On October 23, 2009, Thomas C. Duffy, director of Yale Bands, and Stephanie Hubbard, business manager of the bands, received special recognition from the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Connecticut for their role in presenting “Rap for Justice” on May 6.
The “Rap for Justice” concert attracted around 1,000 high school students from seven Connecticut cities to Woolsey Hall to hear the concert’s message of non-violence and respect – and to hear raps from Duffy and Robert Blocker, dean of the Yale School of Music. The concert featured performances by the Yale Concert Band, the rap group 4Peace, and three winners of a statewide rap contest, as well as a screening of a film on teen crime.
The film, based on actual events, offered information about the criminal justice system, pointing out, among other messages, that a juvenile record is counted against an adult convicted of a crime. For his first offense as an adult, the protagonist of the movie gets tried in federal court and sentenced to 15 years. The last act of “Rap for Justice” featured performances by the three students who had won a statewide contest for the best rap lyrics promoting peace.
Sponsored by Yale, the concert was an innovative collaboration among Yale Bands, the U.S Department of Justice, and 4PEACE founders Twice Thou and Edo G.
A slideshow of the “Rap for Justice” concert is available here.