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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
May 13, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General

 

Tracy Munford
609-341-3235 or 609-571-5101

 
“Be Powerful, Be Heard - Vote, NJ!”
NJ Builds Bridges Between “Celebrities” And Youth to Promote Voter Education And Awareness
Giants Defensive End Osi Umenyiora #72 and Dru Hill Artist & Producer Nokio Invite Newark And North Jersey Youths 16-21 Years Old to Join Them on Saturday in a Spoken Word Competition on Voting

Winners to Audition for HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and Appear on BET’s Rap City

 
Spoken Word Statewide Competition
2005 Voter Education Campaign Kick-Off Event Archived Streaming Video
The Power of the Vote
Spoken Word Competition
Home Page
Last Year's 2004 Hip-Hop Summit
(information and event video)

New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, Dru Hill artist and record producer Nokio and spoken word artist Flowmentalz will co-host and serve as judges for New Jersey’s “Be Powerful, Be Heard” Spoken Word Competition on Saturday, May 14, at Arts High School in Newark.

New Jersey youth between the ages of 16 and 21 are invited to participate in the New Jersey “POWER OF THE VOTE” Spoken Word Competition at one of three sites across the state. Umenyiora, Nokio and Flowmentalz will be joined by Newark Deputy Mayor Ras Baraka and a number of other north Jersey “celebrities.” Auditions are also being held at Camden City High School and Trenton Central High School, also at 9 a.m. You do not have to be a student at a particular school in order to participate. Participants are encouraged to register in advance by completing an application, available on line at www.nj.gov/oag/elections/contest Walk-in’s are welcome, but pre-registration is encouraged.

Young people can participate in the Spoken Word Competition by creating and presenting a three minute poem about the importance of voting. Participants will be judged at the competition on May 14. The five winners from each site will compete at New Jersey’s second HIP-HOP SUMMIT with Russell Simmons and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) on September 30 in Trenton. The overall winner on September 30 will appear on Black Entertainment Television’s “Rap City,” and will have the opportunity to audition for Russell Simmons’ HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.”

In addition, the winner will participate in a Public Service Announcement about the importance of voting, which will air across New Jersey for the month of October preceding the New Jersey gubernatorial elections.

New Jersey has become the first state to utilize the popularity of hip-hop to motivate, encourage and educate young people about the importance of voting. Perth Amboy was chosen as the site for the kickoff of the 2005 “Be Powerful, Be Heard” youth voter initiative, in part, because of its historical significance to voting. The first African American to vote in the United States, following passage of the 15th Amendment in 1870, was Thomas Mundy Peterson, who resided and cast that first vote in Perth Amboy.

To register for the competition or for more information about the “Be Powerful, Be Heard” initiative visit www.NJElections.org.

>> 2005 Voter Education Campaign Kick-Off Event Archived Streaming Video
>> The Power of the Vote Spoken Word Competition Home Page
>> Last Year's 2004 Hip-Hop Summit (information and event video)

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