Hip Hop Artists to Perform at “Selma at 50: Still Marching” Spring Conference

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago Theological Seminary announced that emcee and community activist Jasiri X and rapper and humanitarian artist Jessica Disu (aka FM Supreme) will be participating in theiir 2015 Spring Conference, “Selma at 50: Still Marching.”

“Selma at 50: Still Marching” is a two-day conference taking place on the CTS campus Friday, April 24th and Saturday, April 25th that will encourage attendees to examine the systemic causes of social issues, including the prison industrial complex and militarized policing, violence, racism, income inequality, and poverty to create actionable strategies leading to change. “We are delighted to have these two artists who are deeply involved in grassroots activism performing and speaking at this event,” President Alice Hunt said. “Artists have always used their talents to inspire people and reflect back the state of culture, inspiring change. Jasiri and Jessica are living proof that the legacy Selma left is long and deep and that activism manifests in many voices and ways. Their gifted commentary on current culture and events brings welcomed energy to our work,” she added.

Jasiri X will perform Friday afternoon, April 24, and FM Supreme will close the conference on Saturday afternoon, April 25, with student finalists from Louder Than a Bomb. The artists join an impresive line up of scholars, activists and thought leaders, including Michelle Alexander, Rev, Jesse Jackson, Sr., DeRay Mckesson, Sylvia Puente, Linda Sarsour and others.

View the full speaker line up and register by visiting selma.ctschicago.edu.

Born and raised in Chicago, Jessica Disu, also known as FM Supreme, uses language as a tool for positive change. She’s a three-time international performing poet, artist, activist, and educator who describes herself as a “humanitarian rap artist.” As a two-time champion of Louder Than a Bomb, the Chicago youth poetry festival, Disu has also served as coach and youth leader in that slam and others. Her commitment to mentoring youth extends across the globe. Recently, she toured Southeast Asia visiting Bangkok, Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) with The Peace Exchange: Chicago – Asia 2013. The Peace Exchange is a community-based, educationally focused, and young adult-led effort to understand violence and foster peace in some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods.

As a performer, Disu has shared stages and performed at conferences with the likes of Russell Simmons, Lupe Fiasco, MC Lyte, Nick Cannon, Spike Lee, Melissa Harris Perry (MSNBC/Tulane University), Chuck D (Public Enemy), Q Tip (A Tribe Called Quest), and a host of other activists, policy makers, and elected officials committed to decreasing violence in inner city communities. FM Supreme is the founder of Chicago International Youth Peace Movement and co-founder of The Peace Exchange: Chicago – Asia 2013.

Jasiri X is an emcee, community activist, and the creative force and artist behind the groundbreaking internet news series “This Week with Jasiri X,” which has garnered critical acclaim and attracted thousands of internet subscribers and millions of views. From the controversial viral video What if the Tea Party was Black? to the hard-hitting hilarity of Republican Women . . . stay away from me, Jasiri cleverly uses Hip-Hop to provide social commentary on a variety of issues. His videos have been featured on web sites as diverse as Allhiphop.com and The Huffington Post. Jasiri has also been a guest on BET’s Rap City, The Michael Baisden Show, Free Speech TV Left of Black, and Russia Today.

Jasiri first came to prominence in the national and international Hip-Hop scene with the powerful hit song Free the Jena 6, which was played on more than 100 radio stations and was named “Hip-Hop Political Song of the Year.” His debut album American History X was named album of the year at the Pittsburgh Hip-Hop awards. He recently became the first Hip-Hop artist to receive the coveted August Wilson Center for African American Culture Fellowship. A founding member of the anti-violence group One Hood, Jasiri started the 1Hood Media Academy to teach young African American boys how to analyze and create media for themselves.

Jasiri X has performed around the world from New York City to Berlin, and toured colleges and universities presenting his innovative workshop, “How to Succeed in Hip-Hop without Selling Your Soul.” He is also working on a book of the same name. Jasiri blogs for Jack and Jill Politics, Daveyd.com and The Black Youth Project. He recently signed a record deal with Wandering Worx entertainment and released his first record with them, Ascension, created with acclaimed producer Rel!g!on.

About Chicago Theological Seminary
Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) is a seminary affiliated with the United Church of Christ serving over twenty-five different Christian and non-Christian faith communities by preparing men and women for the next generation of religious leadership, whatever that may be. Founded in 1855, CTS promotes a progressive, forward-looking philosophy and is at the forefront of religious scholarship, interreligious dialogue and transformative leadership. CTS graduates, students, faculty and staff have been advocates for social justice and mercy since the days of the Underground Railroad.

Chicago Theological Seminary helps individuals discern and articulate an evolving faith for the future, whether in ministry, teaching, advocacy, activism, social work or social justice.