Gabriel "Asheru" Benn

Inaugural NEH Africana Studies Hip Hop Artist, Educator, Social Entrepreneur In-Residence
Founding Director Guerilla Arts lnk, LLC and Managing Director, Words Liive

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 to Saturday, April, 2018
Thursday, April 19, 2018 to Saturday, April 21, 2018

Moderated Public Discussion - April 13, 4:10 - 5:30 p.m.
"It 'Aint Hard to Tell: The Genesis and Ascendence of Hip Hop Ed."
April 13, 4:10 - 5:30 p.m.
Rauch Business Center, Room 91

Public Presentation - April 19, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Allentown Art Museum, Community Gallery | Auditorium

Gabriel “Asheru” Benn, M.Ed. is an award winning, international Hip Hop artist, veteran educator, and social entrepreneur.  Hailing from Washington DC, (via Barbados, W.I.), Benn has led a unique, double career path -- as both a Hip Hop artist and educator -- serving as a teacher and administrator in DC’s public, private, and charter schools for 18 years, and is nationally recognized as a pioneer of the Hip Hop Education movement. He is also widely known for his contributions to the hit TV show “The Boondocks”, for which Asheru co-wrote select songs and episodes, in addition to writing and performing the show’s theme song. His contributions to the show earned him the prestigious Peabody Award for Journalism in 2006. Having performed, worked, and collaborated with youth orgs and artists in over 24 countries, Benn was appointed as a U.S. State Department Global Hip Hop Cultural Ambassador in 2014.

Benn currently serves as the Founding Director of Guerilla Arts Ink, LLC (GA) - an arts/education & media consulting organization which specializes in out-of-school time (OST) cultural arts programming, innovative curriculum design, professional development, and youth engagement strategy. Through building and nurturing strategic public/private partnerships, Guerilla Arts has recently secured resources to serve as an accelerator for creative small businesses to become more economically viable. Other GA youth programs and community initiatives, include H.E.L.P, The Hip Hop Educational Literacy Program (, the High School 48 Hour Film Project, and 21st Century L.E.A.P., a three year, literacy & STEAM-based program for elementary - high school school boys of color, made in partnership with DC Public Schools and Empowering Males of Color (EMOC), a My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.

In addition to his work with Guerilla Arts and an extensive music career, Benn currently serves as a managing partner for the Words Liive ( digital, media  literacy platform, and as a faculty member for Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), providing training and supports for educators in the areas of culturally responsive teaching practice, equity in the classroom, and arts and technology integration.  He is scheduled to release his first book on urban education practice through ASCD in 2019.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018 to Saturday, April 14, 2018
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 to Saturday, April 21, 2018