Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Co-Founder/CEO/President of The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, blogs from epicenter of the DNC

The 2008 Democratic Convention kicked of on Monday, August 25 with high energy.
Both Senator Ted Kennedy’s emotionally-charged appearance and Michelle Obama’s motivational and moving speech captivated the nation as a swarm of curious citizens convened to witness a rally for change.

Dr. Benjamin Chavis, co-founder, CEO and President of The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) is reporting from the epicenter of the DNC via a daily blog, documenting it all, from top to bottom.

Dr. Chavis’ blog gives you the low down from the DNC on day one.
Please note Dr. Chavis is available for interviews.

(Denver, CO) August 26, 2008

John Legend did an excellent interview this morning on CNN on “The Arts and the Politics of 2008 in America.” Here in Denver at the DNC yesterday, Legend premiered his latest song “If You’re Out There” as an motivational Call to Action to Vote and Make a Change.

Kanye West, Wyclef Jean, Doug E. Fresh and many others who represent the artistic genius of the hip-hop generation are also here in Denver to promote the largest youth voter turnout in American history in November 2008.

Last night I personally witnessed on the streets on downtown Denver, thousands of young people constructively debating the issues, free-styling poetic verses, blasting their music, dancing on the sidewalks, and displaying their colorful issue-related banners, all demanding change in America and throughout the world.

There is enthusiasm in the air. Young voters are excited. But there is also a profound sense of historical responsibility in the mind set and consciousness of the hip-hop generation. Inside the Pepsi Center among those in attendance, I saw many young people taking seriously the opportunities to speak out on the issues that their really care about.

Legend’s upbeat tempo song proclaimed, “We’ve been looking for the world to change. If you are out there, sing along with me. Stand up and say it loud. Tomorrow’s starting now.”

With all the negative political attack ads now on TV and the radio, it is interesting to see the positive impact of the artistic community transcending the divisiveness and polarization of our society and world. Both the DNC and RNC should take heed of the importance and relevance of how the arts help to inspire people to civic responsibility.

One of the key issues of the 2008 election should be more funding for music and art education in the nation’s public schools. Legend announced on CNN today that he will be speaking out on this issue. We join him in this national appeal.

Governor David Paterson of New York recently affirmed his commitment to lead the state of NY to provide more funding for the arts in the public schools across the state. Obama and McCain should express their support for funding for the arts.

Young voters are demanding change. Change is in their hearts and art. Change will come as they will vote in record numbers.