Behind An American Graduate

Posted on: Tuesday, August 14 2012


By Chris Runde, Digital Pathways Manager
Since March of this year, musicians and filmmakers in BAVC’s Next Gen youth programs have been contributing to a nationwide project focusing on the high school dropout crisis in the United States. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, American Graduate is a public media initiative created in response to the staggering 1.3 million young people who drop out of high school each year. The project engages with 68 public broadcasting stations and 300 community partners throughout the country to create locally-based solutions and media content.
Working in partnership with KQED (Bay Area public broadcasting), youth from BAVC’s Factory and BUMP Records programs were recruited to create work that documents the state of the American educational system as experienced by the students in it. Artists in BUMP Records recently completed a compilation of music that explores the complexity of the situation in Oakland, California. Touching on topics like the links between education level and income/incarceration, student alienation, and the challenges faced by teachers working in the system, the songs approach difficult subject matter with nuance and honesty. The album, An American Graduate, can be downloaded for free at BUMP Records’ Bandcamp site:
In support of the album release and larger project goals, BUMP artists Bhindi G, JustKidding and 3ss3ns3 will be performing a short selection of songs from An American Graduate this Saturday, August 18 at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland. The performance will be happening in conjunction with Oakland’s Attend and Achieve Back-to-School Rally. Details about the Rally are below. BUMP performers go on at 2:00pm. Come out and support the artists and all the young people in the community working against this disturbing trend.
Saturday, August 18, 2012

Oakland at City Hall

1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

9am to 3pm — FREE

Join KQED on the steps of Oakland City Hall on August 18 for the Attend and Achieve Back-to-School Rally 2012 — in partnership with the Oakland Natives Give Back, the Oakland Unified School District and the City of Oakland’s Office of the Mayor, City Administrator and community organizations. 
The day will include performers, family-friendly activities, a teen summit and parent workshops. The first 1,000 people to register in the morning and take advantage of a series of life-enrichment workshops and networking opportunities with community organizations and vendors will receive backpacks and school supplies for their kids. The “tools for school” giveaways will be distributed at the end of the day to those with wristbands received during registration.