Roots lyricist Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter is slated to host the third annual Let’s Move It Philly! concert to benefit the health of young girls.
The concert is a part of a bigger GrassROOTS Community Foundation movement and is a result of first lady Michelle Obama’s national call to action to improve the health of children.
Founded by Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots and sociologist Janice Johnson Dias, GrassROOTS works to contribute to the health of girls from disadvantaged communities. The foundation’s mission is to create a world where girls grow up to be healthy women.
The foundation’s work targets 10 cities in the U.S. where women and girls experience the highest rates of obesity, breast cancer, suicide and HIV/AIDS: Augusta, Ga., Louisville, Ky., Memphis, Tenn.; New Orleans, La., Oklahoma City, Okla., Birmingham, Ala., Philadelphia, Greensboro, N.C., Jackson, Miss., and Newark, N.J.
Proceeds from the upcoming concert will help sustain the foundation’s work in Philadelphia. The foundation offers the CHICKS (Creating Healthy Informed Confident Knowledgeable Selves) program at the Harding Middle School in Philly’s Frankford section. Participating students receive health and financial literacy, wellness and professional skill development.
“Our hope is that we will be able to get enough resources to sustain the work that we have now and expand it,” said Dias, noting that they have a goal of raising at least $50,000.
The concert will held February 16 at 9 p.m. at Sigma Sound Studios, 212 North 12th Street, will include a number of local and national talent such as Black Thought, Grammy-nominated singer Marsha Ambrosius, Marlene Younglao, DJ Aktive, rapper Chill Moody, Dice Raw, Truck North and STS.
“A lot of our work defies what people know about hip-hop and Black men. They say hip hop is one of the contributors to debasing women and here we have a set of men who are trying to defy that and secondly hip hop and health usually don’t come together and yet this venue brings hip hop artists together who want to do something for girls,” Dias says.
A free health forum will be held February 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Mark’s Church, 4442 Frankford Ave. The forum offers health screenings, HIV testing and features meet and greet opportunities with artists such as Black Thought, Dice Raw and recording artist Ursula Rucker. Forum participants will have the opportunity to hear from the girls and parents who participate in the CHICKS program at Harding Middle School.
The health forum kicks off with a one-mile fun run.
“That run is kind of two-fold. One, it’s to really show that people in this community can be active and it’s also our attempt to reclaim the streets of this neighborhood,” Dias added.
For concert ticket information visit letsmoveitphilly.eventbrite.com.