Oakland: Hip Hop therapy moves into its second generation, as survivors become mentors

from Oakland North

“Alvarez partnered with a friend, local hip hop artist Rob Jackson, to create a formalized hip hop therapy program through a non-profit they created called Beats, Rhymes and Life, or BRL. The program began at Berkeley High School in 2004. ‘Every one of the kids that started the program, finished,’ said Alvarez. The next year they were invited to three more schools. ‘Here we are 10 years later, serving about 200 kids a year through hip hop therapy programs,’ Alvarez said. This past summer, BRL even started a year-long pilot program, partnering with the Oakland Public Library and Oakland Parks and Recreation Department, which offered space to host the therapy workshops.”