Fresh off a tour in Benin with her Rhyme like a Girl project, Toni Blackman, the first-ever hip hop artist to work as a US Hip Hop Ambassador, also visited Kenya and Tanzania this year. Senegal and Uganda were on her itinerary in 2018. Her innovative work with Hip Hop Music education led to her being honored as a DOVE Real Woman, fellowships with Echoing Green Foundation and OSI. A featured speaker at the Ableton Loop Summit, this NYU Visiting Scholar recently co-led the Girls Electronic Music Seminar (GEMS) which was featured on ABC News in July. Blackman has traveled to 48 countries performing and speaking and has shared the stage with a host of luminaries. She is founder and director of Freestyle Union, a cypher workshop that uses freestyling as a tool to encourage social responsibility, Blackman’s work has held great influence in the world of hip hop activism. A Hip Hop theatre pioneer, Toni is currently focusing on mixing her Hip Hop Meditation project, collaborating on a television venture and bringing her signature workshop to corporate settings.
Toni co-directed a production for Girl Be Heard in NY. The teen artist wrote a theater piece play telling the stories of teen girls in the DRC. They took actual stories and reinterpreted them as spoken word, monologue and song.