Non-profit

Hip Hop Caucus

Website:

hiphopcaucus.org/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

27-1165010

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $490,910
Expenses: $1,292,783
Assets: $52,591

Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a left-of-center direct-action organization dedicated to left-of-center environmentalist mobilization and expansion of voter participation, including restoring voting rights to felons. The organization signed a petition supporting the Green New Deal. [1]

Using the voices of hip-hop artists to communicate its messages and rally support, Hip Hop Caucus has launched three left-of-center programs: “Think 100%,” a platform for environmentalist energy and combating the impact of climate change in poor communities; “Respect My Vote,” devoted to voter mobilization and ex-felon voting rights; and “People’s Climate Music,” a platform designed to use hip hop to spread environmentalist messages.

Founding

Hip Hop Caucus is a left-of-center organization that emerged from the combination of four existing organizations: P. Diddy’s Vote or Die!, Jay Z’s Voice Your Choice, the AFL-CIO’s Hip Hop Voices, and Russell Simmons’s Hip Hop Summit Action Network. [2]

HHC conducts leadership development, provides leadership training and opportunities for cultural influencers, communicates left-of-center messages, and promotes thought leadership in the areas of voter mobilization, climate change, helping communities, and civil and human rights. [3]

Activities

HHC has created three sub-platforms, each with its own website: “Think 100%,” focused on climate change communications; “Respect My Vote,” a voter mobilization campaign; and “People’s Climate Music,” which leverages influential artists to create music and culture to support HHC’s efforts on climate change. Hip Hop Caucus claims support from the radical environmentalist Sunrise Movement, the League of Conservation Voters environmentalist voter outreach network, Earthjustice, and Zero Hour. [4]

Left-of-center positions of advocacy for felon voting, motivating students to register and vote, and the removal of voter identification laws are promoted via the Respect My Vote (RMV) platform. Hip Hop artists like Dre, Ms. Cream of the Crop, and many others work as spokespeople to promote RMV and its agenda via its website and social media platforms. [5]

Think 100% is the face of Hip Hop Caucus’s environmentalist platform with a focus on younger people. A weekly podcast, films, music, marches, a “youth climate strike,” a tour of “The Coolest Show on Climate Change,” and conferences are used to promote disinvestment by pension funds and universities of conventional energy and related investments. [6]

People’s Climate Music has broadly released Here Comes the Sun by Jeremih x Antonique and HOME (heal our mother earth), promoting people working together against climate change. [7]

Working with the Justice Action Mobilization Network (JAMN), Hip Hop Caucus organized a March, 2017 climate conference along with the Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. [8]

Leadership

Lennox Yearwood, Jr. is president and founder of Hip Hop Caucus. Previously he was political and grassroots director of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, was an architect of P. Diddy’s Vote or Die campaign, and established the Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign after Hurricane Katrina. [9]

Yearwood is a Church of God in Christ elder and was designated by President Barack Obama as a Champion of Change and was the subject of a YaleEnvironment 360 article describing how hip hop can help address environmental issues in communities of color. [10]

Liz Havstad is Hip Hop Caucus’s executive director and began working with Yearwood as coordinator of the Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign. [11]

Mustafa Santiago Ali served as senior vice president of HHC in 2018 and was formerly a senior advisor and assistant associate administrator for environmental justice at the Environmental Protection Agency. He now serves as vice president of environmental justice and community revitalization for the left-wing National Wildlife Federation. He stated in a South Carolina Democratic Party debate that “Environmental racism is the new Jim Crow in regard to: food, housing, jobs (and) education.” [12] [13] [14] [15]

Finances

2018 revenue of $1,234,874, up from $486,914 in 2017, was offset by expenses of $1,281,429, down from $1,292,783 in 2017. [16] Salaries and other compensation accounted for $525,636 of total expenses. [17]

At the close of 2018 net assets were a negative ($213,590) compared to negative ($226,149) at the close of 2017. [18]

Notable contributors to Hip Hop Caucus include environmentalist groups like NRDC Action Fund,[19] the Sierra Club,[20] and Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action;[21] liberal foundations such as the Annenberg Foundation,[22] the Surdna Foundation,[23] and the Kresge Foundation;[24] and labor unions including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the National Education Association (NEA), and Unite Here. [25]

References

  1. ”Green New Deal Hub.” Influence Watch. https://www.influencewatch.org/hub/green-new-deal/. ^
  2. “Hip Hop Caucus.” Hip Hop Caucus | Global Studies Center. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://www.ucis.pitt.edu/global/content/hip-hop-caucus. ^
  3. “Work.” Hip Hop Caucus. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://hiphopcaucus.org/work/. ^
  4. “Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and Founder.” Hip Hop Caucus. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://hiphopcaucus.org/our-story/rev-lennox-yearwood-jr-president-and-ceo/. ^
  5. “Work.” Hip Hop Caucus. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://hiphopcaucus.org/work/. ^
  6. “Impact Report and 2020 Vision.” Think 100%. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://think100.info/impact/. ^
  7. “About.” PEOPLES CLIMATE MUSIC. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://peoplesclimatemusic.com/about-us/. ^
  8. “Climate Conference with Justice Action Mobilization Network in NYC, March 10-11.” Rapid Shift, March 8, 2017. http://www.rapidshift.net/climate-conference-with-justice-action-mobilization-network-in-nyc-march-10-11/. ^
  9. “Hip Hop Caucus.” Hip Hop Caucus | Global Studies Center. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://www.ucis.pitt.edu/global/content/hip-hop-caucus. ^
  10. “Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr.” National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/champions/climate-faith-leaders/reverend-lennox-yearwood-jr. ^
  11. “Liz Havstad.” Hip Hop Caucus. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://hiphopcaucus.org/our-story/team-old/liz-havstad/. ^
  12. “Mustafa Santiago Ali.” National Wildlife Federation. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://www.nwf.org/About-Us/Leadership/Mustafa-Santiago-Ali. ^
  13. “Climate Conference with Justice Action Mobilization Network in NYC, March 10-11.” Rapid Shift, March 8, 2017. http://www.rapidshift.net/climate-conference-with-justice-action-mobilization-network-in-nyc-march-10-11/. ^
  14. “WATCH: 2019 Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice.” Democracy Now! Accessed March 23, 2020. https://www.democracynow.org/live/watch_2019_presidential_forum_on_environmental. ^
  15. Dennis, Brady. “EPA Environmental Justice Leader Resigns, amid White House Plans to Dismantle Program.” The Washington Post. WP Company, March 9, 2017.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/09/epas-environmental-justice-leader-steps-down-amid-white-house-plans-to-dismantle-program/. ^
  16. “Hip Hop Caucus Education Fund” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2017. Part I Lines 12 and 18. ^
  17. “Hip Hop Caucus Education Fund” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2017. Part I Line 15 ^
  18. “Hip Hop Caucus Education Fund” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2017. Part I Line 22 ^
  19. Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Schedule I ^
  20. Sierra Club, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I ^
  21. NextGen Climate Action, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Schedule I ^
  22. Annenberg Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV Line 3 ^
  23. Surdna Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV Line 3 ^
  24. Kresge Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV Line 3 ^
  25. Data compiled from reports filed with the Office of Labor Management Standards from annual reports filed by labor organizations. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 2014

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $490,910 $1,292,783 $52,591 $278,740 N $486,914 $0 $0 $313,385 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,714,186 $1,784,863 $686,027 $110,303 N $1,706,200 $0 $0 $213,107 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,848,909 $1,130,878 $725,085 $78,684 N $1,848,909 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $484,291 $526,102 $6,426 $78,056 N $484,291 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $236,848 $287,838 $46,564 $76,383 N $236,848 $0 $0 $71,000 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $312,962 $328,481 $79,975 $58,804 N $257,962 $55,000 $0 $34,000 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $305,610 $240,207 $95,494 $58,804 N $303,610 $2,000 $0 $31,385 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $327,472 $358,744 $9,312 $38,025 N $327,472 $0 $0 $32,692 PDF
    2009 Dec Form 990 $65,000 $62,441 $2,559 $0 N $65,000 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Hip Hop Caucus

    1638 R ST NW STE 120
    WASHINGTON, DC 20009-6446