciting time to join the Hip Hop Caucus as it celebrates 18 years in the social justice movement.” said Tanya Clay House, Executive Vice President, Campaigns and Advocacy. “I am thrilled to become a member of the leadership team lending my expertise, passion and support in shepherding its expansion on critical civil rights and social justice issues such as voting rights, women’s rights, climate justice, economic justice, criminal justice and more. At its core, the Hip Hop Caucus has consistently focused on addressing the critical issues impacting Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) and underserved communities, and it is this incredible commitment that has encouraged me to return to my roots of over two decades in the civil rights coalition, as we continue to confront the significant challenges ahead.”

Tanya has worked in Congress and within the nonprofit coalition space, and has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress, State Legislatures, and Federal and State Agencies. Tanya has been interviewed and quoted by national television, print and radio media, including NBC Nightly News, Associated Press, National Public Radio, C-SPAN, BET News and The New York Times. Tanya has also received numerous awards for her work, including from the National Bar Association, Rainbow Push Coalition, The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Women Engaged, and ​​the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

Tanya graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in political science and earned her J.D. from the University of Texas, School of Law. Tanya resides outside of Washington, D.C.

For more information about Hip Hop Caucus and Tanya Clay House, visit www.hiphopcaucus.org

About Hip Hop Caucus 

Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.

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Bringing Community Together at the Hip Hop Caucus Summer Retreat

Summer Retreat at Hip Hop Caucus LA

Our 2022 Summer Retreat was a chance for connection, creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Our expanding staff spent four days exploring the impact of narrative, discerning direction, and unifying around our passion for this work.

We also invited influencers and community members to share space with us as we think about what collective power looks like in the coming years.

Hip Hop Caucus Demands More Action Following Biden Administration’s Student Debt Relief Plan Announcement

Student Debt

WASHINGTON — Today, Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s student loan debt relief plan announcement:

“President Biden’s decision to cancel up to $10,000 for Americans earning less than $125,000 annually and to cancel up to $20,000 for Pell grant recipients is a bold action from the federal government. This, along with limiting the monthly payment caps on federal undergraduate loans to 5 percent of monthly income, will have an immediate impact — though it does not meet the need that remains among the 46 million Americans with student loan debt.

Borrowers under 40 years of age represent a majority of the $1.7 trillion dollars in federal student loan debt in the U.S. Black people, in particular Black women, are disproportionately burdened with student loan debt and already face significant economic disparities compared to their White counterparts. Amid rising inflation and higher costs of living, the U.S.’ massive student loan debt will continue to saddle borrowers of all income levels with heavy balances and exorbitant interest rates.

Since the campaign trail, advocates have shared stories and experts have completed analyses to show the tremendous economic and emotional gains that would be achieved by comprehensive student loan debt forgiveness. After months of delays, today’s executive action falls short and fails to deliver the feasible and much-needed relief that people have repeatedly requested. We will continue to call on the President and Congress to take further action for comprehensive student debt relief, while we continue advocating for and encouraging policy solutions that make higher education accessible and affordable for all people.”

About Hip Hop Caucus 

Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.

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Hip Hop Caucus Demands More from Biden Administration Following Passing of Historic Inflation Reduction Act

WASHINGTON — Today, Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. issued the following statement in response to President Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act into law:

“The Inflation Reduction Act is a massive achievement as the largest climate funding stream in American history, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to reach a 2030 benchmark. The Inflation Reduction Act also includes life-changing subsidies to make health insurance more accessible and drug prices more affordable by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices and cap individual medicine prescriptions at $2,000 a year and insulin at $35 for Medicare recipients.

At the same time it expands the gas and oil industry’s ability to establish new pipelines when we should be stopping all new fossil fuel infrastructure. It leaves too many frontline communities suffering under the burden of fossil fuels. It’s a dangerous precedent for the ongoing climate investments we need to make to address this global crisis that disproportionately impacts Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and poor communities in the Gulf and the Arctic. It also unacceptably rolls back the historic debt relief program created from the American Rescue Plan for Black farmers who historically have been disadvantaged.

We continue to call on the Biden Administration to use its authority to declare a climate emergency now that ensures a just transition to an equitable clean energy future.”

About Hip Hop Caucus 

Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.

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Hip Hop Caucus Statement on Supreme Court Ruling to Overturn Roe v. Wade

Today, Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion:

“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a full frontal assault on reproductive rights that will have devastating consequences for millions of people, especially Black, Brown, and Indigenous women. Eliminating the right to safe, legal abortions increases health risks and endangers lives, because abortions will still happen. This decision weakens the foundation for many others fundamental rights that should never have to be challenged or debated. Justice Thomas has made it clear in his opinion that legal protections for birth control, same-sex and interracial marriage — and even the right to have sex — are now vulnerable under this official decision.”

“When it comes to our bodies, we have the right to choose and no one, absolutely no one, should tell us the decisions to make. Hip Hop Caucus and our communities will fight until our reproductive rights are restored state by state and we will make clear to lawmakers that they must respect our votes this November and respect our choice.”

About Hip Hop Caucus 

Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.

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Hip Hop Caucus Hosts ‘We Shall Breathe’ Virtual Summit on June 30 to Challenge the Petrochemical Industry’s Expansion Plans

We Shall Breathe 2022 National Summit

Summit will feature impacted community members and leaders, climate and environmental justice experts, and live performances

LOS ANGELES — The national nonprofit organization Hip Hop Caucus’ Think 100% platform will host the ‘We Shall Breathe’ virtual summit on June 30, 2022 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The summit will bring together activists and climate justice experts to engage audiences in the effort to stop petrochemical facilities expansion, particularly in Houston, Louisiana, and the Ohio River Valley which are production epicenters in the U.S. Register for ‘We Shall Breathe’ here

Petrochemicals are the building blocks for plastics, pesticides, clothing, digital devices, and other common products. Petrochemicals are made from oil and natural gas, and contaminate air, water and soil. Emissions from petrochemical production account for 10 to 15 percent of the U.S.’ climate pollution. A majority of petrochemical plants are located in Black and Brown communities and without successful intervention to curb expansion, the petrochemical industry could account for nearly half of all oil industry growth by 2050. 

“While the world is making strides in transitioning to clean energy and electric vehicles, the oil industry is eyeing petrochemicals as their lifeline to the future,” said Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO. “Their business plan is a death sentence to our communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis and on the fence lines of these industries. The ‘We Shall Breathe’ Summit will host some of the most dynamic leaders across the country who are coming together to shut down polluting facilities in communities and advance real climate justice solutions for all our futures.” 

The ‘We Shall Breathe’ summit with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies will feature visual art, clips from the Hip Hop Caucus’ Think 100% film series ‘Big Oil’s Last Lifeline’ and interactive presentations and panel discussions. Guest speakers and performers include Jacqueline Patterson, Founder and Executive Director of The Chisholm Legacy Project, Kristy Drutman, Host of the Brown Girl Green podcast, poet Zoe Enne Samuel, and more will be announced.  

“The substantial gains we’ve made in cutting climate pollution and saving lives threaten to be swamped by new fossil fuel projects. And frontline communities stand to be hit first and worst, just like they have been with pollution from existing facilities and from the impacts of climate change,” said Antha Williams, who leads Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Environment Program. “The ‘We Shall Breathe’ summit will convene key players and amplify the voices of those who experience the brunt of pollution and see solutions to bring us a healthier, more sustainable, and just future for all.”

The inaugural ‘We Shall Breathe’ summit held in April 2021 had more than 35,000 people tune in live from across the U.S. and garnered more than 250,000 views. The summit featured speakers from the NAACP, Black Women’s Roundtable, and the National Black Environmental Justice Network (NBEJN). Stream the 2021 ‘We Shall Breathe’ summit here

For more information about the ‘We Shall Breathe’ summit, visit www.weshallbreathe.com

About Hip Hop Caucus 

Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.

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Hip Hop Caucus Applauds Historic Confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — Today, Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. issued the following statement in response to Congress’ confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States:

“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court is historic, affirming, and undoubtedly deserved. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is the definition of Black excellence and brings unparalleled experience to a Court that has been majority white throughout our history. Following Black women’s leadership is what we need to do for our nation and representation on America’s highest court is long overdue. We celebrate this barrier-breaking moment for how her expert leadership will shape our country, and also for how it will enliven possibilities in the dreams of young girls everywhere. We look forward to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s service on the United States Supreme Court as we continue to strive for a country that is more equitable, free, and fair for all.” 

About Hip Hop Caucus 

Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.

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Hip Hop Caucus Launches New Voting Tool to Aid Returning Citizens’ Access to the Ballot Box

Respect Returning Citizens right to Vote

New Voting Tool To Provide Easier Access To Information On Voter Eligibility Launches On National Voter Registration Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. September 28 – Hip Hop Caucus’ Respect My Vote campaign launched today, a new voting tool geared towards helping returning citizens and those on parole find out if they are eligible to vote.

This tool is the first of its kind to provide timely, up-to-date information that is updated in real time in accordance with changes to the laws. The voting tool allows users to enter their personal, but not traceable or recorded, information in order to determine if their specific circumstances allow them to vote. It offers the most impressive and comprehensive granularity of data of existing voter eligibility resources, and includes all U.S. States and territories. 

“Access to the ballot, and more specifically equal access to the ballot for all people, is a key value in American democracy,” Rev Yearwood, president and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus said. “Returning citizens are a heavily disenfranchised demographic of voters, largely because many assume their status deems them ineligible to vote. This lack of continuity in laws between states, as well as frequent changes, is a natural cause of confusion. We, along with our partners, seek to use his new tool to aid returning citizen’s access to the ballot box.”

A number of Americans have unfortunately lost their right to vote because of a past felony conviction. However, just because an individual has a felony conviction, it does not necessarily mean that they are unable to vote in most states. This new voting tool aims to tackle that problem and inform individuals by aggregating laws on voting rights for all states in one place that walks each user through their potential eligibility and resources to sign up. If the user is not in fact eligible to vote, the tool will outline and explain exactly why that is the case.

The release of the new online voting tool will streamline eligibility requirements of formerly incarcerated people and those on parole as many states have created a dense and often confusing patchwork of voter eligibility laws. For example, Connecticut, New York and Washington recently passed laws restoring voting rights to citizens on parole; while New Jersey restores the right to vote to people with a felony conviction upon their release from prison. However, in the battleground state of Florida, people with certain felony convictions can vote after the completion of their sentences. 

The tool is available to embed on the websites of organizations mobilizing the vote in upcoming elections. Other organizations that have agreed to offer the tool to their membership include: U.S. Vote Foundation, Rock the Vote, National Black Justice Coalition, and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.

About Hip Hop Caucus 

Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.

S3 Ep 14: Showing Up w/ Alyssa Milano

Many Grassroots Organizations have found themselves in a competition for support from donors. Unfortunately, organizations vying for attention have created a circumstance where groups step on each other for resources, leaving those who need help the most buried.  Rev Yearwood speaks with Actress, Activist, and Author Alyssa Milano about her work connecting organizations to people on the ground in the movement. Alyssa dives into the realities of being a celebrity activist, cancel culture, and the backlash for speaking up for justice.  

The Coolest Show – brought to you by Hip Hop Caucus Think 100% PODCASTS – drops new episodes every Monday on environmental justice and how we solve the climate crisis. Listen and subscribe here or at TheCoolestShow.com! Follow @Think100Climate and @RevYearwood on Instagram, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hip Hop Caucus and Global Partners Unite for Three Parallel Climate Summits

Earth Week Will Also See Multiple Days Of Climate Action 

On Earth Day, April 22, global activists, international leaders, and influencers will come together for the second-annual multi-hour Earth Day Live

WASHINGTON, D.C. — EARTHDAY.ORG along with lead organizers Education International, Hip Hop Caucus, and Earth Uprising are organizing three separate parallel climate action summits on April 20 and 21 ahead of the Biden Administration’s global leaders’ climate summit. The parallel summits are focused respectively on climate literacy, environmental justice, and a broad range of youth-led climate-focused issues. Earth Week will also bring thousands of groups and millions of voices together to stand up for climate action and bring awareness to humanity’s greatest existential threat. On Earth Day, EARTHDAY.ORG will bring together its partners, activists, educators, researchers, musicians, artists, influencers and more for its second-annual Earth Day Live.

“This Earth Day, we have an important opportunity to challenge world leaders to see climate change for what it is – a pressing global security threat, one that threatens everyone and everything but particularly our most vulnerable people and places,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of EARTHDAY.ORG.

April 20
The three days of climate action begin on April 20th with the global youth climate summit led by Earth Uprising, in collaboration with My Future My Voice, OneMillionOfUs and hundreds of youth climate activists. The global youth summit will consist of panels, speeches, discussions, and special messages with today’s youth climate activists including Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Villaseñor, and Licypriya Kangujam. The four-hour digital summit will address the progress that has been made on their main issues of concern, including the creation of green jobs, climate literacy, civic skill training, environmental justice, biodiversity protection and sustainable agriculture. In the lead up to the event, the youth organizers will put together a short list of demands that they want addressed at the Biden Administration’s climate summit.

“President Biden bringing together world leaders to discuss climate change on Earth Day is a major turning point in global climate action! This youth-led summit will bring together global youth climate activists to prepare a message for President Biden on the eve of his historic summit. Youth around the world are experiencing some of the worst effects of climate change right now. We’re suffering from extreme weather, pollution, civil unrest, and the loss of lives and livelihoods. Our summit will identify the key issues and solutions most important to youth. The future of our generation is at stake and it’s important for our voices to be heard!” said Alexandria Villaseñor, Founder of Earth Uprising.

“World leaders need to see climate change as an urgent political issue. The world is already experiencing adverse extreme weather events like floods, droughts, heat waves, cyclones, locusts and extremely polluted air at the same time. These are all the impacts of climate change. The United States must take a leadership role in the shift to sustainable production and consumption to end this crisis and shift from the carbon economy to the green economy. It must put in place policy that would draw investment into resource efficiency and reduction of waste. In doing so, it will provide a template for other developing countries as well,” said Licypriya Kangujam, 9-year-old Climate & Environmental Activist.

In the evening on April 20, the Hip Hop Caucus and its partners will present the “We Shall Breathe” virtual summit. This digital event will examine climate and environmental justice, connecting the climate crisis to issues of pollution, poverty, police brutality, and the pandemic, all within a racial justice framework.

“Climate and environmental justice were on the ballot in November. The same Black and Brown voters that decided the election for President Biden, are the same communities that have been most impacted by environmental injustice and who are most threatened by climate disaster. This Earth Day, we expect President Biden to reinforce our affirmation that ‘We Shall Breathe’ by announcing bold climate action based on equity and justice domestically and globally,” said Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and Founder, Hip Hop Caucus.

April 21
On April 21, Education International will lead the “Teach for the Planet: Global Education Summit.” The multilingual virtual summit will span several time zones and feature prominent activists from every continent, focused on the crucial role that educators play in combating climate change and why we need transformative climate education now. 

Susan Hopgood, President of Education International, said, “The fight against climate change  must have an  education face  and a teacher’s voice in every area of the world.  The planet is  in  crisis  and I  strongly believe that teachers and educators have a critical role to play in  combating the environmental destruction, human suffering and  social injustice that will  certainly occur if climate change continues at current rates.”

“Teachers know that the most important long-term investment our societies can make towards a sustainable future is ensuring every student is literate about climate science and equipped with the civic knowledge and skills to change course,” said David Edwards, General Secretary, Education International. “All world leaders must commit to creating the necessary educational space and resources so that students learn the world’s most important lesson. In launching this campaign, the world’s educators are determined to realize our students’ right to know, do and exist.”

April 22
Parallel to the Biden Administration’s global climate summit, EARTHDAY.ORG will produce its second Earth Day Live digital event on April 22. The multi-hour multi-channel livestream will include segments taking place around the world starting at noon Eastern Time. Workshops, panel discussions, and special performances will focus on Earth Day’s 2021 theme, Restore Our Earth, which examines natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems. Topics will include climate and environmental literacy, climate restoration technologies, reforestation efforts, regenerative agriculture, equity and environmental justice, citizen science, cleanups, and beyond. World climate leaders, grassroots activists, nonprofit innovators, thought leaders, industry leaders, artists, musicians, influencers, and more will be involved.  

For more information about Earth Day 2021, please visit: https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/

About EARTHDAY.ORG
EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day (1970), EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 150,000 partners in nearly 192 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Learn more at: https://www.earthday.org

About Hip Hop Caucus
Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders. Learn more at: www.hiphopcaucus.org

About Education International
Education International is the global voice of educators and the world’s largest, most representative global organization of education unions. With more than 32.5 million members in 384 organizations in 178 countries and territories, Education International works to promote peace, democracy, social justice and equity through education and the collective strength of teachers and education employees. Learn more at: https://www.ei-ie.org

About Earth Uprising
Earth Uprising is a global, youth-led non-profit organization focused on climate education, climate advocacy, and youth mobilization. Through its strong network of activists from all around the world, partnerships with other groups, and local, national, and international campaigns and actions, it aims to bring attention to, and spur action based on the latest science regarding the climate crisis. Earth Uprising provides the tools, resources, and connections young people need to take direct action in their communities. Learn more at earthuprising.org

Press Contacts:
EARTHDAY.ORG: Olivia Altman altman@earthday.org

Hip Hop Caucus: media@hiphopcaucus.org

Education International: Cristina Banita Cristina.Banita@ei-ie.org or Rebeca Logan rebeca.logan@ei-ie.org

Earth Uprising: media@earthuprising.org