YOUmedia Coordinator/Lead Mentor
Mike Hawkins (aka Brother Mike) is the heart and soul of YOUmedia. The Associate Director and Lead Mentor for Digital Youth Network, Brother Mike came to DYN with eight years’ experience working in the classroom at Carter G. Woodson on Chicago’s South Side. Brother Mike specializes in spoken word and hip-hop. In 1999, he co-founded a performance group called Poetree Chicago, which brought spoken word and hip-hop together to venues and communities throughout Chicago. The group was selected for the Illinois Arts Council’s Traveling Artist Roster, creating positive, uplifting material that could inspire and educate. In 2004, the group produced its first album, Positive Pollution.
As a DYN mentor, Brother Mike has worked across media, from spoken word to radio to graphic design. Most notably he helped develop a multi-media arts class called “iRemix Records,” in which sixth-grade students analyze and critique the music industry while learning how to create their own music. Students take on multiple roles as producers, artists, managers, designers, and videographers, with the goal of creating a CD and presenting their work to a larger audience. Brother Mike is the creator of such projects as Change Society, which engages students in media creation with a focus on civic engagement, and Lyricist Loft, which provides a pathway for students to showcase their work to a public audience.
“Students have the power to participate in the media, to react to the media, to create the media, to be the media. With this newfound power, our youth don’t have to simply be fed what the media presents; they can join in the process, to provide a broader more and relevant perspective, while at the same time defining themselves in new, and powerful ways. This idea of redefinition can influence the birth of a new youth cultural renaissance.”
|Specialties:||Spoken Word, Photography, Podcasting, Blogging, Graphic Design, and Video|