Hip-Hop Economic Empowerment Program
“Through the Power of the Dollar…There’s Justice 4 All”
We believe that Poverty and Ignorance are the root causes of a host of social problems that affect our youths and young adults. These problems include: welfare, unemployment, low paying jobs, dropout rates, academic decline, crime, gang violence, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, AIDS, homelessness, hunger and poor health. It devastates a community when citizens can’t afford adequate food, clothing, shelter, medicine or childcare. With all our wealth worldwide poverty should not be an issue. Individuals who live in poverty in the US and abroad face many obstacles when they can’t meet their basic needs. They are sometimes forced to resort to economic crimes such as selling drugs, prostitution, theft, robbery, etc.
Training our youths to establish sound financial habits at a young age is critical if we are going to end global poverty. Through this program we will be able to support young people in their tough journey through the worlds of finance, business and economics. Studies have shown that a large percentage of people of all ages, incomes, and education lack the basic financial knowledge and skills to ensure long-term stability for themselves and their families. Students about to enter the “world of work” and/or entrepreneurship will have many opportunities to earn millions during their lifetime and it’s our responsibility to make sure they are properly prepared for success.
FINANCIAL LITERACY, EMPLOYMENT & ENTREPRENEURSHIP (F.L.E.E)
The objective of this program is to enlighten participants
about Financial Literacy, Employment and Entrepreneurship so
they can: a) Manage their Personal and Business Finances; b)
Prepare for Job opportunities; c) Learn how to Start
their Own Business; d) become part of a team that will help
eliminate poverty in the United States and abroad through
support from the United Nations (UN), their agencies and
affiliates. Participants will learn about the "World of
Work,” including resume writing, dress codes, interview
preparation, salary negotiations, time management, leadership
skills, work habits, management responsibilities, etc. By
working with business leaders, celebrities, elected officials,
executives, financial institutions, real estate companies, and
stock brokers participants will be enlightened about the
“World of Wall Street,” Money, Debit & Business Management, Budgets, Privacy, Fraud, Checking & Savings Accounts, Building & Repairing Credit, Investment & Estate Planning, Stocks, Bonds, CDs, Interest rates, Mutual funds, 401-K programs, Credit & Debit Cards, Taxes, Wills, Real Estate, Home Ownership, Gentrification; Eminent Domain; College Tuition, Corporations, Socially Responsible Investments, Family & Retirement Planning. The retail value of our FREE 3-part “Power of the Dollar” Course is $4,000.
Executives, Celebrities, Elected Officials, Clergy and Community Leaders will also help reinforce the message and goals of the program through books, literature, tapes, DVDs, webinars, webcast, workshops, seminars, conferences, internet chat rooms, websites, blogs, business meetings, audio and video conference calls.
To add some excitement to our Hip-Hop Economic Empowerment program (HEEP)
participants can obtain a HEEP- Debit
MasterCard and a Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council Membership PowerCard. Both offer a host of financial benefits, perks, and services which gives members the hands on experience of managing their own money with the convenience of a Credit Card without the debt. In addition, we have created a Unique Redeemed Valued Points (RVP) Program that offers members who shop in HEEP’s Hip-Hop Online Mall RVP for additional shopping, discounts on Merchandise, Services, Food, Prizes, Perks and a “Certificate of Support” for joining our “War Against Poverty”. This WIN/WIN opportunity will officially recognize and compensate members for joining our work to address Poverty and the UN Millennium Development Goals.
With these cards they will also be eligible to receive the following benefits: grants; business loans; scholarships; training programs; internships; jobs; entrepreneurial opportunities; No Charge on Purchases; Direct Deposit Payroll Card; Meet, Greet & Eat opportunities with celebrities; Backstage passes to celebrity events; appearances in Films, TV shows & Music videos; Recording Contracts; Celebrity memorabilia; Tickets & Backstage passes to award shows (Grammies, MTV, Soul Train, BET, etc.); Concert & Award Show after parties with the Stars; New and Pre-Owned cars; Gift cards; apparel & footwear; Jewelry; Vacations; CDs & DVDs; Casting in Reality Shows; School & Home visits by your favorite star; All-Star & Playoff Game tickets; passes to special HIP-HOP events; discounts on merchandise and services at thousands of MasterCard Vendors; Videogames; Cell Phones; Computers; Ipods: Televisions; CD & DVD players; Entertainment Centers; or they will be selected to be a Youth, Goodwill or Peace Ambassador through UN Programs.
Our Launch-A-Business initiative was created for our Entrepreneurial participants that want to EARN & LEARN how to “Start their own Business”. In business you are taught the more you buy, the cheaper the cost, the bigger the profit. Using this formula we created a “Money Making” program that can improve the financial lives of our young Entrepreneurs. They will have an opportunity to be a part of the “Global Business Network” we joined that purchases Products and Services in VOLUME and passes the DISCOUNT on to CONSUMERS at an affordable price that beats the competition. Through this unique Business Model our participants can become “Financially Independent” in their spare time or just raise a lot of cash for a worthwhile cause.
WHY DO WE NEED THIS PROGRAM?
DEFINITION OF POVERTY
Poverty in the United States refers to people whose annual family income is less than a "poverty line" set by the U.S. government. Poverty is a condition in which a person or community is deprived of, or lacks the essentials for a minimum standard of well-being and life. Currently roughly 13% of the US population falls below the federal poverty threshold. The poverty level is the official measure used to decide eligibility for federal health, housing, nutrition and childcare benefits. It differs by family size (i.e. the poverty level for a family of four with two children is $20,444).
Poverty in the U.S. is cyclical in nature with individuals rising above and falling below the poverty threshold from time to time. As a result far more than 13% of the population falls below the poverty line at some point over a given period of years. While in any given year 12% to 15% of the population is poor; over a ten-year period 40% experience poverty in at least one year because most poor people cycle in and out of poverty; they don't stay poor for long periods. Poverty is something that happens to the working class, not some marginal other on the fringes of society. It illustrates that poverty in America goes well beyond the stereotypical image of the homeless vagrant, high school dropout, AIDS patient or drug addict. The new face of American poverty often includes the restaurant dishwasher, office clerk, single working mother with children, deli and maintenance workers. In addition, in some high-cost-of-living cities you now have to consider the nurse, the firefighter, the school-teacher and other blue-collar workers. It is clear that the official federal US poverty measure is woefully outdated and needs to be fixed if we are going to solve the problem. To support the growing need for change the following release is from the office of Congressman Jim McDermott.
McDermott Announces Hearing on Measuring Poverty in America
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support of the Committee on Ways and Means, today announced that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the definitions and standards used to measure the number of Americans living in poverty. The hearing will consider the current poverty measure, its limitations, and possible alternatives. In view of the limited time available to hear witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only. However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Subcommittee and for inclusion in the record of the hearing which took place on Wednesday, August 1, 2007.
HEARING INFORMATION BACKGROUND:
On August 28th, the Census Bureau will release statistics on the depth and breadth of poverty in 2006. In 2005, nearly 37 million Americans were officially poor—an increase of 5.4 million since 2000. In 2005, the poverty threshold for a family of four with two children was $20,444. The official poverty rate is a critical indicator of how widely shared prosperity is in the economy, a key benchmark for targeting resources towards the most disadvantaged, and a useful measure of the impact of programs and policies on vulnerable populations.
However, there is a broad consensus that the poverty measurement has become less accurate in highlighting economic hardship than when it was created more than 40 years ago. For example, the poverty thresholds were created in relation to consumption when the average family of three or more persons spent about one-third of its after-tax income on food. Today, food demands only one-seventh of that family’s budget, while the share of income devoted to other expenses, such as housing and health care, has grown. Furthermore, the Federal poverty threshold for a family of four represented about 50 percent of median income when first devised, while it now represents only about 30 percent of median income. Finally, the current poverty measurement fails to count certain benefits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit and food stamps, as well as certain work-related expenses, including childcare and transportation.
There have been numerous suggestions for revising the poverty measure, including recommendations published in 1995 by a National Academy of Sciences Panel on Poverty and Family Assistance. The panel recommended both changes in how family resources are calculated and corresponding adjustments to the poverty threshold. A number of options were provided, nearly all of which would have increased the number of Americans considered poor.
In announcing the hearing, Chairman McDermott stated: “We need a poverty measurement for 2007, not 1963. Unfortunately, our poverty measure has not kept pace with societal changes over the past half century. Improvements are needed so we can fully understand how many Americans are denied access to a reasonable standard of living, and so we can target resources to those most in need.”
US POVERTY STATISTICS
According to the US Census Bureau, in 2006 the poverty rate for minors in the United States was 21.9% - representing the highest child poverty rate in the developed world. The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual release of data on poverty, income, and health insurance revealed that the official child poverty rate in the United States remained unchanged in 2006, hovering at about 17.5%. Not only did child poverty not decline, but also the number of uninsured children increased for the second year in a row. To add insult to injury youth unemployment in some minority communities can be as high as 50%.
Nearly 13 million children in the United States—17% of all children—live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level—$20,444 a year for a family of four. Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses. In 2006, there were over 73 million children in the United States with 39%—28.6 million—living in low-income families. 12.8 million children live in families with incomes below the official poverty level. Since 2000, the annual Census Bureau figures have shown that the number of children living in poverty has either increased or remained stagnant each year. In fact, there were 1.2 million more poor children in 2006 compared to 2000. And the number of children without health insurance increased by more than 600,000 in just one year, reaching 8.7 million. In total 47 million Americans are now uninsured, up over the previous year. Nearly one in five children living in poverty is uninsured. There is an increase in youth poverty, bankruptcy fillings and a ‘Mortgage Meltdown” resulting in a record number of foreclosures this year. If that is not enough there is also an increase in poverty in 2006 in the 1# city in the world, New York.
GLOBAL POVERTY RELATED STATISTICS
More than one billion people in the world live on less than
one dollar a day
- Nearly half the world’s population, 2.7 billion struggle to survive on less than two dollars per day
- Poverty in the #1 city in the world, which is New York, is up over last year
- 50,000 die daily from extreme poverty
In some deeply impoverished nations less than half of the
children are in primary school, and under 20% go to secondary
- Around the world, a total of 114 million children do not get even a basic education
- 10.9 million children die before they are 5 in developing countries, with 60% from Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases1 out of 4 Children will die before the age of 5
- More than 50% of Africans suffer from water-related diseases such as cholera and infant diarrhea
- Everyday HIV/AIDS kills 6,000 people and another 8,200 people are infected with this deadly virus
Every 30 seconds an African child dies of malaria-more than
one million child deaths a year
- Each year 300 to 500 million people are infected with malaria, with Approximately three million deaths
- TB is the leading AIDS-related killer and in some parts of Africa, 75% of people with HIV also have TB
- Every year eleven (11) million children die, most under the age of five. More than six (6) million die from completely preventable causes like malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia
Forty-seven (47) million Americans are Uninsured, up over last year
- Every minute a child under 15 dies of an AIDS-related illness and another becomes HIV-positive
- More than 854 million people go to bed hungry every day and 300 million are children. Of the 300 million children, only 8% are victims of famine or other emergency situations. More than 90% are suffering from long-term malnourishment and micronutrient deficiency
- Every 3.6 seconds another person dies of starvation and
a majority are children under the age of 5
- More than 2.6 billion people-over 40% of the world's population-do not have basic sanitation
More than one billion people still use unsafe sources of
- Four out of every ten people in the world don't have access even to a simple latrine
- Five million people, mostly children, die each year from water-borne diseases
- 584 million women are illiterate. More than 40% of women in Africa don’t have access to a basic education
- If a girl is educated for six years or more, as an adult her prenatal care, postnatal care and childbirth survival rates will dramatically and consistently improve
- Educated mothers immunize their children 50% more often than mothers who are not educated
- AIDS spreads twice as quickly among uneducated girls than among girls that have even some
- The children of a woman with five years of primary school education have a survival rate 40% higher than children of women with no education A woman living in sub-Saharan Africa has a 1 in 16 chance of dying in pregnancy. This compares with a 1 in 3,700 risk for a woman from North America
- Every minute, a woman somewhere dies in pregnancy or childbirth, adding up to 1,400 women dying each day, an estimated 529,000 each year-from pregnancy-related causes
Almost half of births in developing countries take place
without the help of a skilled birth attendant
CHILD POVERTY ASSESSMENT
Most children living in poverty have parents who work, but low wages and unstable employment have them struggling to make ends meet. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems, as well as poor health. Risks are greatest for children who experience poverty when they are young, when it is deep and persistent.
Research is clear that poverty is the single greatest threat to child’s well being. Effective public policies that assist low-income parents who work by providing high-quality early care and learning for children can make a difference. Investments in the most vulnerable children are necessary if we are going to eliminate poverty.
It’s clear that child poverty has dramatic, negative consequences both for those who experience it—and for our society as a whole, here in the United States and abroad. It is unfortunate but if there are flaws in the way we measurer poverty, the true extent of economic hardship for children living in poverty in the United States could be closer to 30 million opposed to 13. If that many children are living in poverty you can be sure it’s just a matter of time before we loose our status as the Greatest Country on earth.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, United Nations Millennium Project, Project, UNICEF & World Food Program
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?
To inform participants about Financial Literacy, Employment
- To produce material, books, tapes, events and activities that will foster Economic Development.
- To partner with organizations that promote Financial Literacy, Employment and Entrepreneurship.
- To offer Jobs, Internships, Training Programs, Youth Ambassadorships and Entrepreneurial opportunities to participants.
To use Celebrities, Executives, Elected officials, Clergy and
Community Leaders to: motivate student participation; deliver
a positive message to participants that stress the importance
of graduating from school, economic education and the dangers
of poverty; offer prizes and incentives for participates who
meet selected program requirements; reinforce the message and
goals of the program.
- To work with the U.N. and other groups to Reduce Poverty and empower our youths
and young adults.
- To launch a membership drive to recruit new members.
To improve the Financial Literacy of our participants so they
can manage their personal finances and business affairs.
- To reduce youth poverty by 50% in the United States
and the U.N. by the 2015 deadline.
- To develop, support, solicit and implement projects that will offer Employment and Economic opportunities to reduce poverty and help participants become Financially Independent.
- To increase the number of partners that will assist in helping us meet our goals.
- To solicit 1 million members by December 2008.
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM OPERATE? (Brief Description)
You can become a member of HEEP online or start a program at
your School, Youth center, Church, etc.
- The program cycles from October thru June, with special events during the summer.
Students that want to start their own HEEP program only need
an Adult Advisor at least 21 years of age. They must
complete the necessary forms and meet at least twice a
month, for at least 90 minutes to discuss the bi-weekly online
lesson plans and/or other activities offered.
Each program will establish their own time and dates for
- Our “Power of the Dollar” Course has 3 parts: Financial Literacy; Employment: Entrepreneurship (F.L.E.E).
- Internships, Employment, Training programs, Entrepreneurial opportunities and Business Advice will also be offered.
- We will sponsor at least 6 Financial Empowerment Summits annually that will be Webcast.
- Participants can sponsor similar Summits in their school, city or take part in our online Summits.
- We will produce and disseminate material and literature to support the program’s goals.
- We will coordinate workshops, seminars, Conferences, special events, online activities and other initiatives that will stimulate excitement and increase youth participation.
- Participants will have our HEEP- Debit MasterCard to learn how to manage their money.
- There will be bi-weekly test and activities online to teach and grade our participants.
- There will be
bi-weekly Drawings, Web-casts by Hip-Hop TV Global for perks and prizes.
Participants will be able to download material to help them
complete the program.
- Participants that successfully complete various facets of the Program will receive certificates & awards.
- Testing and/or attendance will determine your final grade.
HOW DO MEMBERS BENEFIT?
- Free Course on Financial Literacy, Employment and Entrepreneurship (Value—$4,000)
- Recognition as part of a Global Anti-Poverty Movement with the UN and 192 countries
- Awards, Certificates, Prizes & Perks
- Business Loans
- Tickets to concerts & sports events
- Peace, Goodwill and Youth Ambassadorships through U.N. Agencies and Affiliates
- Become a HEEP Recruitment Agent
- Apparel, Sneakers, Hats, etc.
- Ipods, TVs, Cell Phones, Video Games, Entertainment Centers, Computers, CD’s & DVD’s
- Meet, Greet & Eat opportunities with Celebrities
- Film, Music Videos, DVD and TV Appearances
- Recording contracts
- Training Programs
- Employment and Economic opportunities
- Earn Redeemable Valued Points by shopping through HEEP’s Hip-Hop Online Mall
- Direct Deposit Payroll Card
- And much more!
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO JOIN?
Students and youths under 21 in the U.S. and individuals under the U.N.’s definition of a youth
(26 years old).
WILL THE WEBSITE BE USED?
To disseminate literature, information, updates, testing,
recruitment, education, videos, audio files, chat rooms,
webinars, Blogs, contests, Webcasts of Summits & special events.
WHAT IS THE
MOTTO OF THE PROJECT?
the Power of the Dollar…There’s Justice for All”
YOUTUBE; MYSPACE; HIP-HOP TV GLOBAL
WHERE WILL THE ACTIVITIES TAKE PLACE?
Schools, Youth Centers, Churches, on the Internet and in cities throughout the World.
MEDIA & PROMOTIONAL SUPPORT
Radio, TV, flyers, posters, the internet and Print Media to
promote the program and events.
Celebrities will record PSAs and provide interviews to promote
Flyers will be disseminated in schools, community centers and
Promote events with our National partners at the Council of
the Greater City Schools
representing 7.5 million students in 66 districts and cities and countries worldwide.
Artists will promote our project on Tour and at events they
We will work with the Ambassadors and Representatives of the
192 countries at the U.N.
Website and Internet Promotions.
“Word of Mouth” and Grassroots promotions, with Product
- Public Relations and an EPK (Electronic Press Kit).
Develop Co-Branding and Cross-Promotional opportunities with
We will attend Conferences and Events.
We will produce a Documentary on Economic Empowerment.
We will use Hip-Hop TV Global to promote the program.
We will use our HEEP Hip-Hop Online Mall.
HOW WILL THE SUCCESS OF THE PROGRAM BE MEASURED?
- The number of participants that join the program and attend events.
- The National and Global reduction of Poverty.
- The number of participants that successfully complete the Program.
- The number of participants that receive a certificate for registering new members.
- The number of Companies, Celebrities, Professional Athletes, Ambassadors and elected officials supporting the project.
The number of participants that start their own business.
The number of participants that receive Internships, Join
Training Programs and secure Employment.
The number of participants that open their own bank account.
- The number of participants that receive a HEEP- Debit MasterCard.
- The number of participants that support worthwhile causes to end poverty and support the MDG's.
- The number of participants that graduate from School and move on to Higher Education.
Through this program we believe we can reduce world poverty by providing our participants with the knowledge they need to be financially independent, obtain employment or start their own business. As we move through the 21st century we must better prepare young people to be more competitive in a new global economy. In October of 2007, 43,716,440 people Stood Up Against Poverty breaking the 2006 Guinness World Record of 23.5 million. By helping the United Nations Millennium Campaign break last year’s record the Hip-Hop Community is now in a leadership position to spearhead the “War Against Poverty” through the power of Celebrities, our youths and young adults. With the economics of some developing countries on the rise and new millionaires being made everyday, our youths must have a better understanding of how to climb the corporate ladder to be successful. In order for a government to grow and eradicate poverty they must teach their future leaders about economic education, jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. By educating our young people about the “Power of the Dollar” they will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and resources to halve global poverty by 2015 and address the UN MDG's.
Optimum Payment Solutions, Inc.
- KJR Sales, Inc.
North Fork Bank
Benjamin Capital Management, Inc.
- UJAAMA Talent Agency
Hue-Man Bookstore and Café
New Gen Media
Hatcher Enterprises, Inc.
NYS Association of Black & Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc.