Hip-hop therapy

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/17/us/cnn-heroes-alvarez/index.html

Oakland, California (CNN) — To some people, hip-hop lyrics are about misogyny, materialism, drugs and violence.

But to Tomás Alvarez, they’re about something more. They’re a way to help teens overcome hardship.

As a high school social worker in Oakland, California, Alvarez was frustrated by the number of boys of color he saw dropping out of school or falling into the criminal justice system. And he found it challenging to reach them through traditional therapy.

“The honest truth is that our public school and mental health systems are not well-equipped to address trauma in a way that is resonating with them,” Alvarez said.

So he tried a different approach.

“I started one of the country’s first hip-hop therapy programs,” said Alvarez, who co-founded Beats Rhymes and Life, a nonprofit that provides free counseling sessions to Bay Area youth…

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