Department Chair | Virginia State University
Dr. Wes Bellamy, Author of “When White Supremacy Knocks, Fight Back! How White People can use their Privilege and How Black People can use their Power,” is the former Vice-Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, and the youngest person ever elected to the position. He currently serves as the Political Science Department Chairman at Virginia State University, the national Co-Chairman of the newly developed Our Black Party – a political platform focused on advancing the needs of Black people in America, and one of the Global thought leaders of the Millennial Generation. Dr. Bellamy is the National Public Policy Chairman of the 100 Black Men of America. He is the youngest individual ever elected to the Charlottesville City Council post, and he came into the national spotlight after helping to lead the effort to remove statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from City Parks. In 2019, Dr. Bellamy wrote “Monumental: It Was Never About a Statue”, about his experience as serving as the only Black person on the Charlottesville city council while fighting against white supremacy. He developed a comprehensive plan, the “Equity Package,” which included nearly $4 million in aid for marginalized communities, and pushed it through city council. He is the founder of the Black Millennial Political Convention, a Convention focused on bringing together African American millennials from across the country to collectively use their power to create change. He has been featured in the New York Times. Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, and has made appearances, on CNN, MSNBC, PBS News Hour, NPR, and On One with Angela Rye.
Overview: Throughout history and long before the rise of modern technology, hip-hop has been a powerful platform for artists to raise awareness of the social and political injustices that plague the Black community. From Grandmaster Flash to Furious Five to Kendrick Lamar, hip-hop artists have spotlighted the systemic web of American racism, violence against Black people, social, economic, and political inequality, and the need for Black civic participation through their art. This workshop will discuss how young people can use their voices, platforms, and artistry to enact real change on campus, in the community, and in the world.